Hotel F+B


Text : Daipayan Halder


Date:  11th Dec 2009


Place: Delhi



(Viet)nam ke liye

The one complaint about Vietnamese diner Blue Ginger and Blue Bar - you cannot do justice to both in one visit

The problem with going to restaurants in five stars is that the wife is passionately disapproving of them. But one of the few times she is eager to visit one is when it belongs to a Taj hotel. In fact, our first collective memories are of late nights at the coffee shops of Taj Mahal Palace and Taj Land's End in Mumbai. So, apart from being assured of a warm evening in the new winter of Delhi at the Blue Ginger restaurant and Blue Bar at the Taj Palace, I was also ensuring some domestic peace. But that did not last for long, as we got late for the 9.30 pm table at Blue Ginger on a Friday evening. The table had "just been released".

Blue bar

As it turned out, we were not going to regret having to wait at the bar. A disarming smile from Nick, the super perceptive bartender, as we settled into our red chairs, was all we needed. Our server suggested we sample the signatures; I ordered a plum-based sake concoction while the wife singled out absinthe-based offerings. Her choice, Flaming Scandal (absinthe, tequila and spices), made the server chuckle and remark that she likes "a man's drink".

As you look around while Nick tries some deft pyrotechnics with absinthe, you notice that Blue Bar is exquisitely stocked. As we had to go to the restaurant later, we didn't order anything, but were extremely tempted to try the oysters, mussels and sole. Even before the drinks arrived, the wife had decided she was going to try the infusions, especially the tequila-infused marshmallows and absinthe-infused gummy bears.

 As I enjoyed the rare glass of sake, the wife downed her drink at a pace the server had obviously not anticipated, because when she looked around to place her next order, he wasn't there. Which is when Nick came around the bar to our table. He said they were out of marshmallows and gummy bears (he has said the same thing to many others, which makes me wonder if they stock these at all) but offered her bourbon infused with a Montecristo. While Nick tried to give her a Manhattan, she insisted to have it straight up. A little surprised, and cautious, he told her to "go slow", in vain. 

Blue Ginger

Just as I was beginning to get worried about reaching home safely, we were informed that our table was ready.
We decided on soft-shell crabs (what better place in the capital for seafood) for starters and half a Vietnamese roasted duck for the second course. We decided on traditional Vietnamese Cari (fish in a yellow sauce) and shrimp fired rice. One striking thing about Blue Ginger is that you will never get a blank look from the staff about anything you ask them, and will get informed responses on what to order.

While the soft-shell crabs served with plum sauce were the perfect start, it was the duck we were really waiting for (always judge a place by its mashed potatoes, duck and consistency of liquid soap in restrooms).

A plate of rice paper (commercially produced in Vietnam, the chef later informed us), a bouquet of vegetable (don't roll the meat without spring onion) and accompaniments made eating the duck an elaborate affair. We would have preferred to be asked whether we wanted the skin separately and wish there were sugar to eat along with it, too, but the duck was perfect. And so filling, we almost didn't want to go on to the main course.

If you are not the one for duck (but really, who isn't?) then do try the Vietnamese soup mean Pho that
includes noodles, vegetables and chicken. Blue Ginger also has a huge selection of vegetarian dishes that have been customized for the Indian palate. We were so impressed with the shrimp rice and fish cari that though we were stuffed, we ate wholesome portions. And still made room for dessert! In this case, too, we chose to get adventurous rather than taking refuge in the safe haven of chocolate. The caramel custard with a twist of ginger was light, but it is the lemon grass tiramisu that is a must-have. Though, it is just the last of the many reasons why you will re-visit Blue Bar and Blue Ginger.


Blue Ginger and Blue bar are tastefully decorated. The bar has overwhelming chandeliers and breezy lighting in tune with the music that is usually played. The restaurant has booths raised on a platform, allowing a view over the bar and out into the gardens. Tabletops are inlayed with mother-of-pearl and set on bronze legs. A private dining room seating 12 is located off the main hall. We wonder if it's that good in Vietnam.

Blue Ginger and Blue Bar
Where: Taj Palace, Sardar Patel Marg, Diplomatic Enclave
Timings: Lunch: 12.30 pm to 2.45 pm; Dinner: 7.00 pm to 11.45 pm
Meal for two: Rs 5,000
Call: 66503665


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