As hot as Chennai gets, the happy memory that summer invokes in everyone is that of beautiful ripe mangoes that’re ubiquitously piled up! Just a chilled mango is all it takes to turn the sweaty frown to a happy curve. Being the season’s speciality, Aamlicious is an ongoing fest exhibiting the King (both the fruit & the Maharaj :D) at Rajdhani. This special rotational menu is an amazing Indian flaunt of it’s Aam (both raw & ripe) in as many forms and flavours and each dish is as exquisite as the next.
Rajdhani, a popular vegetarian Thali restaurant, is exemplar for their authentic and wide variety of Rajasthani & Gujarati dishes which are served on a rotational basis. The regular Thali has always been sufficient for the most insatiable with their home-style regional dishes and all of it being lovingly pampered, unlimited and the Aamlicious Thali was no less, if not more!
The place has a charm of it’s own. Right from Aarti and Tika welcome, miniature Dhol at the entrance to the decor and the aroma that wafts around, this place is bound to give you vibes of Rajasthan. The staff are also dressed as for an occasion and that further enhances the dining experience, making you feel royal, pampered and makes the whole dine in a celebration! Though they didn’t seem native to Chennai, they took efforts to communicate in the most effective manner possible. It was made sure that we were more than well fed and that all dishes were savoured at least twice.
Being an invite, we were first handed a menu of the Aamlicious dishes that were gonna be served for the day. Started off with a Raw Mango Juice which was a thin drink with a good mix of sweet and sour tastes and a refreshing hit of ginger. This was followed by a subtly flavoured Chaas (buttermilk) that was a great accompaniment to the whole meal (easily replaced water :P). It was after this that they slowly started filling in the 11 cups on the plate! First off was the cut raw mango and grated carrot and raw mango pickles. This was followed by Kairi Potli Kachori (kachori with a filling of raw mango and presented as a potli), Kairi Chilli Samosa (a green chilli dough samosa with a filling of raw mango) and Aam Bhare Pappad Roll (this was the yummiest of these) all three served with Sweet & Green Chutney. The Samosa was the only mediocre dish of these three while the Kachori and Pappad Rolls were simply yum specially because the filling was different and the flavour balance was just delicious.
After this, on a regular Thali, it would be the Dal Baati Churma (which is one of my absolute favourites here) whereas for this season’s special we had the Mango Dal Dhokli, a chatpata dish without the sweetness of the mangoes overpowering it, quite a good start to the entire meal.
For the mains, there was quite a spread there and the two best combos of the Aamlicious evening would have to be the Aamras-Puri & the Aam ki Launji-Khoba Roti. The legend of the Aamras-Puri combo is quite epic and it was spectacular here too, a mango lover; this is where you need to head to. Aamras, a mango purée, showcased the fruit in all it’s glory and was nothing short of YUM with the fluffy tiny puris they served. Aamras being quite the King of the show, it was being refilled continuously and it was almost like another beverage there. While the former combo was simple and elegant, the Khoba Roti was a delicious buttery savoury biscuit kinda roti with a complexly flavoured pickled side dish called the Aam ki Launji; Raw Mango cooked with a pickly, sweet and sour gravy that had a great deal of spices.
Other than these there was a Mango Pulao that tasted great with both the Spicy Rajasthani Dal and the slightly sweet Gujarati Dal. There also was a Kairi Samosa ki Sabzi which was a spicy gravy with little samosas in it that had a filling of mango! It was a unique Sabzi both in looks and in taste! Other mango highlights were the Raw Mango ki Pachadi (raw mango in a curd based spiced gravy) and the Mango Kadi, which was a regular Kadi with the mild sweetness of the cut mangoes in it. There also was a regular Kadi and no meal is complete at Rajdhani without the Kadi-Khichdi-Ghee-Pappad combo and wow, it was as heartwarming as always.
For desserts, there was an Akhrot Halwa, a regular sweet that’s made with sooji except with the addition of walnuts here, it wasn’t soggy or cloying but rich with flavour that the ghee and dry fruits in it gave. The other dessert was from the Aamlicious menu; Mango Jalebi. The undying love for Jalebis made me a little disappointed to see just a single thick piece of a Jalebi without the usual circles of joy. But it was as delicious! A thick syrupy little crisp skin with an oozy mango filled centre was quite the grand finish the King could give us.
While it took us quite a while to savour all of the deliciousness that was here, I felt the major reason that tempted us so was that each and every dish was quite unique in taste and despite it being a fest to highlight the mango, none of the dishes were cloyingly sweet or overloaded with fruit. Ripe and raw mangoes are quite loved in the country and Rajdhani has done total justice in honouring the ‘Treat of the Season’ this well.
The Aamlicious Thali is priced the same as the regular Thali at ₹499. Special offers on Tuesday’s (other than Public & Bank Holidays) where the same Thali would be priced at ₹250 (all incl.). Treat your senses to the Treat of the Season for its here for another month, only at the King of Thalis!
WTF Meter for Rajdhani Thali Restaurant: