Food with an experience

Food with an experience

The pride of Hyderabad and the crown of Taj Group of Hotels, Falaknuma opened its doors after restoration exactly 5 years ago. At the time of opening...

The palace hotel, Taj Falaknuma, opens its new restaurant ‘The Grill’ at the Coronation Hall within the resplendent Gol Bungalow

Intricately carved Jharoka at the entrance of Gol Bungalow

The pride of Hyderabad and the crown of Taj Group of Hotels, Falaknuma opened its doors after restoration exactly 5 years ago. At the time of opening there was a wide speculation on how such a grand edifice could make its ends meet. The sheer beauty, opulence and the tasteful transformation of the erstwhile palace of the Nizam of Hyderabad into a Palace Hotel caught the fancy of the foreign tourists, high profile Indian guests and heritage lovers.

Above all Taj Falaknuma became a much preferred wedding destination with the likes of Salman Khan, who had his sister’s wedding here, choosing to have their biggest of the Indian weddings here. And in no time the supposedly white elephant became a profitable preposition.

 Beautifully laidout table at the grill. Photos: Srinivas SettyMore importantly, Taj Falaknuma is probably one of the very few architectural wonders that have remained as standing testimony to the rich Hyderabadi tradition and culture. And this experience is conspicuous by its magnitude as soon as you step onto the palace grounds to be chauffeured to the main entrance in a horse-driven buggy. As the horse races forward and the wind plays with the hair, you are transported into an age of incomparable luxury that the richest man in the world was surrounded with.

Taj Falaknuma marked its 5th anniversary celebrations with the launch of the alfresco restaurant, ‘The Grill’ at the coronation hall. The place is open for dinners and is perfect for pleasant evenings. And as is evident by the name, ‘The Grill’ serves Mediterranean, European and a few specially chosen Indian grills. Arabic Cold Mezze Platter, Indian Ocean Red Snapper, Bharwan Malai Aloo, Cottage Cheese with traditional Indian Spices and Chargrilled Courgette and Halloumi Skewers with Sundried tomato Pesto, Chicken Drumsticks and Polenta Steak along with a special dessert of the day was the launch day menu.

While the order is being prepared, the guests are taken on a curated tour of the coronation hall within the magnificent Gol Bungalow. How does one describe spectacular wonders? The coronation hall is spellbinding to begin with. Nizam VI was on a visit to Delhi Durbar in 1904 with his entourage when he saw an exhibition that had the best of Indian wooden craftsmen displaying their skill.

Each Kingdom/royalty at the fair was represented by a wooden structure carved and designed to represent the local culture and legends. But there were no buyers for these magnificent structures and the furniture that was placed for sale within these enclosures. Nizam was mighty impressed and immediately bought the entire exhibition and brought it with him to Hyderabad.

The enclosures representing Southern temple architecture, the Moghul art replete with the tree of life, the Buddhist iconography from Thailand were all there in the Coronation Hall, recreated as intricate friezes in rose wood, teak wood and sandal wood. It is so overwhelming an experience that one is still reveling in it as dinner arrives to be served in crockery designed by Versace and the Columbian saxophonist Dumbira brings us back to reality with her soulful modern age numbers.

The hill-top splendour of Hyderabad never fails to impress.

By:Rajeshwari Kalyanam

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