Royal Jodhpur – A beautiful tryst between Royal Classic & Indian Progressive

Couple of weeks ago, me and my dining companion were invited to review Royal Jodhpur restaurant in Roda Al Murooj Hotel.  "Jodhpur" as it is otherwise called had been on our radar for a long time, so when an invite came from the hotels end, we gladly took it.

We went there on a weekend hoping to spend a lot of time in the restaurant's beautiful waterfront terrace. The interiors were definitely classic and featured polished tables, slick cutlery, imperial drapes and stately chandeliers - all quite in line with the "Royal" on the name. However the green wall paint actually intended to add regal authenticity to the precincts looked quite drab, to our liking. The terrace was beautiful, with pleasant breeze, gorgeous views of the Dubai skyline above and pristine waters below.

The Fare
Pre Starters
In pre starters we were served with Jeera Khari puffs and  Macaron Chaat.

Jeera Khari puffs
The Jeera Khari puffs came seated on a miniature mesh-wire car accompanied by a flavorsome yogurt dip. First off, we were really impressed with the presentation. Right from the Pre starter to the desserts, I must say that Jodhpur culinary team did a fabulous job in presenting their food art which was truly culinaire extraordinaire!

Presentation aside, our first impression on munching the Jeera Khari puffs was a glee of excitement. The puffs were really crispy and had the flavour of “Jeera” or cumin. Dipping the flaky puffs in the delicious dip was a truly enjoyable and palate rewarding experience and one that got us to eagerly look forward to the other items on the menu.

Macaron Chaat
The next pre starter to be served was the Macaron Chaat. We wondered if this was some Indianized version of the macaron and whether it would hit or miss. Alas! It turned out to be a sure-fire hit. A beautiful tryst between the flavorsome Indian chaat and tasty macaron. With some molecular liquid nitrogen fuming all around it, the experience turned out to be quite sensational and rewarding at the same time. Full points to Jodhpur for this innovative Amuse Bouche.

Its not just the fare at Jodhpur that makes an impression, its also the drinks. The presentation itself is stand out, with cocktails and mocktails served along with a vase of faux flowers and a smoky drama of liquid nitrogen. We tried the Passion fruit and berry mojito. Both tasted incredibly good.

These days, it is getting almost impossible to visit a new Indian concept restaurant and not see Molecular gastronomy. Thankfully, you will not find Jodhpur to be someone over doing the molecular concept, just to appear trendy. There is play of liquid nitrogen, admittedly but in a pleasant way which evidently seems to enhances both presentation and taste of the fare.

In starters we were offered Potato Wool Chaat, Prawn Kolivada and Chicken Tikka Quesadillas (in non veg.) and Baby Podi Idlis and Paneer Tikka Quesadillas (in veg).
Potato wool chaat – This was an interesting starter were potato was cooked to resemble a ball of wool. The ball was garnished with chutneys, coriander leaves and white pea (vatana) mash and presented with a cucumber stick. Totally tantalizing!

Prawn Kolivada – a spicy, deep-fried prawn preparation which came with a flavour packed wasabi beetroot dip. The prawn was crunchy in itself and the delightful sauce dressing accentuated the taste. It was brilliant!

Made famous by the Kolis (fishermen) of Mumbai, fresh prawns are marinated in a spice blend and then slathered in batter and fried till crispy to create this dish. It became very  popular in Mumbai, then the popularity spread across India. Now finally the delicacy has reached Dubai shores courtesy Royal Jodhpur - where it is a big hit with all guests.

Chicken Tikka Quesadillas – Though not a great fan of Quesadillas, this one from Jodhpur was stellar and I gladly enjoyed.  With some flavorsome paprika raita over it, it tasted amazing.

Baby Podi Idlis – one of the highlights of the starters and our favorite dish on the menu. The Baby podi Idlis were insanely good. They were so good to the point that we considered ordering them again at the end of the meal and also getting few packed for take away. I have personally enjoyed several versions of fried idlis - but usually it is overdone by restaurants who add a lot of spice & coloring to make it deep red. In contrast Baby Podi Idlis at Jodhpur were delightful, had all the right standout flavours  and was tempting even to look at. With Tomato Coconut chutney as a side dip, we couldn’t have asked for more.

This is one dish that gets our 5/5 and one that we highly recommend everyone to try!

Chef Shashwat Shivam interview
Chef Shashwat Shivam the executive head chef is a master at reinterpreting nostalgic Indian dishes with modern techniques.  He ensures integrity and authenticity of the cuisine are not lost in the midst of molecular "Tamasha". Here are clippings of my interview with him.

Paneer Tikka QuesadillasThe paneer tikka quesadillas were as good as the chicken quesadillas. It was packed with capsicum, tomato, olive and cheddar cheese and served with paprika.

Before going to the mains we were served with palette cleansers in the form of ‘Mango, Cranberry & Kaffir Lime Sorbet.  It brought back found memories of childhood as it resembled the ice stick -  which we call BURF KA GOLA in India. It was presented in a miniature version of the Hawkins Indian pressure cooker.

Main Course
In the main course, I went for a Chicken 65 with Lemon rice and rasam. Quite a quirky combination but I'm always in for experimenting and it was quite a rewarding experiment - I must admit. My dining partner absolutely enjoyed her principal dish too – miniature Pao Bhaji served with Batata Vada and young onion.

Chicken 65 – not your usual dry spicy chicken but a slightly soggier version dressed in flavorsome south Indian thadka and garnished with greens. Along with the tangy lime rice, the chicken 65, interestingly went extremely well.

Miniature Pao Bhaji – This dish too was unique in that the Pao or Pav came on wooden skewers as if it were meat. The bhaji was flavor packed, rich and thick and seemed to have all the right ingredients. It was garnished with onion and cilantro and had the batata vada ball in the center.

For the sides, we were served Faux Dal Makhani, assorted breads, mixed berry raita and steamed rice. The thick dhal makhani gravy went well with the garlic naan and the sweet-tangy mixed berry raita too, seemed to compliment the pairing quite well.

In desserts we enjoyed an assortment platter of Saffron Jalebi, Cassata Semi Freddo Raw Mango Candy, sticky banana burfi and coconut cinnamon ice cream.

It was bliss! What a delightful amalgamation of sweet treats after a fantastic meal!

The service was prompt, friendly and attentive. We were served by two fantastic staff – Sirajudeen and Sachin who took care of all dietary details from the beginning to the end. We didn’t have to wait for orders as the duo were always on our watch, without at all being even a tad intrusive.

The Jodhpur driver was also kind enough to cart us to the taxi point at the hotels main entrance.

Royal Jodhpur takes an inventive approach to Indian cuisine, while ensuring the authentic tastes are kept intact.  In my opinion Royal Jodhpur is one of Dubai's best Progressive Indian restaurant, hands down!
Jodhpur Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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