Jaipur has been a temporary base for me for the past two years, while I have traipsed around the Himalayas for extended periods of time. I used to be pretty exhausted after my journeys and preferred the comforts of home rather than exploring the cafés and eateries. The Jaipur Literature Fest this year was reason for me to park myself here and I present some of my best finds with regards to food in this lovely city.
The Kitchen at Jaipur Modern : Delightfully simple furnishings were spotted on the main street and we obliged. The Kitchen is located on the Sardar Patel Road in the plush C-Scheme area and has the feel of a Parisian Café. Three tables are laid out near the neatly patterned lawn, it is the interiors that has a neat, trendy and fine dine feel. Their focus is on organic, fresh, hand made food and it doesn’t disappoint at all. The lights are cute and the music is nice and happy. The staff is polite and knows their dishes. Focus is on authentic Italian and Mediterranean fare. They have a separate Quinoa (Pronounced keen-wah) menu for the health aficionados. Their sandwiches are made with home baked Ciabatta bread to be washed down with a glass of apple sorbet.
On the House : Every time I happened to mention the lack of a classy place in Jaipur, the word OTH would be thrown at me. Probably the first bistro in Jaipur, this is the place that kind of introduced English breakfasts to this city obsessed with Kachori and Samosa! Lying in C-Scheme just off the main road, OTH has warm indoors, a welcoming aroma of coffee and cakes with rustic outdoor seating. The place is huge with pleasant interiors and has a plethora of options with a huge menu and newly introduced Moroccan food as well. The Eggs Benedict were okay-ish. OTH makes real coffee with freshly ground beans and makes beautiful apple crumble! A good place for a light brunch.
Bar Palladio at Narain Niwas Palace Hotel : The lavish palace-like setting of Palladio, the bar restaurant of the heritage hotel had me going ‘wow wow’ endlessly, even after we had finished eating. Canopies are laid out with private bonfires with maharaja type seating under the stars and a huge candle on the table (I hope you get the drift). And I am not finished yet, the indoor interiors bathed in blue are a class apart, the Dutch designer Marie-Anne Oudejans has worked her magic to create this scarcely believable wonderland that was apparently the brainchild of Swiss-Italian owner Barbara Miolini. The Bar Palladio is an opulent fantasy, only that it is real with an emphasis on authentic Italian food.
We tried the Ravioli & Fettuccine Formaggio and would rate it a five on five. I am a sucker for Tiramisu and wanted to kiss the Chef’s hand after laying my hands on the most perfect Tiramisu ever made.
P.S: Bar Palladio will remain my favourite place, forever and ever! Come whatever may!!
Curious Life Coffee Roasters : An army guy who gets fascinated by the beans, while on United Nations duty in the Democratic Republic of Congo; learns the art of coffee making, enrols himself in a management course at IIM-Ahmedabad and gives us Jaipur’s finest cuppa. The coffee here is so good that even OTH sources theirs from Curious Life. This café is a labour of love and is embellished with an eclectic collection of coffee beans, coffee machines and accessories, not to mention the quirky collection of quotes hanging on the walls. There are limited options to eat here, but don’t let that bother you. Let your olfactory senses go haywire with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee as soon as you step in to Curious Life. Oh and there is a lovely collection of books in the far corner (There’s also a copy of 50 poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz).
The Forresta Kitchen and Bar : Elegant canopies set in the midst of lots of green, warm lights and diyas complete the pretty picture of this alfresco restaurant in the same compound as Devraj Niwas. The cold winds are kept at bay with portable chić heaters. Indoor seating with mud white interiors is there too if the winter is too chilly for you! They serve draught beer and have an exhaustive liquor collection. I would not come here for the food though, the staff doesn’t seem to know anything about anything and options at Forresta are mostly limited to North Indian cuisine. Who cares about food when you have classy ambiance for company!!
Do you have your favourite places to eat in Jaipur? I would love to know.
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