Bidding good byes is always tough. More so when it is something which is inextricably co-mingled with the ethos of your city.
As I stepped into Journalism in 1989, one heard of The Zodiac Grill opening at the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai. An unparalleled fine dining experience, we were told. Of course as a newbie in Journalism, there was no chance that one could step into the haloed precincts of The Zodiac Grill. It was beyond our means then.
Several years later, I was lucky to be able to make my way into this restaurant with a high intrigue value, for a dinner with the man in my life, later my husband. It was a special occasion we were celebrating. I remember being awe struck and looked above, at the famous Zodiac dome gobsmacked, as we were seated. The food, i daresay was beyond my expectations. I knew I would cherish this meal all my life.
I was lucky once more, when I was invited to The Zodiac Grill. This time for a special media lunch one last time at this iconic restaurant. A special menu had been designed for us today with all the signature dishes. I looked at the coveted menu and felt special.
We were pampered from word go with the usual warm hospitality, characteristic of The Taj Hotels. What can I say about the lunch and service? Perfect, as expected.The Camembert Dariole had not changed a wee bit since I last had it, over a decade ago. Light, fluffy, melt in the mouth and sinful. Instead of the customary Chicken Zodiac Grill, which of course is to die for, I opted for the sea bass instead. An absolutely sublime experience.
Amidst conversations, anecdotes from Prakash, one of the old timers there and the drama around the sorbet (lights being dimmed), the afternoon flew. A thoroughly enjoyable one of course.
Taljinder Singh – Area Director Mumbai and General Manager, The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai reminsced, “In 1989, India welcomed its first fine dining restaurant with the introduction of The Zodiac Grill. The Zodiac Grill has left a mark in the culinary world by exceeding all expectations. An end of an era, we are indeed honored to have been a part of the delightful epicurean legacy The Zodiac Grill leaves behind.”
Amit Chowdhury – Executive Chef, The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai, added, “The Zodiac Grill came into being to cater to the changing taste palate of our guests. After a lot of research on the preferences of the new age traveler, the decadent menu which kept changing every 3 months in the first two years was set in place by Chef Hemant Oberoi and General Manager Subir Bhowmick to reflect guest’s evolving palate. The Zodiac Grill is indeed a testament to the gourmet legacy bestowed by the food aficionados and for our guests who have showered us with love and admiration”.
I suddenly felt myself overcome with emotion as I tasted my Kahlua Mousse, another gem from this place. We were on our last course, the last time. In November, after its 26th birthday, the curtains will finally go down on The Zodiac Grill.
Legends live on and so will a place like The Zodiac Grill. In our memories, forever.Of course, some place else will come in place of The Zodiac Grill’s physical space, but nothing can replace it. The eternal optimist, I thought, the brighter side is that there will be a new restaurant at The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai. We all wait with baited breath and look forward to that next March.