The Spice Court Restaurant is centrally located in Jaipur, and was recommended to me by a local host representative in the city. The Spice Court advertises itself as a multi-cuisine restaurant, and they also have cultural entertainment in the evening.
The hours of operation are 12.30 - 14.30 for lunch, open for snacks between 15.00 and 18.30. Dinner service is from 19.00 - 22.45.
Let me say this.... we enjoyed the food, the spicing and preparation was excellent. BUT.... we must have picked a bad night to visit. I think they were hosting a large gathering for a tour group, and they'd obviously put all of their efforts into a magnificent five-courser for the guests. Looking back, if I'd realized the situation, I might have just asked them to price me "participation" in the large dinner. The problem was that we were ordering off the menu, and they only "had" about half of the items listed. (Probably because they'd spent so much time putting the big dinner party together) The service for us was kind of an afterthought - they just couldn't seem to decide who was going to be our waiter. It took an inordinate amount of time for our orders to find their way to our table.
The Spice Court has both indoor and outdoor dining space. On our lucky night, it appeared that the only option was to be outdoors - the dining room was pretty much abandoned. Again, we just picked the wrong night. Sigh. Thankfully, it was not too hot outside, although I probably would have chosen indoors if it were available.
At the end of the meal, the manager seemed to understand that we'd been somewhat ignored for the evening, and they gave us a nice round of dessert "on the house". So in closing, let me say this.... the Spice Court has excellent food. Try to find a night that they're really serving dinner and are not tied up with a large group.
As for the cultural entertainment, it's a bit touristy. The big question in all of our minds as it progressed was exactly how many jars can that lady carry on her head at once? The answer appeared to be something like five.
As is the case in many Indian cities, most of the better restaurant (better meaning dependable quality and preparation standards) choices are attached to the hotels. We stayed at the Alsisar Haveli during our time in Jaipur. We ate several breakfasts at the dining hall, and one dinner. All were excellent, and the service was attentive and competent.
If you're looking for another hotel (other than yours) restaurant some evening, you might want to try the Alsisar Haveli. You'll be pleased with the food and will probably enjoy the historic Raj surroundings of the haveli itself.
Favorite Dish: There is a nice selection of both Indian and Continental entrees on their buffet. Well prepared and kept nicely hot. There's also a good supply of "safe" fresh fruit for your pleasure.
As for a specific dish, we really liked the chickpeas... excellent taste and in some ways, they reminded me of the joy of a good bowl of black-eyed peas back home in the American south. They didn't taste like black-eyed peas, but they achieved the same perfect blend of spice, cooking time and "base" to be filling comfort food. :)
Oh, one other thing.... you can eat outdoors if you so choose. There are several outdoor wrought-iron tables available, and the waiters will provide table service out in the courtyard. If the evening is cool enough, it's a good choice.
We had a late lunch at the Rajmahal Restaurant on the advice of our local guide, Mr. Alok Choudnary (see separate tip about Alok). It proved to be a good choice... the food was tasty and dependable, and the service was excellent.
They had, as do most places in India it seems, a buffet available, but we chose to eat from the menu. My choice was an Indian "grilled vegetables" entree and it was perfect....wonderfully spiced. My wife ordered the Rajmahal's dal and enjoyed it with their excellent garlic/butter naan. My daughter had a homemade soup and a stuffed tomato salad. All very tasty.
The Rajmahal also has a nice beer, wine and mixed drink card. We had our usual afternoon beverage, a nice tall and very cold Kingfisher beer. Again as had become our tradition, we split the large 600 ml bottle. :)
Please ask for Shankar Singh, the food and beverage manager. Tell him we said "hello".
Friends told me that this was one of the best restaurants in Jaipur. They were right!
It has a feel of charm and is set inside an old railway carriage and the waiting staff are all dressed up in traditional Rajasthan clothes. The service was excellent and the food surpassed this.
By western prices, this represents exceptional value for outstanding food served in great surroundings. If you're in Jaipur for more than a few nights, don't miss this restaurant.
A 3 course meal for 2, with beers and wine cost me INR 2,800.
Favorite Dish: I went to this restaurant twice and enjoyed all the courses that I had.
We ate almost every evening meal at this restuarant, which is in the Hotel Bissau Palace. Having arrived late (10pm) from our previous destination, we were starving, and they very kindly kept the kitchen open for us, and served us a wonderful meal- with smiles.
The food was good- we are vegetarian, and are never disappointed. Although the dining area is quite small, it is well laid out, with several different chambers. The walls are decorated with mirrors, which reflect the candles on each table. Meals took a while to come, but the pleasant atmosphere made the wait worthwhile.A sitar player provided background music. There was no pressure on diners to hurry meals. Coffee is served in the adjoining lounge, or library.
Our waiter was also a wonderful source of information, and gave us many ideas of what to see and do in Jaipur.
Favorite Dish: Parathas- Hot naan bread- Vegetable Biryani was especially good.
The Tomato soup was freshly made, tangy and spicy.
The desserts were mouth-watering. Kulfi- and Gulab Jumin (small balls of something delicious soaked in syrup) and served hot.
A huge basket of fresh fruit was available to choose from.
