LatestFood Voyager

The Zodiac Grill Nights returns as a pop up to mesmerize at Taj Mahal, New Delhi`

The Zodiac Grill Nights returns as a bespoke culinary experience, to celebrate a culinary legend, at Taj Mahal New Delhi.

 Taj Mahal, New Delhi has been a proud purveyor of global cuisine and meaningful culinary experiences for over four decades. This culinary showcase will feature exquisite European delicacies and signature flavours for a nostalgic course.

Dining at Zodiac Grill pop up at The Chamber Taj Mahal Hotel New Delhi
Dining at Zodiac Grill pop up at The Chamber Taj Mahal Hotel New Delhi

In a continuing endeavor to offer unique experiences to its patrons, the hotel presents a reincarnation of India’s first fine-dining restaurant – The Zodiac Grill with a thoughtfully curated epicurean soiree available over two weekends in February.

 The Zodiac Grill  - Amuse bouche
The Zodiac Grill – Amuse bouche

 ‘The Zodiac Grill Nights’ will begin at the iconic Taj Mahal, New Delhi, and continue its sojourn to renowned Taj Hotels across geographies.

The Zodiac Grill has been celebrated for the finest of European cuisine and this magic is now being recreated for guests to relive the flavours and indulge in nostalgic revelry.

 The Zodiac Grill  - Tiger Prawn Roulade
The Zodiac Grill – Tiger Prawn Roulade

Taj Master Chefs have designed a special menu of signature dishes such as the Camembert Dariole, Chicken Zodiac and Kahlua mousse, to ensure a truly memorable experience. 

The Zodiac Grill  - Assiette de Dessert
The Zodiac Grill – Assiette de Dessert

The Zodiac Grill opened its doors to the world in the late ’80s, as a one-of-a-kind concept, where patrons were pleasantly surprised by the idea of a menu with no prices and could pay as they liked.

 The Zodiac Grill  - Serpentine Coffee
The Zodiac Grill – Serpentine Coffee

The restaurant has a legacy of excellence in cuisine and service. After over 25 magnificent years of serving exemplary European cuisine, The Zodiac Grill had permanently etched a mark in the culinary world.

Taj Mahal, New Delhi is welcoming guests to enjoy the charm and culinary art of the iconic restaurant at the re-imagined and re-designed avatar of The Chambers with stunning views of the city’s skyline. 

Chef Arun Sundararaj, Executive Chef - Taj Mahal, New Delhi
Chef Arun Sundararaj, Executive Chef – Taj Mahal, New Delhi
Highlighting the glorious journey of The Zodiac Grill and welcoming the legacy at this exclusive culinary celebration, Chef Arun Sundararaj, Director of Culinary Operations at Taj Mahal, New Delhi, said “The Zodiac Grill isn’t merely a restaurant. It is a moment. A memory. A milestone.”

He added, ” Creating a sensation since November 1989, The Zodiac Grill represents the epitome of fine cuisine paired with impeccable service standards. It has gazed at the celebrations of the celebrated and has been a mirror to their memories. My team and I look forward to welcoming guests to this curated experience of culinary craft.”   

The Zodiac Grill  - Asparagus Charlotte
The Zodiac Grill – Asparagus Charlotte

A peek into what went into the making of a culinary legend – the Zodiac Grill at The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai

From the Taj archives:

“Our determination to bring in the best in cuisine, whether Indian, Chinese or French, achieved its apotheosis in The Zodiac Grill, widely acknowledged today as the outstanding European-style restaurant in Asia.

As dancing, while dining began to lose prominence, guests started to pine for a quiet space to stimulate long conversations. Understanding the need of our patrons Mr JRD Tata advised us to create a quiet Grill Room and that’s how the idea for the Zodiac Grill came about, with the aim of creating a small exclusive restaurant serving Western food.

 But before this new restaurant could be opened the kitchens had again to be contemporised, with the then Executive Chef Hemant Oberoi and then General Manager Subir Bhowmick travelling to Europe to track down the latest equipment.

We did a lot of research to gauge what exactly the customer was looking for. Liberalisation had come in, imports were allowed and people in India were travelling abroad a lot more, so their tastes had changed and become more sophisticated.

The most important guests were now executives with multinational banks and heads of companies with foreign partners. The new Indian business community was young and rich, they travelled and were knowledgeable about wine and food.

There were daily brainstorming sessions taking place between the senior kitchen staff, the Food & Beverage Department and management. Guests were now eating with their eyes and minds and the food had to be presented beautifully.

Hence, the need to serve designer cuisine that looks exquisite and is delectable to taste. So for a whole year, the relevant teams were in that kitchen till the early hours of the morning, trying out various dishes.

The journey began with about 300 odd dishes and then narrowed down to 100 and finally to 35 or so top dishes. The ultimate aim was perfection in every dish we offered, whether it was our steamed Camembert Dariole Soufflé, which became a signature dish for the restaurant, or the Kahlua Mousse, or the venison, quail or the five varieties of caviar. We started inviting guests to try these dishes and followed their suggestions.

While the menus were being finalised and tested, the finest table linen, china, silverware and crystal ware obtainable was sought and purchased. Then came the question of pricing. Finally, came this idea that our guests could pay whatever they wished.

The guests were to be told that their patronage was priceless and that they should pay whatever they felt was right. So that’s how The Zodiac Grill started – and, it worked like magic and the restaurant was the topic of discussion everywhere!

Residents of Mumbai still recall the six-month-long “pay what you think is right” offer with which the city’s first fine-dining restaurant launched over a decade ago. On its 20th anniversary in 2010, the same policy was revived for a week, much to the surprise of guests and regulars.

The Zodiac Grill specialises in European cuisine with signature dishes like the Vietnamese Mekong River Basa, Norwegian Pink Salmon, Camembert Dariole and Kahlua mousse.

 On November 16, 2014, this fine dining restaurant celebrated its 25th Anniversary with much galore. For the anniversary celebrations, Chefs had designed a special menu that was offered for Rs. 25000 per couple for a 25-course menu. Signature delicacies were served to ensure a truly decadent experience.”

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