It has been 40 years of Machan, the fine diner with the ambience of a safari, at the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel located at 1, Mansingh Road. It was one of the few 24x7 restaurants in the national capital when it opened its doors in 1978.Although over the years many of the dishes have been tweaked, new flavours have been incorporated and there have been innovations in the art of presentation, what has remained intact are the memories associated with Machan.And to mark this occasion, the eatery has brought back the culinary offerings of the era in an attempt to pay tribute to Machan's legacy through an extravaganza that promises to take patrons on a trip down memory lane.But it's not just Machan that is celebrating its 40 years. It is also Chef Tapash Bhattacharya, who has been associated with the place since its inception."It is now my home. Forty years is too long a time to call it my own. I have seen three generations of families coming here. And surprisingly, the youngsters ask for dishes which used to be served some 30 years ago. It feels good," Bhattacharya told IANS."The ambience, interiors and presentation might have changed, but we try to maintain the legacy of taste as much authentic as possible," he said.A special lunch hosted by Machan was an opportunity to relive the flavours of the early days of the eatery.
The culinary journey began with mutton cutlet, prawn cocktail, chicken in a basket as a non-vegetarian starter. For the vegetarians, it was scrumptious crumbed fried idly and crispy mushroom served on an iceberg nest with a blue cheese dip.Then came Paloc soup -- a cumin and tomato flavoured Hungarian lamb soup with string beans and potatoes. For vegetarians, it was melange of mushroom soup scented in truffle oil to satisfy the appetite.The main course, as expected, was a heavenly delight. It was time to indulge in chicken Monte Carlo -- a signature dish of Chef Bhattacharya where the chicken breast is stuffed with corn before being cooked and sprinkled with Gevrey-Chambertin and Manzanilla wines before being served on a bed of spaghetti with olives. Also, served was Hazratganj biryani -- aromatic basmati rice with lamb, cooked in a sealed clay pot and served with raita and salan.But the highlight was easily the dessert. A plate with orange flavoured crème caramel, kulfi and apple strudel was a perfect way to end the meal. For those who have a sweet tooth, satisfying the appetite without needing to repeat the dishes would be an easy choice.Since Machan will be serving these iconic dishes till the end of this month, gobble the delicacies down before it's too late.
When: Ongoing till 31st October
Price: A la carte (exclusive of taxes)
Time: 12.30 p.m.-11.30 p.m.