The restaurant is located a few minutes from the pink city by auto-rickshaw. The atmosphere is elegant and the service is excellent. My meal great. Well worth the visit.
Favorite Dish: Chicken Jhal Fez. Spicy cubes of chicken in a greenish sauce gobbled up with Nan bread and washed down with the ubiquitous Kingfisher Lager -- YUM YUM
Do not miss a chance at eating at this restaurant, its got a really good tandoori/non-veg food range. the atmosphere is great and the decor is kind of village-themed. it is reasonably priced as well. for example a whole tandoori platter at 250/- tht will be enough starters for 2 people. The restaurant also delivers, which came in extremely useful when our hotel stopped room service 30 mins before closing, and being our last night we couldn't be bothered to get out of our room and go find somewhere to eat.
the staff are very friendly and will tone down the spice if you ask them to. manager was very nice, he gave us a cheap and reliable metered taxi guys number who dropped us home late at night.
Favorite Dish: Definately try the Jaisalmeri Laal Maans........its spicy but you can ask them to tone this down....i am an indian and found it quite spicy!!
The kebabs were good (except for the afghani kebabs they weren't very good...)
Cuisine : In Choki Dani restaurant the food is served by attendants dressed in traditional Rajasthani dress. Visitors sit on little low stools and the typical Rajasthani meal is served in 'pattals' leaf plates. The food is served with most hospitality. The visitors are persuaded to have more of every dish a typical way of Indian Hospitality.
Chandi Mahal Bar : the bar with its ceiling of 100000 mirror gilt coated furniture transports you to the bygone era of Maharajas
The courtyard adjoining the Surya Mahal restaurant is the most romantic place to have dinner in Jaipur. Lit by huge burning braziers, the courtyard features a raised platform where beautiful Rajasthani women give a short performance of their traditional dance (Sept 15-Mar only). Service is superb, as is the food -- this is one place where the "Continental" cuisine, created by Chef Andrew Whiffen from Barbados, is as good as the Indian. Specialty Indian dishes include the kebab platter (any of the tandoor dishes are highly recommended) and traditional thali (multicourse platters). The murgh malai tikka, chicken marinated in yogurt and cream and cooked in the clay tandoor, is delicious, as is the seafood Kerala curry -- prawns simmered in a mild coconut sauce and spiced with curry leaves, mustard seeds, and tamarind; mutton dishes, generally speaking, are less successful. All Indian dishes are served with dal, curried vegetables, steamed rice, Indian bread (choose from a variety), and chutneys. If you don't feel like eating Indian, try the pan-seared snapper; the penne with roast peppers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and basil oil; or the fettuccine with grilled chicken and basil pesto -- all comparatively bland, but balm for a sensitive stomach.
Favorite Dish: Jaipur is famous for its Dal Batti, Churma.
Visit Chokhi Dhani for ethnic Rajasthani food. Avoid going there on a weekend. Even on a week days ensure you reach there by 8.00 PM to avoid rush and poor service. For typical Rajasthani non veg visit Handi on MI Road or copper chimney. Try thier Laal Maas. In fact keep having Laal Maas every different place in Rajasthan and keep experiencing their taste changing.
The Copper Chimney was located very close to where I was staying. I had something different by having 2 lamb chops, chips and veg and a bottle of beer! It was expensive at Rs370 but it did the trick and is rather posh inside with a mix of well-to-do Indians and tourists doing the Golden Triangle tour of India. Not really a place if you're on a budget like me but I had had a day-off from sight-seeing and so hadn't spent much money and so treated myself to a nice dinner.
If you're after a change from eating the local food then there's always McDonalds! This one is located on the corner of MI Road and Punch Batti near Niro's and Natraj. It's a very popular place with locals and tourists alike. McDonald's only sell chicken and veggie burgers as beef is a strict no-no in India but they do quite a few different types of each.
We were satisfied with the food and the clean and neat athomsphere.
The service was good and nice, the only problem with the staff was the fact that they didn't speak much English nor other languages than their own.
If you want something really exotic, go to this place. Their menu contained dishes from many parts of India and also from the neighbouring countries.
Favorite Dish: As a starter I tried a very exotic choice: "Afgani seekh kabab spiey" which was an Afghani food.
As the main course I took a Rajasthani traditional hot (spicy) meat dish. I was very satisfied with both of my choices, likewise was my husband.
It´s a very nice place, one of the most expensive but it deserves a visit specially if you are not at the hotel and you would like to have a look. The worst thing is that you need to pay a fee to get in, and this will be deducted from your bill. You also need to check if there is any wedding at the hotel, because they usually book the whole hotel and you cannot get in, weddings in India could last even 3 days.
We have heard and read so much about that restaurant that we just wanted to check it out. The interiour is nice, staff doesn't really care about their guests and the crowd is half Indian, half Tourists.
Favorite Dish: I had a spicy Mushroom Peas Curry (Rs 120) with Garlic Nan (Rs 28). The food was excellent! FYI: Water comes at Rs 30, Lassi at Rs 40. I'd say it was a great experience, but.... this night was the only night that I was sick.... I don't think it was the food, though. Rather a sun stroke. So I still recommend that place.
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