The Majestic white palace towering resplendent against the purple dusk is the epitome of Indian savour and style. As you walk in through the magnificent mahogany doors of the Maharaja Palace, you are instantly hailed by a traditional North Indian ambience. It mingles with the rich, mouth-watering aromas of unique Lakhnawi delicacies taking you through no ordinary culinary adventure.
Words Kamalika Jayathilaka Photographs Menaka Aravinda and Rumesh Perera
It is a palace indeed with intricately painted Moghul murals that adorn its walls, the traditional Indian decor and the golden chandeliers that add elegance and a touch of royalty to this magnificient restaurant drawing you into a world of its own. The capacious main dining area of the restaurant greets you as soon as you enter. With the capacity to accommodate 75 guests, it is surrounded by beautifully coloured high windows and white columns throwing in more grandeur to the already regal atmosphere. In one corner of the ground floor enriched by an attractive water feature on to its right, is the bar of Maharaja Palace, next to the opulent wooden stairwell that leads you to the floor above.
The first floor of Maharaja Palace houses five smaller private dining rooms sitting on either side of a striking corridor that takes you straight to a large balcony. Each dining room with its own unique theme is awash with colours that range from gold, burgundy, orange and green to blue, combining elegance and comfort to create unparalleled sophistication. Four of the private dining rooms can accommodate seven to eight guests while the fifth, which is the largest, can take in up to 16 with the added benefit of parting it into two separate dining areas. The charming lounge also on the first floor, for those who desire to relax while they await dining space, uniquely offers ease and convenience.
The royal kitchen of the Maharaja Palace is masterfully reigned by M Abubakar, the Executive Chef with experience spanning over two decades. Along with his experienced staff of Indian chefs he creates a delicious range of Awadhi Lucknawi dishes emanating a distinctive aroma of whole and ground spices enhancing their regal exquisiteness.
A Mughlai meal, an intricate buffet consisting of several main course dishes with a choice of accompaniments is well liked for its richness and exotic spices. Its unique semblance is one of the appetising choices offered at the Maharaja Palace and is enhanced with dry fruits and nuts, plenty of milk and cream, adorned with a range of selective spices, which makes it a splendid spicy meal. This, prepared with ingredients especially brought down from India is what makes the cuisine unique to Maharaja Palace.
Maharaja Palace boasts of signature delicacies such as Chicken Hazarwi Kabab, Tandoori Chicken, Butter Chicken, Mutton Korma, Tandoori Prawns, along with a menu complete with equally mouth-watering Lucknawi delicacies.
Some of these lavish dishes are cooked ‘Dum’ style, over a slow fire in a covered pot with a blend of rich Indian spices so that they are extra flavoursome with a distinct aroma. The Mutton Korma prepared ‘Dum’ style with the absorbed flavours of saffron and a host of other spices dons it with a fabulous aromatic taste.
Prepared with supreme pieces of chicken marinated in yogurt, and glazed with mozzarella cheese, the Chicken Hazarwi Kabab is the colour of golden saffron and is served in a singular style with aromatic Biryani, yet another of the Maharaja Palace specialties. Or taste the Tandoori Pomfret Fish marinated in a mixture of spices and yogurt, enhanced with fresh herbs served as a whole fish with garnish. If you are a vegetarian delve into the list of paneer dishes prepared with homemade cottage cheese among others to experience authentic vegetarian cuisine cooked the Maharaja Palace way.
Maharaja Palace creates a delicious range of Awadhi Lucknawi dishes emanating a distinctive aroma of whole and ground spices enhancing their regal exquisiteness.
Not only is the food at the Maharaja Palace prepared using ingredients especially brought down from India but also, all products used are from Halal certified suppliers. Minus the MSGs, the Maharaja Palace spread is not only authentic and full of flavour but is also healthy tendering a holistic experience, the impressions of which will stay with you long after you’ve dined.
Maharaja Palace, 1A Rajakeeya Mawatha, Colombo 7, Tel: (+94 11) 488 6000, Fax: (+94 11) 267 7867