Lined with rich textures of turquoise and lush chandeliers that hang low, Jodhpur Royal Dining is bound to take you back to the medieval era of India where exquisite interiors meet fine food while promising a molecular gastronomic experience. But what is molecular gastronomy? I keep seeing the term almost everywhere. The Internet tells me that it is “the application of scientific principles to the understanding and development of food preparation”.
Chef Pradeep Khullar, who is a man of substance, believes “less is more” and this thought is showcased in the rich but small portions served. Also rated a 4.9 on Zomato like its counterpart Tresind, it is interesting to hear that Chef Himanshu Saini of Tresind fame and Chef Pradeep are quite close. Both show how serious they are with their food while also displaying a similar concept. But do we see the repetition of a Tresind menu at Jodhpur? Definitely not. Although, the biryani and lamb nihari which are synonymous with royal Indian dining are served at both locations.
The Iftar started with an amuse bouche of Kataifi Dates. Basically, dates packed with nuts, sealed in caramel and placed atop kataifi to give a crunchy and sweet taste. What’s interesting is, the flavor of the dates is retained while also giving us a teaser of caramel inside the fruit.
The Chef, who was personally assisting us with the meal proceeded with a childhood favorite – Zeera Khari with a concoction of hung yoghurt, mint, and coriander as dipping sauce. Later arrived the Macaron Chaat which looked like a mini version of an ordinary macron until we were explained what it contained. Rumored a contender of The Chaat Trolley from Tresind, the Macaron Chaat satisfies textures of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy so easily in a bite that it is definitely hard to stop at one.
The set menu continued wooing us with probably the first kebab served cold; filled with laban ricotta and cheese, smeared with rose ash (made in-house) on top. Next came the stuffed kulchas with chicken tikka, caramelized onions, and water chestnut! A remarkable addition to provide a crunchy filling. And later, beef short rib with aam papad glaze (made in-house too). This was marked the star of the evening. In short, the juicy beef paired with a tangy mango glaze is worth another visit alone.
Just after the palate cleanser; cranberry and mango popsicle in little pressure cookers, was served, we were presented with the mains of the evening. Lamb Shank Nihari, Miniature Pav Bhaji, and Chicken Tikka Biryani. The course dulled in comparison to the former as we were getting used to the innovativeness of each dish, nevertheless, the flavors made up for it.
Soon, we see Chef Pradeep Khullar entering with what looked like a Jalebi Tree with a side of creamy rabri. This idea was perhaps most liked by us as it brought out our inner child. The Rasmalai and Malai Kulfi were comparatively mediocre as we’ve had better before. We couldn’t help noticing the frozen interior of the kulfi that gave us a little displeasure.
However, Jodhpur Royal Dining has certainly enough charm to make anyone fall in love with it. The experience of every dish was educative, fun and unique in most ways.
If I’m going back: I would definitely visit for the Beef Short Rib. The Jalebi Tree is a masterpiece, so that’s something you wouldn’t want to miss.
What’s your favorite Indian restaurant in Dubai? Who do you think does better Indian cuisine – casual eateries or fine dining?