There are certain things that everyone must try at least once in their life; which might go on to becoming our guilty pleasure into which we indulge in when we need to pamper ourselves. During our last trip to the land of Rajas(than) we decided on doing things differently during this trip, and researched a couple of months before the trip on the must-see must-do places in Jodhpur. We wanted to experience food (of course this was the main aim of the trip!) in every possible way and place from street food to restaurants, cafes to 5 star hotels eateries. We landed on this beautiful property called Hanwant Mahal, and we knew from the moment we saw the first picture that we had to visit this place!
Let’s fast forward to us landing at the restaurant: we list below our experience we had at this beautiful place with amazing service and delectable food and an overall experience that we will remember for as long as we live.
Value for Money: 4/5
This review will be written differently than our usual way, as we believe there are some key points that need to be highlighted post our experience here.
History: Hanwant Mahal is in the vicinity of Umaid Bhawan Palace, and is known to be the hunting palace of the Raja. This simply means that post his hunt, the Raja would head down to Hanwant Mahal with his friends to relax, have a meal/drink and reflect on his experience.
The Mahal is set up over three floors with a huge pre function area before entering into the property with a little fountain. The ground floor hosts up to 100 pax who take the Royal Palace on wheels tour. The dinner is also conducted in the garden area on the other side of the hotel.
the first floor is what we’d like to call the indoor seating of the restaurant with individual sections (that can be booked depending on the number of people you are with) on one side and a general seating pattern with live music playing on the other side. There’s also a room on this floor which can be booked for the royal dinner at a pre decided all inclusive couple rate.
They even play songs on request
Moving on to the second floor, which is the outdoor seating area divided into two sections. As soon as you enter the second floor, you will spot the Umaid Bhawan Palace and a spectacular view from every corner of the floor! We sat on the couches with a breathtaking view of the palace from our seats in the perfect weather (a chilly 12 degrees) which made our experience here more memorable!
The place is beautifully setup giving you a feel of being amidst the royal family and you certainly are treated like you belong to one.
Food: as soon as you are seated you are served with cone shaped roasted papad with four types of chutneys namely; strawberry and yogurt, mint, red chili and mustard sauces. We started with some juices and mocktail – fresh lime soda, pinacolada, virgin mojito. all the drinks were good and very well made, but a special mention to the virgin mojito – made with brown sugar and a very different syrup which added to the flavor of the drink overall, we couldn’t help but calling for another serving for ourselves.
Our drink with The Palace in view
We moved on to the starters and devoured some Dahi ke kebab, Paneer Tikka and kebabs to set the mood for the evening. Majority of our conversations at dinner table included about the serenity and the view from our seats which was of course enjoyed with delicious food.
With an extensive menu, the folks at Hanwant Mahal had us confused as to what we should order for the main course, so with the help of Girdhariji, we decided to go for the Thali (Traditional Indian meal with several portion servings of curry, bread, rice and desserts).
The thali comes with a set menu (trust us, you’re not going to want anything else after this!) and comprises of spinach and corn, Paneer Tikka Masala, sangria (Rajasthani famous sabzi) aloo mutter and a bean curry with cucumber & tomato salad, assorted breads, black Dal (lentil), portion of yogurt, papad and Jeera (cumin) rice in a beautiful leaf shaped silver plate which is heavy and for a moment we didn’t feel like eating out of the plate as it was so pretty; but the food smell was calling out to our tummies and we couldn’t resist.
Every sabzi is better than the other, and we mean it! We had such a tough time choosing which one to eat in our next bite that we just took turns in terms of how it was placed and ended up finishing everything as we didn’t know when we would get to devour such delicious food cooked by Chef Yunus Khan. Chef Khan hails from Hyderabad and has now been in Rajasthan for over 5 years. The joy of eating hot and freshly made roti’s and naans in 11-12 degree Celsius degree weather is beyond comparison to anything in the world and we did just that which resulted in us overeating way beyond our stomachs could hold.
Just then Girdhariji asked us if we were ready for some dessert! We informed him that we would like to take a 10 min break and explore the property to make some space in our tummy so we could enjoy the authentic and traditional Rajasthani desserts prepared by Chef Khan and his team.
Post our return we were served gulab jamun, Ghevar with rabdi and a bowl of kheer! We were overwhelmed at once as soon as we were served desserts but the foodie in us couldn’t resist and thus began our binging session. Starting with the Gulab Jamun – piping hot and soft just as it should be, was over within seconds and we took quick breaks between so as to make some more space in our stomach. We then moved on to the kheer – so thick and rich with kesar, we felt a different kind of satisfaction; one that we have never felt/tasted before, as this sweet was outstanding. Definitely recommended even if you aren’t too fond of kheer!
We saved the Ghevar for the end, as we wanted the taste to linger in our mouth for a while longer as we don’t get the fresh and authentic Ghevar back home and how often do you get to visit Rajasthan and Hanwant Mahal? Crispy Ghevar with sweet and thick rabdi was definitely the highlight of the last course here. We don’t think we can do justice in explaining how good and satisfactory this was, you have to experience for yourself!
Ghevar with Rabri
Service: the staff is outstanding! Girdhariji and his team are managing the place very well ensuring that every guest leaves the place happy, smiling and planning their next visit here. A special mention and thank you to the team here, it’s because of them that we will remember our visit here for a long long time.
Girdhariji and Chef Yunus Khan
Location: Hanwant Mahal is located near the palace as mentioned earlier, but there’s a different road that needs to be taken to the get here. We followed the directions as per Google maps and ended up at the wrong place, so the best thing to do in India when you cannot locate your destination is to ask someone around you! We asked around and found out that we have to take the gate that opposite Ashok Handicrafts and then it’s a straight road that leads us to the Mahal!
Lovely Christmas Decor at Hanwant Mahal
Reach out: Reservations are highly recommended before your visit as we saw many people wait or leave as they couldn’t wait long to get a table here, as it gets pretty full by 9-9:30 pm, and buzz is that this is one of the favorite and hot spots for dates in Jodhpur.
Our dinner at Hanwant Mahal was quite the experience from what we have listed above and there are some things that cannot be put into perspective or words until you have been their physically to experience it, and we recommend everyone who is visiting Jodhpur next to head down to Hanwant Mahal at least once. Even if you are on a tight schedule, drop by the property take a walk around the place, and we are sure you will be heading back to the blue city to pamper yourself with a royal experience that will last for a lifetime.
We hope you enjoyed this post and we would love to hear from you on your favorite places to visit when in Rajasthan/Jodhpur or if you have been to Hanwant Mahal; do share your experience with us!