A European Culinary Journey Aboard The Orient Express In India

Nestled within the Taj Palace, New Delhi, Orient Express stands as a testament to culinary excellence and timeless elegance.

For four decades, this iconic fine-dining establishment has captivated discerning palates with its exquisite European fare, impeccable service, and a setting that transports guests to the golden age of luxury travel.

One of the wonders to savour on top of the impressive service, intimate setting, extraordinary cuisine and live piano all night are the other diners. This is a restaurant where everyone is having fun, and where people reach out and say hello, people clap each other happy birthday and couples and families return again and again.

A Step into the Past

I stepped up the metal grated steps into the Orient Express carriage and was transported to a bygone era. The restaurant’s décor meticulously recreates the ambiance of an original Orient Express carriage, from the plush cream coloured seating which has its own special pearlescent t glow, to warm lighting, intricate wood paneling and gleaming brass accents. As you settle into your seat, the gentle clinking of silverware and the soft strains of a live piano set the stage for an unforgettable dining experience.

A Culinary Symphony

Orient Express’s menu is a culinary symphony, effortlessly blending classic European dishes with modern interpretations. I didn’t think I would find Euroepean food of this standard in India.

Executive Chef Rajesh Wadhwa masterfully orchestrates each course, showcasing the finest seasonal ingredients and innovative techniques.

From the melt-in-your-mouth salmon tartare with braised fennel to the rich and decadent lobster bisque, each dish is a testament to the chef’s artistry. The menu starts with an amuse bouche, and the lobster bisque that followed was one of the best I have had. Unique bread offerings, including some very mini croissants and mini rolls were adorable, fun and very tasty.

Signature Delights

The menu features an array of signature dishes that have captivated diners over the years. The Margaret duck, a culinary masterpiece, is served with a vibrant Chou Chu rouge purée, while the fig lobster ravioli, a delicate dance of flavors, is complemented by smoked corn and basil.

For a truly indulgent experience, savor the scallops with confit chicken and Choi flier truffle purée, a harmonious blend of textures and tastes.

I already need to go back as it was not possible to order and eat all of the dishes I was drawn to.

The setting is extraordinary and elegant at The Orient Express Restaurant at The Taj Hotel in New Delhi

An Impressive Wine List

Orient Express’s extensive wine list is a treasure trove of both renowned labels and hidden gems – not an easy achievement in India where wine laws are strict and acquiring high end wines to sell is not an easy challenge for restaurants.

The knowledgeable sommeliers are always at hand to guide guests through the selection, ensuring that each wine perfectly complements the chosen dishes. Whether you prefer a classic French Bordeaux or a New World Chardonnay, there’s a perfect pairing to elevate your dining experience.

Impeccable Service

At Orient Express, impeccable service is an integral part of the dining experience. The attentive staff, clad in crisp white uniforms, with whiter gloves anticipates every need with grace and professionalism.

They guide diners through the menu, recommend wine pairings, and ensure that each course is served with precision and flair.

The timing of the food was also spot on. Often an issue in restaurants, especially in Asia, but this was not the case here.

The pianist presented at the window every half hour or so asking if anyone had requests-= again making the whole experience intimate and very much to order.

A Culinary Oasis

Orient Express is more than just a restaurant; it’s a culinary oasis where memories are made and cherished.

Slowly savoring the exquisite cuisine, surrounded by the timeless elegance of the Orient Express carriage, my experience was so much more than just dining. I felt like I was embarking on a journey through time, and it was easy to somehow forget I was sitting in a hotel and I allowed myself to get carried away in escapism and almost pretend the train carriage was travelling somewhere fabulously exotic.

A Toast to 40 Years

In celebration of its 40th anniversary this year, Orient Express is curating a limited edition menu that pays homage to the restaurant’s rich culinary heritage.

Nostalgic favorites like the Camembert cheese soufflé with paprika sauce and the Duck Margaret with fig compote and crispy phyllo will be joined by contemporary renditions that showcase the chefs’ creativity.

I am booking in already.

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