“Food for the body is not enough.
There must be food for the soul”
If you’re a vegetarian and looking for not just good food but a wholesome dining out experience, Civil Lines situated ‘Meraaki Kitchen’ is clearly the best place in Jaipur. As you enter the restaurant, you will surely be amazed by the enormity of the place. With a whopping area of 30,000 square feet, Meraaki Kitchen is one of the largest stand alone restaurants not just in the city but the country as well.
Started by two young and forward looking women – Shivika Kothari (23) and Neha Deepak Shah (26), the restaurant lives true to its name. ‘Meraaki’ means to pour yourself wholeheartedly into what you do and the restaurant is a clear expression of that. Right from cooking the food to the ambience, décor and service, each activity is carried out with love, creativity and soul.
Unlike, the other youngsters who open cafes without any significant long term growth plans, these women mean serious business. While Shivika studied Hospitality Administration at Boston University, Massachusetts, Neha Deepak Shah is a former runner up of Masterchef India. Both Shivika and Neha share a common love for food and travel. And thus they have brought hand selected ingredients and dishes from all over the world to satiate not just one’s palate but also one’s soul.
The restaurant aims at being an open, accessible place for young creative professionals, a casual hangout to go to after work or college as well as for families looking to dine together. From gender equality to positive affirmations and reminders of natural beauty, the dynamic contemporary interiors are a groundbreaking realization of art.
When it comes to food, one will find it not just full of flavor and taste but also presented in an astounding and unmatchable manner. Not only Meraaki Kitchen is one of the few restaurants in Jaipur serving amuse bouche but it also does it with style. As you take your place on the table, you will be pleasantly surprised with molecular gastronomically produced rose and cranberry juice bubble called ‘Dew Drop’. All you have to do is slide it in your mouth and you will feel a pop of refreshing flavour in your mouth.
The restaurant also gives a modern take on street food with yoghurt bubble and foam chutney papdi chaat. Even though not everyone might enjoy this different kind of chaat but the initiative certainly deserves applause for its uniqueness and innovation.
If you are a group of people visiting the place and want to try experimentation on a whole new level, you must try the snowball cheese cake. Prepared live on your table, the making of the dish requires a long and intricate process. With designs made using three different types of sauces – mango, chocolate and caramel – making of this dish is no less than making a 3D painting. On this base are added a mélange of fresh and dried fruits, nuts as well as white chocolate clumps. And then comes the grand finale when the cheese cake snowball is dropped from a height over the beautifully spread out fruits and chocolates. While the whole experience is unforgettable and blows away your mind, what it is commendable is that it is not just theatrics that are focused on here. The taste of the dessert is as appealing as the appearance of it.
We also recommend the Burmese-Thai coconut gravy based delicacy ‘Khao Suey’, the Naaniza and the Biryani Arancini. Naanizas are essentially dainty roasted garlic naans filled with pizza filling of sun dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives and feta cheese. The Biryani Arancini balls are cheese stuffed biryani balls served with achaari mayo. The crispiness from the outside and the gooey cheese inside is a match made in heaven. Even if you’re not a fan of pumpkin, do try the spiced coconut pumpkin soup. It might just change your dislike for pumpkin.
Given its size, the restaurant has options for outdoor seating, indoor seating as well as a private seating area. The restaurant also plans to optimally utilize the space with stand-up comedy shows, fashion shows and other such events. Even though the price range is on a slightly higher side but the incredible dining experience at the restaurant is completely worth the cost.