Gangaur ghat is a hotspot for foreign travellers in Udaipur. It is close to the city centre, City palace, the railway station and most other attractions. We stayed on the side of Bagore Ki Haveli, and crossed over the lake at night to try the restaurants there for dinner.
The other side, called Hanuman Ghat has the high end hotels like The Leela Palace and Ambrai Garden. It also has fine dining restaurants like the Ambrai Garden, Hari Garh, Upre and 1519 AD. Little did we know that all these restaurants are sought after in the evening – we walked to each one of them to be told that we needed a reservation in advance, or we’d have to wait for 45 minutes at least. On a weekday! I don’t know if this is due to preferential treatment for foreign tourists, as I did see quite a number of them having the coveted lakeside tables, I only hope not.
Wife wanted to have a lakeside dinner – our search started at Hari Garh and ended there, though not by the lakeside. We tried all the other restaurants I mentioned only to be turned down and finally took a table in Hari Garh.
I liked Hari Garh’s ambience at the first look itself and was surprised that it wasn’t as crowded as the other restaurants. They have a small garden in the entrance leading to the ground floor. The lakeside tables are not so much tables, it is an elevated level with soft mattresses and pillows. With lit candles, the place makes for a very cosy, quiet and romantic dinner experience.
The waiters did a bit of bungling initially, but finally got us a table. Exhausted with all the walking, we took a pot of hot lemon ginger honey tea first up. Having had a rather heavy evening snack, we told the waiter we’d take a little while in ordering our meal. The tea arrived soon and the first thing I loved about it was the cutlery. All white, the perfectly sized pot and cups instantly charmed me and I told the wife that we’d have to get a similar set in the future. She burst out laughing. The tea was perfect – we took our own sweet time sipping and discussing our tales in Udaipur.
Soon, the tea worked its charm and we felt hungry. I decided to go for the Laal Maans which was the local Mewari mutton specialty along with couple of tandoori rotis, and wife chose the Macaroni Mexican. Interestingly, the menu has the same description for Laal Maans and Mewari Mutton, but different prices! Oversight?
Laal Maans was awesome – the meat was succulent, the gravy at the perfect spice levels and a little oily, but the overall taste was excellent. I could not spot any coriander leaves in the garnishing as described though. It was after a long time that I had mutton and did not regret ordering it. Was too busy licking the mutton off my fingers that I did not try the pasta, but the only complaint I heard from wife was that it had a little extra butter. Otherwise acceptable I believe.
I haven’t been to the other fine dining places at Hanuman Ghat, but would definitely recommend Hari Garh as a place to have dinner. Was thoroughly satisfied as I made the walk back across the lake to our hotel.