Continued from my earlier post on the Suryagrah experience…
As George Bernard Shaw famously said, “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” And at Suryagrah, one of the most prominent ways in which they show their love for their guests is through the food. Every meal here is a ritual, a celebration of life, an ode to classy aesthetics and a showcase of the deep sense of contentment that good food can bring.
While there are two formal restaurants and a bar, all my meals were served in open spaces, each of them in a special setting. Let me starting with the Halwai breakfast, the table filled with an astounding variety of fried snacks and syrupy sweets.
I tucked into local Rajasthani delights like pyaaz ki kachori, mirchi bada and the oh-so-good dal pakwaan, while trying unsuccessfully to steer clear of the mithai that sparkled and winked from their bowls.
Speaking of sweets, I walked into my room every evening to find a plate of fresh mithai – in place of generic chocolate. What a nice touch!
Then there was the lavish dinner in the Celebration Garden in one end of the property, and another on the dunes – under the starlit skies of the Thar, I was wined and dined, starters, main courses and desserts followed one after the other for several hours, even as the alcohol continued to flow, as if from a perennial tap.
Even when we stepped out of Suryagarh for a city tour or an exploration of the Thar trail, there were refreshments waiting for us at every corner – at the abandoned village temple near the Khaba fort and then a mini oasis set up on the way to the desert.
Apart from the food and the overall hospitality, what I really loved was the music that was the background to meals – Mehboob Khan and his troupe of Manganiyar singers, the soulful tunes of a Rajasthani flute or a veiled woman humming rustic songs at the open courtyard.
I came back home drugged with the subtle but intoxicating flavours of Suryagarh, and I don’t mean just the food.