The new ala carte menu at Orient Express, Taj Palace, New Delhi, will send you home happy

Searching for a chic, romantic place to dine in and make your partner feel that he /she is one of the most important persons in your life, one solid option for you will be the Orient Express at Taj Palace, New Delhi. In existence for over two decades, this impeccable high-end restaurant has a setting that reminds you of dining scenes in the film Titanic. Heavy furnishings, fine French cutlery and crockery laid to perfection and a name that reminds you of Agatha Christie’s depiction of British elegance. Then there is live music by a Canadian singer, Melanie, with Lawrence complimenting her on the piano.

Senior Sous Chef D.N. Sharma, who has been with the Taj since 1987, guides me through my gastronomic journey at the restaurant and introduces me to its new ala carte menu. It is a seven course delight.

Waiting for the soup to arrive, I munch on the fresh breads that land on my table accompanied by some refreshing dips — a vegetarian one based on celery, and the other is a chicken liver pate. Soon I am served its Corn Fed Chicken and Truffle Tea. It has the look of a rich-coloured cappuccino and has perfectly blended mushrooms, which add a rather subtle aroma to the brew.

I try out its salmon salad too. The chef here plays with some light seasoning keeping the core taste of the salmon intact.

The third course is of birds and I am served one of the best roasted duck in town. It is called Roasted Duck with Margaret and Fig Relish. The duck meat comes evenly roasted, its outer layer crispy and the inside meat and juicy. Even the Corn Fed Chicken Supreme, served with organic honey and thyme, is utterly yummy. Though I find the chicken breast a bit dry at times.

Being a prawn lover, I ask the chef to serve me the Normandy Butter Poached Prawns with Bloomsdale Spinach and Beachwood Mushrooms. Finger licking!

The next course I go for is the New Zealand Lamb Lion in rosemary —awesome. So juicy and tender. Breaking the norm of fork and knife dining, I hold the lamp chops in my hand and relish biting the meat off.

I end my meal with a dessert which is not on the new menu but has been a constant part of every menu of the Taj for the last 28 years. It is the soft-centered Chocolate Pudding. They should call it a hot molten chocolate lava pudding. It’s a divine dish for any chocolate lover.

Meal for two: Rs.6000 – Rs.8000