We love finding a hidden gem and telling all of our friends, followers and random strangers about our newly discovered treasure! Jodhpur restaurant at Al Murooj Rotana near the Trade Centre is just one of those places. We recently received an invite to come and sample their menu – and who would say no to a curry to kick off the week?
Al Murooj Rotana is centrally located between the Financial Road and Trade Centre. When you arrive at the hotel’s main entrance, a valet will happily give you a lift in a buggy down to the pool and restaurant cluster which is hidden away between the hotel and residential towers. Pulling up just a skip away from the pool, you arrive at a separate building where the fine dining Indian restaurant, Jodhpur, resides. Inspired by the “Blue City” – Rajasthan’s second largest city – Jodhpur is a visual display of ornamental detailing and fifty shades of blue. Aimed to arouse nostalgia, its interior is inspired by Indian palaces and hues of its namesake city. Its cuisine, designed by chef Pradeep Khullar, bats to evoke the very same senses. And even without having visited the Blue City, or even Rajasthan, we felt as if we were taken on a journey through someone’s hometown. Chef Pradeep explained that although he is not from Jodhpur, he made a point of travelling there before taking the helm in the kitchen to discover the many flavours and layers of this culinary city that is also often nicknamed “Sun City” courtesy of its pleasant and warm weather.
Our meal began with a simple amuse bouche of Jeera Khari with Herb Yoghurt, an Indian puff pastry with light and humble flavouring to get your taste buds started. This was followed by the sensational Macaron Chaat, an explosion of sweet, salty, sour and various textures all at once. A true highlight for me! The selection of starters that followed were in one word sensational. An absolute stand-out dish of the day was the Beef Short Ribs with Aam Papad Glaze. Braised for eight hours and then fried for a crispy exterior, the contrasting textures of this dish were impeccable and the richness and balance of flavours were spectacular. A must-try dish! As an in-between teaser we then enjoyed Laban and Ricotta Kabab covered in Rose Ash, a tangy and morish little bite to freshen up the palate. Next up, chef Pradeep had kindly organised an alternative to a lightly poached dill salmon for me, as I am currently pregnant, in the shape of Jumbo Prawns with Chettinad Gravy and Gun Powder Pappad, a lusciously creamy and savoury creation.
After all this, a much needed mango and lime ice lolly “trou Normande” was served to create just enough space for our mains. And what better way to celebrate Indian cuisine than with a top notch curry! Our selection consisted of the oh-so British adaptation of Butter Chicken along with an excellent vegetarian dish of Soya Paneer Pepper Fry, a Dal Makhni that used Moong Dal as opposed to Black Urad, and Chur-Chur Kulcha – an Indian bread flavoured with cottage cheese, onions, chillies and cumin seeds and torn into pieces to keep your focus away from the quantity you’ve potentially consumed.
The grand finale was a feast of Rasmalai, Saffron Jalebi and Chocolate Hazelnut Malai Torte. Can you tell we got beautifully spoiled? Not only were all of these dishes divine on the palate, but each and every single dish was plated with extraordinary attention to detail, making the entire dining experience an entertaining journey for all of our senses, etching new memories into our mental library of flavours.
Seeing how passionate chef Pradeep is about the menu and the history behind the heritage of each dish is what also makes this a truly authentic and honest culinary experience. We can’t wait to go back here again to savour more dishes (and return to several favourites) with friends and family.