The restaurant was inaugurated by Ms Aysha Bahlool, Middle East’s most acclaimed culinary expert and author of over 14 cookery books.
The exclusive evening was supported by leading cosmetic brands: Lise Watier, Parfums Lalique, Parfums Loewe from Gulf Beauty International. An A-list gathering turned out in the most spectacular Indian attire to discover the new gastronomical destination in town.
The select few invitees were welcomed by silk and brocade clad ‘Maharanis’ who were made-up with Lise Watier’s latest make-up collection Savanna Dream.
Rasoi prides itself in being the only restaurant of its kind in the Middle East. Decorated by well-known French fashion designer Francois Desroches, the beautiful eatery is a mini museum with a spicy twist.
Pieter Stapel, General Manager, Coral Deira, Dubai, says:
“Rasoi not only serves the finest and most authentic Mughlai cuisine in town but offers a slice of the glorious Mughal history and culture. The richly evocative interior conjures up the legendary Mughlai era. The Mighty Mughals ruled India from 1526 to 1858 and left a rich legacy of architectural splendour and gourmet cuisine aside from a wealth of art and ornaments. From the colour code of its drapes and furniture, down to the utterly cultural traces deliberately left on the walls by the Mughals’ memorabilia, each element in Rasoi is unique.”
The Mughals were the last powerful descendants of the Mongols. However, being Muslim they had thoroughly absorbed Middle Eastern culture, especially Persian culture which they imported into India.
Francois explains, “While decorating Rasoi, my first main objective was to transcribe, in the most accurate fashion, the theme that had been decided upon from the start. Rasoi’s empowering presence is rooted in the strict initial ambition to celebrate the glory of the Mughlai era. And I am glad to say that the spectacular results lie in the constant and rigorous respect of authenticity that motivated me every step of the way.”
Bejewelled by a profusion of matte, hammered gold touches, the wooden beams of the ceiling play hide and seek with the carefully oriented spot-lights, to better enhance the burnt orange lacquered ceiling.
Francois says, “Such an elaborate lighting creates a fiery cameo of crimson-red beams and vibrant magenta glare that bounces off the columns to finally bathe the floor in an incandescent halo, and is all reminiscent of the splendour that Mughal emperors’ palaces once knew.”
Throned in the very heart of Rasoi, a majestic table affectionately named Shalimar (“abode of love” in old Sanskrit), sets the mood, welcoming the VIPs to dine in opulent style under the swirling chandelier of a sumptuous gazebo. There, regally secluded behind exquisite diaphanous drapes, the quintessential grandeur of the Mughal dynasty awaits its discerning guests of honour for a lavish feast of the senses.
As paying attention to details is an absolute must when it comes to jazzing up a public place, delicate veils have been arranged to assure a certain level of privacy. The subtle, floral motifs of their exquisite embroidery evoke the façade of the mythical Taj Mahal, known for the intricacy of its in-laid semi-precious stones.
Francois stresses, “We wanted this cosy restaurant to seduce visitors of all walks of life, from the curious lonely diner to couples in search of intimacy. But the very nature of the place, charged with historical references, makes Rasoi the ideal family hang out, allowing parents to delve into the prestigious past of Mughal India and share such cultural wealth with their children.”
To allow and entice the visitor to better discover the various aspects of the depicted period, Rasoi was divided into intimate, snug alcoves, each highlighting a different, colourful episode that left its indelible mark in India’s patrimony. From Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal’s enchanting romance to the glitzy Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Room), from the “Bollywood-goes-Mughal” corner to the bejewelled Navrathan niche, drama and nostalgia are very much on the menu. So step in and get your teeth into a historic treat! It’s deliciously decadent.
Rasoi’s extensive menu includes a choice of eternal Mughlai delicacies like seek kebabs, dum biryanis, tandoori murgs and kormas besides ever popular North Indian favourites like dal makhani, palak paneer, fish tikka and kadai gosht.
Flavoured with exotic herbs and spices the dishes are absolutely sensational. The Mughlai recipes remain a closely-guarded secret with only a handful of chefs reaching perfection. The food at Rasoi is testimony to the chefs’ skills at the restaurant who reveal a real mastery of flavour and texture. The main dishes are accompanied with a variety of chutneys and pickles that add life and zest to the richness of the dishes. The searing heat of the crimson curries is softened by the delicious yet mild yogurts. There is a marvelous selection of breads on the menu too that are served piping hot from the oven. The desserts are indulgent as well as authentic and include gajar ka halwa, shahi tukda and kulfi falooda. In addition to the delicious Mughlai fare you can opt for one of the five different kinds of thalis on the menu that include Kids Thali, Veg Thali, Non Veg Thali, Kebab Thali and Deluxe Thali.
Rasoi is open for lunch from 12 noon to 3pm and for dinner from 7pm to midnight. Guests are entertained by Saif Umar, who is a Zee Sa Re Ga Ma finalist, and performs popular Bollywood numbers every evening.
Monday, March 2- 2009 @ 11:43 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.