Friday, September 09, 2011

Taj Lands End Vista - The Atlantis Middle Eastern Special

Rest : Vista
Meal : Dinner
Loc : Taj Lands End, Bandra Bandstand.

The Lands End and particularly Vista is a happy place for me, i spent some time there when i was dating the Mrs, although we loved the food going back there often enough post wedding has been rare.

So i was quite happy when i was invited to sample the dishes at the ongoing Arabic Cuisine festival put together by the Taj Lands End & Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai. Atlantis again is a happy connection of sorts, from Spring break way back when, I had actually been to the Atlantis property in the Bahamas. It wasnt as big then, the signature towers came later.

My good friends KB & MB live in Dubai for part of the year, their house is near the Atlantis and they visit often meals especially Nobu, which they rate very well. I could go into my Nobu story but i digress.

The layout was fairly expansive, the festival dishes were in addition to the regular evening buffet but i dont think anyone really touched any of the regular food. Start with a tomato shorba with some veggies, There was a large lamb biryaniesque preparation, a tagine, cold and hot mezzes, brown rice with lentils as well as desserts. The menu shall be more or less the same throughout the festival.

There were some cold mezze starters, the dolmas were pretty good. The crunchy fried roll was allright.

The absolutely spectacular tahini fountain, falafals, grilled veggies and breads, dip and eat. I think ill take a tahini fountain to a choco one any day. Loved it.

I didnt get the name for this, it was a cross between a watered down cacik but tasted more like a liquid labneh, brilliant, garlicky taste, a mezze you can drink.

While there were a whole bunch of dishes to be tried, the falafal with tahini, the cold fattoush with toasted pita chips, all of them top notch.

Potato lightly spiced fried in olive oil were lovely. However the standout dish that i gorged on was the smooth, creamy, hummus. absolutely the best i have ever had. Freshly made and perhaps why it was such a brilliant dish and shall be the standard against which all future hummus consumption shall be judged by.

While there were plenty of desserts i played safe with a brilliant baklava

as well as a little tiramisu.

Overall the food is brilliant, while we do have Souk at the Taj & Mabruk at Sahara Star to lean on for our middle eastern fix, the food here was spectacular. The spring roll starter was perhaps the weakest offering. The festival deserves a longer run at present its on until 18th September at 2100 per person.

I was also in a rather long conversation with Lands End GM Birgit Zorniger, a remarkable woman who knows the India hotel scene inside out. She happened to mention that Riva a Mediterranean restaurant that will replace Pure should open by mid-October.

As i was there by invitation, a rating would not be appropriate but in general the food, service and company were all top notch.

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