As the Taj Falaknuma Palace celebrates its 5th anniversary this month, its given us yet another reason to cheer it on as the perfect showcase of all things majestic and luxe in Hyderabad.
Upping the ante of Taj Falaknuma’s fine dining experiences is the launch of The Grill at Coronation Hall. About the Coronation Hall – a relatively ‘new’ additional to the palace commissioned by Nawab Mir Mahboob Ali Khan, the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad in 1907, it houses some extremely rare and historically significant artefacts amassed by the Nawab from the 1903 Delhi Durbar. From that dazzling display of power and grandeur celebrating the succession of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra as Emperor and Empress of India, the Nizam added to his collection exquisite sandalwood carvings with Buddhist influences from Burma and Thailand, a replica of Lord Ram’s home when in exile and friezes from the Mughal era depicting the tree of life. Once you’re done marvelling at one of Hyderabad’s most secularist visionary’s ornate collection, make your way to The Grill, the adjoining alfresco balconies surrounding the Coronation Hall.
Here’s where you get to experience the world at your feet, quite literally with the city lights twinkling below from Falaknuma’s vantage location at the highest point in Hyderabad. With Columbian saxophonist Dumbira serenading your auditory senses, and Executive Chef Sajesh Nair’s exotic menu of Asian, Continental, Indian and Middle Eastern flavours tickling your taste buds, dinner at The Grill makes for a surreal experience.
I sampled the Grilled Asparagus Cappuccino soup, followed by a cold mezze platter, a duet of South Indian style korameen and achari prawns with mint chutney and mulgapodi aioli and aloo katliyan. And the ultimate pièce de résistance were the desserts – Belgian chocolate mousse, wild berry panacota and flambéed pancakes.
As I sat there enjoying Taj’s impeccable hospitality, looking down at the city lights below, the lines “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul” came to mind out of the blue. That’s when it struck me – an evening at the Falaknuma, and more recently The Grill is an unabbreviated experience – a moment in time when you feel almost invincible, just like royalty.