We visited Taj West End for a Middle Eastern food tasting at the multi cuisine restaurant Mynt. Taj West End is one of the oldest properties in the country, originally started by the Bronson family as a 10 room inn in the late 1800s. It now has 117 rooms and suites, and overlooks about 20 acres of lush greenery and flora. Our visit was in the evening which didn’t allow us to experience the expanse of the property quite as well, but the beautiful Victorian architecture of the ambient hotel was a breathtaking experience. The grandeur of this Taj property is like no other, like a walk through the sands of time. The property has changed management a couple of times, in 1912 the Spencers – the wine dealers, which transformed the inn into a British club, and then in 1984 – the current owners Taj Hotels Resort and Palaces took over, and brought in modernity into the hotel residence while preserving the old world charm and distinctive heritage.
The lobby actually had trees growing through the building, and this property actually has one of the oldest trees in the city as well. Taj West End has various in house restaurants, all very well known for their fine dining experiences, this particular food festival was inspired dishes from ‘Souk’ at the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers, Mumbai. This festival ran from August 17th until 27th. Yes, I know this post comes a little too late, but with all my assignments due and work – I missed a deadline. But the place and their menu serving Italian, Mediterranean and Lebanese food is something I would strongly recommend for a visit, hence the post! Executive Chef Sandip Narang and his team curated a special tasting menu for us that day, and we started off with the Cold Mezze Platter with homemade khoubz and breads. The mezze platter comprised of Mouttabel, Tabbouleh, Hummus, Flavored Labneh and Muhammara Dates, the last being an interesting surprise. The dates had a walnut and pistachio dip fillings, yummy and different. Then came the Cigara Boregi – molten cheese and leeks filled in crispy rolls, quite well done! The Spinach Fatayer were delightful, oven baked neat little parcels stuffed with spinach and pine nuts, and tahini sauce – absolutely delicious!
There were 2 soups served – a vegetarian soup Shorba Adas – a traditional Arabic lentil soup generously topped with caramelized onions – very well made. The lamb broth with tomato and chickpea was very nice and homely, good with breads on side. As this closed the entrees, we were given some Pide Bi Zattar – an assortment of herbed manakeesh as the next course was getting prepared. The grills had several variants, loved the lamb – was so rich and succulent, melted completely in my mouth. The grilled prawns had a nice marinade of spicy sweet mix, but could have been grilled slightly more for the flavors to permeate better. The Shish Taouk chicken kababs was quite nice, juicy and flavorful. And finally, there was the Lamb Tagine – yes, cooked in the tagine with vegetables and spices and lamb, and Roz Bil Shaareyyah, sweet and a perfect accompaniment to the lamb. I couldn’t stop myself from taking another helping of this!
Our dinner was brought to closure by the traditional Turkish Baklava and Middle Eastern Mahalabia. While the mahalabia is a milk pudding most of us are familiar with, since we have similar desserts – the baklava was very well made, layered pastry with dusted cinnamon – a balance that was notably right.
Mynt is a beautiful venue serving world class food, and is definitely a recommendation. Visit during the day to experience the beauty of the hotel, and maybe participate in the Heritage walk, I know I will!