The hospitality industry is in a PR frenzy. The most likes and the most features is what all of them want. But amongst all this hysteria, quietly facing the bay breeze is Taj Wellington Mews (TWM). A luxury apartment hotel in a striking, curved metal building. Unlike all other in this industry TWM keeps its main gates closed. They never advertise. They aren’t listed on any of the travel websites Have you ever heard about it before? That’s why the Marketing Director of TWM describes it as the Taj group’s best kept secret. . In-fact you cant even just pay money and book a room here!
PC: Amrith Padmanand
So we The Hogger’s Blog breach into the long walls of these Mews and try to unveil Taj’s best kept secret. We were invited here as a part of HSBC’s (yes! the bank) Beyond Flavors campaign in association with the FBAI (Food Blogger’s Association of India). After a thorough enquiry about my intentions and purpose of entering this mystique. I was greeted by the person whom I intended to meet even before I could properly set my foot in. Mr. Shibu Nair, the Marketing Director greeted us and gave us a small peak into the obscurity that is the Taj Wellington Mews. He enlightened us as to why and how did they manage to keep this a secret from the world.
The TWM is an ultra-posh luxury apartment hotel. It caters to the crème de la crème of the tourists/visitors which mostly include ambassadors, diplomats, Top level Managers etc. They like to cater only to a select crowd and hence even profile their clients before approving their stay at the TWM. Yes, you heard that right! They select their customers; who should stay and who should not. But that’s not the same case with their diners. The Weli Deli and the Lounge. Both are open to outside public and as I can only speak for the Deli, it is indeed a hidden Gem.
A sun kissed and bright setting adorns the Weli Deli (WD). The spacious deli is filled with all of the delights of the season. Be it Easter Eggs or Alphonso Aam. Since The deli also doubles up as a convenience store for the hotel one can see racks of snacks lined up. Juices/chips/chocolates. You name it they have it and if they don’t have it they will source it for you and all of it at MRP. The deli also has a very cozy setting for dates with sofas aligned opposite a cappuccino machine.
As we settled by one of the tables we were greeted by fresh fruit juices. While I settled on the Apple Juice, Amrith ventured on with the watermelon.
Here Mr. Shibu gave further insights into the Taj Group and also explained us about HSBC’s ‘Beyond Flavours’. This scheme allows HSBC Card Holders to enjoy a set menu at the Best of the best restaurants in India. We chose the Taj from a list which boasted of Tuskers (Sofitel), Olio (Novotel), Burma Burma and Smokehouse Deli to name a few. This entire 4 course meal (at TWM) can be enjoyed only for Rs.1200/-
So at the Taj we had been set for a four course meal for our ‘Beyond Flavours’ experience. We were started off with the Chicken Broth:-
The Chicken Broth was a very soft and tranquil liquid of a yellowish tinge. When the spoon breaches this tranquil exterior it is encountered by a sea of tender chicken chunks. Those chunks with the broth enlighten your esophagus as it glides across spreading warmth till it reaches your stomach.
TWM that day had a Chat Counter going on for their in-house residents and before we could move on to the 2nd course they brought us samples from their chat counter. A very presentable display of Dahi Puri and Sev Puri delightfully adorned our table. Chat at a 5 star seems like an absurd idea. But all skepticism was burned down when I put the dahi puri in my mouth. It was nigh perfect. The puri was a perfect crisp even as it managed to hold up against the moisture that emanated from the dahi, while the chutneys danced in such cohesion that would let down even the best of the Chat walas in Mumbai. The sev puri was not as perfect as the dahi puri but was good on its own.
We then moved on to our second course. We chose the Chicken Caesar Salad:-
Huge pieces of chicken were mixed with the green and accompanied by bread crumbs and topped off by a hint of Cheese. Although it was good in taste I would have preferred by chicken to be in small chunks rather than in big pieces.
In between courses we also ordered the Mango Ice Tea, which was made of fresh alphonso mangos.
The third course was the main course where we ordered:-
Herb Scented Chicken with Bouquetiere of Vegetables and Potato Mash.
The Chicken was juicy and the veggis were fresh. The potato mash complimented it well. Although only by accident that discovered that this tasted even better when it was mixed with the Wild Mushroom Risotto.
PC: Amrith Padmanand
Well the wild mushroom risotto was the one and only disappointment for the evening. One can call it international standards but I called it bland. Not only did it lack in spice but it also lacked in salt. It might be authentic Italian but to my authentically Bambaiya mouth it was only drab. However a trickle of salt and pepper made it comestible. Also my aforementioned mixture with the Chicken made it very tasty. The zest of the chicken made up for the drab of the risotto.
Finally our 4th course was that of the desserts:-
Cheese Cake with Berries Compote
Wasn’t this a delight! This cake was was gooey mushy and cheesy at the same time. Every bite left me wanting for more and the crust was what defined this cake. It was the best cheese cake I have had till date. Totally made my evening.
Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice-cream
PC: Amrith Padmanand
I only had a bite of this as I was ravaging the Cheese Cake. But like partners ought to be Amrith was devouring the Apple Crumble and rarely bit into the cheese cake. The apple crumble, he claimed was out of the world. Trusting his instincts I would also recommend this apple crumble.
They have a very staunch service regime. The waiters not only are alert and vigilant they even seem to recognize and indulge with regular customers on a personal level. As we were dining we witnessed a server talking with his guests for a long duration and seemed to know them and their preferences.
The Weli Deli at The Taj Wellington Mews is a hidden gem lying within the world’s most famous mine. It is not just very good but its also very economical as well. It is a true all-rounder this Weli Deli. It has an excellent breakfast menu, you can have a fulsome lunch here, it also proves to be an excellent date place, a Coffee house or a place to chill. It’s indeed was their best kept secret and we have bring it for our readers on a silver plate for them to enjoy it…..Bon Appétit