This is a beautiful island resort and a great location for coming for dinner. It's worth the visit for the boat ride and exploring the island with the restaurant sitting beside the water. The food is head and shoulders expensive compared to what you find elsewhere but that is no surprise. Youre paying for the location. It is good quality, if not mind blowing, but worth a by of extravagance to enjoy this setting.
The maxim, "build it and they will come", certainly applies to Darikhana a colonnaded restaurant nestled in Jagmandir Island Palace with a panoramic view of the lake with its varieties of boats whizzing by, and the magnificent City Palace in the backdrop. Everyone who has made the boat ride from the mainland no more than fifteen minutes has been astonished by the sheer magnitude and beauty of this palace hotel on the southern end of Lake Pichola. What most tourists don't know is that they can enjoy an elaborate, but affordable luncheon or dinner at this paradise escape. I use the word "escape" because that's what you have to do to get away from the ordinary, and in the case of Darikhana, you will soon discover the difference between ordinary and exceptional.
During my visit, Jagmandir Island Palace had reserved a boat at the City Palace jetty to ferry me across for luncheon to Darikhana where the chef had tailored a bespoke menu. Taking my seat in a corner table, I sipped chilled beer and soaked in the stunning vista while the management appraised me of its historical significance. In 1623, the Maharana of Udaipur had given shelter to Shah Jahan accompanied by Mumtaz Mahal, as he was fleeing from the wrath of his father, the Mughal emperor. It's particularly impressive how the architecture with its intricate detailing is preserved to perfection to give global travellers an insight into its rich history. Overwhelmed by the beauty, the history and the living heritage of the island palace run by HRH Group of Hotels, I sat back to enjoy the luncheon as Chef brought out the first course 'Murgh Tikka Bhuna Pyaaz' i.e. chicken sauteed in onion, tomato, fenugreek and coriander was tender and flavourful with melt-in-the-mouth texture while crisp 'Vegetable Fingers' was a vegan's delight. Satiated with the first course, I requested the chef to keep portions of the entrees minuscule. As expected, the iconic 'Laal Maas', served with naan and 'Dal Pichola', was a culinary masterpiece. I think my heart rate went up at the sight of this magnificent meat. It was so, so fresh and flavourful. Observing me relishing the mutton, the chef mentioned that traditionally, laal maas was made with wild game meat and chilli was used to veil the gamey odour. While the spiced flavour is intact, the meat is of goats grazing in the hills, caught at night and brought in fresh at 11 a.m. Intriguing! The meal then ended on a sweet note with a platter of 'Gulab Jamun', 'Kesari Ras Malai' and 'Passionfruit Roullade'.
At the end of the meal, I walked the length of the property with its beautifully landscaped gardens, mammoth spa where I fought the temptation to indulge in one of their quick fix services like a relaxing foot massage, and then the boat took me back to the mainland where a cart was waiting to take me back to Shiv Niwas Palace Hotel where H A Subramanian, Vice President PR, HRH Group of Hotels whose careful coordination of my visit to the last detail added lustre to the trip had a car waiting to take me back to ShikarBadi. Reminiscing about the luncheon, I must mention here that the compelling presentations, sensational flavours and immaculate service [the waiter patiently went over each dish with me and insisted on refilling the plate with what I had just eaten]. And that's just one of the pleasures of a fine table in a palace hotel everyone treats you like family. I would highly recommend luncheon or dinner at Darikhana, Jagmandir Island Palace when in Udaipur! Bon appetit!!
We went with friends in a boat from the Lake palace around 5.30pm just before sunset . This is an excellent time to go as the sunset is magnificent.The sun streams across the lake & it looks like a golden streak. You must take a camera. The new iPhone takes amazing pictures. The JAGMANDIR island is lovely & it has a restaurant. When it is lit up at dark it is gorgeous.
This was our first visit at the DARIKHANA in JAG MANDIR, on previous occasions they have either been sold out or closed due to a wedding. This time round I started calling them a month before and planned my trip as per the availability here. It was the most anticipated dinner ever! from pick up to drop it was one beautiful experience. Fabulous location, very courteous staff, who are very proud of their heritage, the meal was very well prepared and of excellent quality, portions superb. It was the first restaurant I came across where Indian as well as Continental were very well prepared. We spent 3 hours here, & I believe we could have spent the day. This is a MUST VISIT & SHOULD BE ON EVERYONES ITINERARY.
This place is approachable only through a boat ride and that is a good experience for a visitor. The place itself a small mini palace kind of place is quite ambient. May be a great place to sit and sip on some beer while watching the sunset.. but lunch and dinner here would be a total waste of time and money. The food was just so basic in taste. And at 5 star rates.