It opened in 1973 as a destination serving international casual food and it continued to be the workhorse of the hotel serving loyals and first-timers alike. The legacy still continues however in a more chic avatar. Shamiana reopened last month whilst keeping the Shamiana core intact including the eponymous canopies that adore the ceiling and the global cuisine.
What struck me the most and made me happy as a wine lover is the wine pricing , beginning at INR 285 a glass , Shamiana is certainly the first restaurant in the luxury space pioneering the wine cause;at least in the city. In fact the entire menu is more affordable than other luxury counterparts, a Pizza Margherita at INR 585 and more like these surely attract a lot of aspirational crowd into the realms of luxury dining. As a practice talking about the right side of the menu is forbidden in a luxury setting and this 1903 hotel is certainly changing the norms. As I see it is creating a stepping stone for those who aim to dine at the likes of Wasabi some day.
Daily specials on a blackboard, the Taj Autograph selection which includes one signature dish from other Taj hotels viz:Delhi,Srilanka,New York, Cape Town and London etc, the via Bombay menu which features the best of Mumbai local like the ubiquitous pav-bhaji and the elusive Keema pav , Coffee shop grub like Sandwiches,Burgers,Salads and select Indian fare comprise the menu. And yes, the all-day breakfast menu including eggs is a sure shot crowd puller.
The double baked Camembert souffle was rich,richer for those who have memories of the dariole from the Zodiac Grill. I polished the cheese off the plate with the flower pot bread.The Superfood salad with quinoa, sunflower seeds, avocado did the needful of mitigating the calories for the night. I certainly had to save them for the Almond cake, I was mesmerized the first time I had it someplace else and ever since a good one had evaded me until last evening. You have to eat it to know it.Last words, can’t wait to to nurse a glass of wine on a nippy Mumbai evening at Shamiana’s patio.