Peter Morrell reports on a new culinary adventure launched by Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces at the St James’ Court in London.
Inspired by Jules Verne’s classic account of intrepid traveller and English explorer Phileas Fogg’s journey from London, through India, circumnavigating the late Victorian world in 80 days – Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, London have curated a progressive dining experience – ‘Around The World in 80 Tastes’, showcasing the diversity of gastronomic influences across four of the Taj’s restaurants on Buckingham Gate, less than a mile across St. James’ Park from where Fogg culminated his journey.
This unique culinary journey commenced, as all adventures should, with a champagne flight of Laurent-Perrier’s finest, and paired canapés, by the cherub-adorned fountain in the Victorian St. James’ Courtyard, an idyllic outdoor dining space surrounded by the world’s longest Shakespeare’s sylvan frieze. The canapés all worked well with the vintage, brut and rose champagnes.
I was then then whisked off for an exemplary trio of starters at Bistro at St. James’ Court. The menu at Bistro celebrates the diversity of cosmopolitan London, featuring signature dishes, under the stewardship of the hotel’s Executive Chef David Tilly. Here the Sesame Crusted Tuna with Pink Grapefruit shone out.
The gastronomic journey continued to the South West coast of India at Michelin-starred Quilon. Here, culinary explorers indulge in the signature Quilon Fish Curry and the Fisherman’s catch with Malabar paratha. Whilst seafood is at the heart of this establishment, Quilon is also heralded for Executive Chef Sriram Aylur’s interpretation of ethnic and progressive game, poultry and vegetarian cuisine reflecting a real understanding of the cultural and ethnic diversity of the region accompanied by award-winning wine and beer lists. My wine pairing here was the English Chapel Down Flint Dry White.
Kona at the luxury 5-star Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences, was the fourth and final stopover of this adventure and the latest feather in Taj’s illustrious culinary cap. Kona brings diners back to contemporary Europe with predominantly locally sourced, sustainable and organic ingredients in a menu showcasing classic cooking techniques with contemporary styling and a dessert platter to celebrate the homecoming. One of the dishes, a duo of Sussex Lamb was a savoury triumph and the trio of desserts were delicious, accompanied by the very fashionable Alberino wine.
Each course is accompanied by tasting portions of wines carefully selected from the Taj’s cellar.
This is a fascinating and rewarding culinary experience for all foodies, featuring both unique dishes and first class wines
The ‘Around the World in 80 Tastes’ experience is available at an introductory price of £100 per person, for reservations and enquiries go to www.stjamescourthotel.co.uk/80tastes, call +44 20 79638360 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org