Till 1984, when the hotel was taken over by the Taj group, the Taj West End had a largely British customer base, as a result of which, the food served there was mostly Anglo-Indian. This was usually a combination of European meats such as steak, pork, or lamb, but cooked with Indian vegetables and spices. For example, typically, fish and chips would be served with Indian chutney on the side, or lamb would be cooked in a coconut curry.
Head Chef Sandip Narang explained that if Indian dishes were cooked, chefs would often add cream or yoghurt to offset the spice besides making it into gravy. The flip side was that many Indian dishes end up tasting similar, lacking the subtle differences in seasoning, and becoming unnecessarily heavy. This is one area where major changes in the menu have taken place over time.
In order to satisfy and serve its new and growing customer base, the Taj West End now has three main restaurants — Mynt, Masala Klub, and Blue Ginger. Each of these restaurants has been tailored to accurately match the dishes from the regions they represent. Mynt serves a combination of authentic Indian, Italian, Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisines.
The Masala Klub offers both north and south Indian food, but instead of using cream and butter to assist the flavours in their dishes, the chefs focus on a few spices per dish, and make sure that each fare has its unique identity.
Lastly, there is Blue Ginger, offering Vietnamese cuisine, as authentic as possible. As Mr. Narang says: “If you serve something and call it a pizza, it had better be an authentic pizza, because the chances are that the customer has eaten real pizza from Italy.”
On the occasion of its 125th anniversary, the Taj West End has altered the Mynt restaurant menu to reflect the dishes it served in the early 1900s but with a modern twist.
The aim is to give the diner the opportunity to step into a bygone era.
Dishes include the classic Mulligatawny (coconut and curry-flavoured lentil soup with lamb or chicken), Railway Mutton Cutlet (minced lamb and potato), Liver and Onions (crumb-fried liver served with fried onions and potato), Country Captain (lamb stew flavoured with raisins and brown onions served with Indian bread), Roast Duck with Orange Sauce and many more.
The Taj West End has also come out with a signature cocktail in honour of the celebration. Named 125, an ingredient is the flower of the frangipani that grows on its grounds.
Mynt will keep this menu till the end of the year.