Some entertainment for the night. Pictures by Sulochana Gamage
Maharaja’s cuisine treatment for foodies
Sri Lankan foodies generally crave for Indian food. Spiced with
aromatic flavours and mouthwatering aromas, the Indian cuisine has been
a hot favourite among locals from all walks of life.
This aspect was the main reason behind the launch of the much hyped
Maharaja Palace which opened doors to customers recently. Radiating
royalty, style and glamour and offering an authentic North Indian menu,
the restaurant provides an imperial experience to all those who visit
Anjum in talks with Chef Abubakar
A gala three-day celebrations started off the opening of the
restaurant at Rajakeeya Mawatha, Colombo 7. The majestic white mansion,
dazzling in the night sky resembled the Taj Mahal of India, bathed in
moonlight. The lighting and flame torches took one on a journey between
history and modern times.
Walk up to the huge mahogany doorway and be swept away by the sweet
blanket of floral fragrance.
Beautifully attired girls, donning shalwars presented visitors with
shawls and bindhis. The wall décor, the paintings depicting Moghul art
and the traditional Indian furniture glow were reflected by the
chandeliers. All this and more can be expected by visitors who are open
to experience a little piece of Indian heaven at Maharaja Palace.
“Back in India most of the actual palaces have been converted into
hotels, resorts or restaurants. The team decided to name the restaurant
as Maharaja Palace because they have the royal cuisine here and it
reflects grandeur. No doubt they want to be the best among Indian
“They want to offer the whole royal Moghul experience not only food
wise but also through the whole ambiance,” renowned Lucknawi chef Anjum
Hassan explained the concept behind the ‘King of Indian restaurants’ in
Around 75 guests can accommodate the main dining room downstairs
while five private dining rooms are on offer for small parties of guests
on the top floor. Four of the five dining rooms can accommodate around
eight guests while the fifth can hold up to 16 diners.
Speaking about the show kitchen at the restaurant, Anjum said that
people are fascinated to see how the dishes are prepared. It also keeps
the staff on their toes.
The Maharaja Palace
Queried about the specialty behind the North Indian cuisine Anjum
said that that a rich variety of ingredients make up the dishes. “Every
cuisine is different from each other and there are takers for every type
of dish. North Indian dishes are less sour than the South Indian dishes.
They do not use much souring agents like tomatoes and lemons. The tangy
flavour is not pronounced but balances the sweet and salty taste. They
have thick, moderately spicy and creamy gravies and use dried fruits and
nuts often,” she added.
She notes that their signature dish is the kebabs which comprise
chicken and mutton.
“We even have vegetarian kebabs. We have focused on the vegetarian
menu a lot so that vegetarians do not feel left out. One of the
challenges that we have taken up is inserting the taste of mutton or
chicken kebabs into the vegetarian kebabs,” she said adding that the
briyanis too are in demand.
Kulfi, an Indian ice cream, is another favourite that they have in
their dessert range. Gulab Jamun, a dumpling in sugar syrup is another