The many flavours of Spice Court, Jaipur! Padhaaro Saa

Written by: Michelle Chandy

What: Laal Maas
Where: Spice Court, Civil Lines, Jaipur

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Michelle Chandy is a marketing professional residing in Kochi, has a great sense of humour and she loves films, music and good food.

Whenever I travel to new places I love soaking in the local flavours and sights and indulging in a bit of shopping while exploring the city, asking too many questions, bordering on inane at times when my curiosity gets the better of me. This penchant of packing a lot in a few days has often taken a toll on my energy and post marriage my husband’s sensibilities too, but I am unapologetic as I want to max everything when I’m having fun!

So on this particular vacation to Jaipur, after visiting the City Palace and Amer Fort, and doing some local shopping I took a detour to ‘Spice Court’ at Civil Lines which was touted as the best place to have the famous ‘Laal Maas’ of Jaipur. My husband made a fuss driving to this place as ‘it was not on our way to the airport’ but soon ate humble pie… or rather their signature dish wooed him to the hilt!

Set up in a rambling colonial style dining hall and a big courtyard outside- this place is all quaintness and old-worldly charm possessing a certain je ne se quoi. Their tables again made of solid wood with intricate carvings were glass- topped and held sepia-tinted photographs of the bygone era of sporting days and royalty. Felt good walking into this place seeming like a rampart of the bygone days of glory!

We ordered the ‘Laal Maas’ and ‘Keema baati’ both of which were highly recommended. The Laal Maas was cooked to perfection, the mutton was very tender and juicy. The aromatic ghee mingled with the flavours of the spicy red chillies used and gave the meat a ‘melt in the mouth’ consistency. Goes well with the rotis or parathas served. One plate of laal maas is enough for two people. The kheema baati again lived up to its fame.

There are quite a number of vegetarian dishes as well. Being a multi-cuisine restaurant the menu included Chinese and Continental dishes as well in addition to North Indian and Rajasthani cuisine.

The food is great and the experience is further enhanced by the good hospitality of the staff, the trademark Rajasthani warmth and culture reflecting! Their prompt ‘Khao saa’ got us to happily over eat forgetting the burgeoning waist-lines and dietician’s advice. I’m sure the atmosphere in the evening only gets better in the courtyard and visualize returning to Spice Court on a cold wintry night with the Laal Maas and other delicacies to keep me snug! Next time on I will try the ‘Junglee Maas’ which is also recommended.

Spice Court has also got with it Dzurt, it’s neighboring patisserie. What’s better than to complete an awesome meal with some lip-smacking dessert to go with it! Their almond cakes are out of the world although the Nutella cake comes close. Dzurt also serves breakfast, coffee and tea, and gives you the option of eating in."