Literally named after a tree-top observation post in jungles, Machan, the 24-hour restaurant at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Delhi, gets a new look that lives up to its name in flavour and spirit.
Reopened after renovation and a shutdown induced by the pandemic, the restaurant offers local and global cuisine inspired by the forests of the world and India in an ambience that attempts to bring a feel of the forest down to the minutest detail, including the uniform of the staff. The interiors are done largely in cane, with two stunning canopies resembling trees, walls covered in terracotta masks of jungle dwellers, lanterns for lights and side panels giving a feel of a lush green forest.
The food seals the experience with dishes that are a combination of both traditional and contemporary, using ingredients sourced from across the world and foraged from forests.
Keeping with the latest trends in hospitality and a push because of the pandemic, the buffet has been done away with completely. The breakfast is a multi-cuisine, à-la-carte offering with several health options in focus. The classics and comfort foods have been retained and the midnight menu which includes Chicken Montecarlo, Bull’s Eye, Kona Coffee and the Bread Basket, is meant to strike a chord with millennials.
From global flavours in dishes like the Tehucan Salad, Mushrooms on the Forest Floor, The Ocean Turns Purple, Lamb Agnolotti, Sariska Footprints and Ecuadorian Jivara Forest Berries to traditional flavours in a Mahua cocktail or a Jhalana Dana Methi Papad subzi, Anamudi Shola Kuzhi Roast, Sariska Footprints and Himalaya goat cheese pine cone, the menu is a delectable curation. Executive chef Arun Sundararaj says a lot of planning and thought has gone into the menu, which attempts to satisfy every palate. He says as far as possible, effort is to source local and indigenous produce to reduce carbon footprint and also offer authentic flavours.
Safety of diners has been kept in mind with disposable mats and coasters, etc. Cutlery is brought in sealed covers, the servers do not pour the water or pull chairs, seating is spaced out and even glass partitions on a table are available for those seeking extra safety.
State-of-the-art air purification systems not only maintain air quality, but also check harmful microbes. Regular sprays and cleaning of furniture after every use ensures extra protection.