Imagine a glass palace illuminated by hundreds of candles with a mosaic of mirrors glistening on the ceiling and tiny pieces of glass gleaming on the walls. While you are only settling in, imagine a convoy of servers arriving with the land’s most exquisite cuisine, chefs bringing in their signature dishes, and butlers carrying the finest wines of the world. Imagine fountains gurgling in the background, strains of flute serenading the atmosphere, and scent of neroli hanging heavy the air. Now imagine yourself in the setting. Sounds like a fairy tale, right? Only this fairy tale is true.
Welcome to Mohan Mahal, India’s first fine-dining restaurant that is also a Sheesh Mahal, well almost.
Housed inside the newly launched JW Marriott Jaipur, a sprawling spa resort set amidst the mighty Aravalis, Mohan Mahal is fast becoming a game changer in the dining scene of the desert state, and, we reckon, the entire country. Built in traditional Rajasthani style with arches and jharokhas, embellished with over three and a half lakh mirrors in intricate patterns, and devoid of any artificial lighting, this specialty Indian restaurant has been designed as an ode to the Sheesh Mahal of the Amer fort. A responsibility it fulfills rather well.
Architecturally inspired from the Sheesh Mahal at the Amer Fort in Jaipur, this Indian specialty restaurant offers an experience that reflects the lifestyle of the Royals of Rajasthan. “We wanted to create a royal experience for our guests, which was also unique,” chef Ganesh Teli, in charge of the restaurant, tells us, “and what better inspiration than the Sheesh Mahal itself? He asks rhetorically. Set up like a royal dining hall Mohan Mahal is serviced like one too – exquisite silverware glows in the golden light of the candles, crystals twinkle in the reflection of their shadows, sturdy leather bound furniture spells elegance, and intricate patterns showcase regal designs. The butlers dressed in traditional attire, addressing you with choicest Rajputana salutations meanwhile personify the classic Rajasthani manuhaar.
“Dining at Mohan Mahal is not just about the food; it is about the overall experience,” Mr. Asim Mamgain, the F&B director of the hotel explains. “We not only offer a Rajasthani meal, but bring an experience of a lifetime to our guests,” he continues. And so, not surprisingly, you see every element of the restaurant aligned to the idea. From the décor to the ambience to service and food – everything is designed to transport the guests to the bygone era of princely royalty.
While the focus of the restaurant may not solely be on the food, it undoubtedly plays an intrinsic part in the whole experience. “Our menu is designed to bring out heirlooms recipes of Rajasthan,” says chef Teli talking about the curated pre-set courses. “Our chefs bring their signature dishes to the guests in their silver chaumukhas and explain their origins and history of every dish before serving it to the guests on a specially designed silver thaals, also a royal rajputana legacy. It is a very niche and a very personalised interaction and helps the guest connect with the place better.” he adds. What sets it apart from a regular rajasthi thali anywhere else is not only the novelty of the setting and interaction with the speciality chefs, but also the menu itself, which is derived from age-old recipes of royal families. These exclusively curated meals have been designed in two variants — The Rajasthani and the Mughlai Thali.
The Rajasthani Thali features a combination of popular and novel preperations from Rajputana kitchens like Murgh Makkai ka Soweta, Safed Maas, Sil batte ke Kabab, Ker ke Shammi, and the quintessential Laal Maas, while the Mughlai Thali, with gems such as Galaouti Kebab, Balai ka Jheenga, Kundan Kalia and Dum ki Nalli, showcases the mughal influence on the local cuisine. And, according to Mr. Mamgain, also adds variety for the guest.
The Mughlai flavours are also a part of the special Mukhwas presented to the all guests as a souvenier. The fragrant mixture, wrapped in ornate potlis matching the décor of Mohan Mahal, is handed to every guest as a token of thanks; gift packs of neroli scented candles (also given as gift) meanwhile have the guests’ names and the date of visit mentioned on them. The idea is to not only help them recreate a part of the experience at home, but also to remind them of the place for years to come. Now that is a reminder every guest will cherish for a long time.
Mohan Mahal is is open for dinner only, and requires a prior reservation.
Phone :+ 0 142 6666000