In the spirit of fine living and dining
Words and pix: Ambica Gulati
April is the month when yellow flowers are in abundance, Jesus Christ comes back to life, regional New Years are celebrated across the country. It’s the month of welcoming new things, new people and new places. Amongst these is Tamra, the new 24-hour dining experience at Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel in the Capital.
Tamra means copper in Sanskrit. In ancient India copper plates where used for engraving records as copper does not rust or decay. And this thought behind this multi-cuisine fine dining restaurant reflects in its interiors, live counters, fresh food and smiling staff. The idea is to engrave the Tamra experience in your mind and heart and it succeeds.
I have been visiting the hotel for almost two years now and experienced its restaurants and the different kinds of cuisine. But this renovated restaurant is a delight. The food is much lighter and the interiors remarkable. The first impression you get is of an open air dining space. Copper pots and pans hang and rolling pins act as screens. There is even a rolling pin canopy under which we sat.
The division between tables is rope screens. It’s so reminiscent of the India when women cooked in copper utensils and ropes were used to bring water out of the wells. Conceptualised by Dubai-based firm, Stickman Design, the ambience reflects the India with its open spice markets and many food stalls. There is even a 10-seater private dining area.
Every day is a new day at Tamra because every day the buffet is different at the live counters. It’s actually difficult to decide what to eat or not to eat as the variety is mind boggling. The menu is rotated on a weekly basis. You can make your own soup, your own salad, choose a drink from the wide range in the bar, even make your own chaat with the mix and match of snacks. “Shangri-La wanted to create a treasury of the riches of its kitchens…” I had read in the hotel’s coffee table book, Essence of Shangri-La and Tamra makes you realize that this is possible.
The diner has a choice from buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a-la-carte. Some dishes from this are also on the menu for in-room dining. There are five live counters serving South-East Asian, Indian and European food. Each counter falls under the purview of a different Chef. The team is led by Executive Chef Martin Bracker.
The cutlery is interesting as the plates reflect copper and the refreshing juice drink comes in a Hawaiian tiki glass. We tasted dishes from the menu and the buffet. The menu is extensive with a variety of salads, soups, burgers, pastas and more. You are spoiled for choice, so I am going to mention what I liked most only. Tekka Maki–Since I have learned the art of eating with chopsticks, this tuna roll tasted even better dipped in soy sauce.
What you can’t miss is Paneer ka Lifafa. It’s melt-in-the-mouth malai paneer wrapped in the softest of roomali rotis and pop it in with some mint chutney. Another not to miss is Tandoori Brocolli—this cabbage can make you feel so happy abut loving green and you just might not miss your tandoori chicken.
Being a street food lover, some chaat and bhalla were a must. Also, I made my own soup with some noodles, veggies, prawns and rocket leaves. I handed this over to the chef behind the counter, he put some stock and viola, my own soup was ready.
The gelato at Tamra is homemade and I mixed this with some fresh fruit. But all my calorie-conscious tasting went for a toss when I saw the yummy Tamra Chocolate. This is the softest chocolate cake and its finishing touches are on the table as hot chocolate is poured over it. You have to eat it at that moment. It can’t be left for later.
To quote from Essence of Shangri-La again, “The cuisine is founded in simplicity… has natural flavours…sauces enhance…and supremely healthy…” Tamra is understated elegance and natural flavours enhanced. A must-eat place for all those who want space, time and luxury in their lives.