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    A new bespoke dining experience for couples at The Leela Palace includes fireworks and a bottle of Taittinger with their picture on it

    A personal butler, your picture on a bottle of Taittinger (James Bond’s favourite champagne), a viefoodw of the Bay of Bengal and fireworks — when they introduce us to their bespoke dining concept for two, we expect nothing less of The Leela Palace. This is, after all, the same hotel that introduced the city to a Dom Pérignon champagne brunch at `50,000 plus tax per couple. Of course, the hotel is coming up with another champagne brunch for those of us with not so heavy pockets. Promising plenty of dim sums, coastal food and frozen margaritas and daiquiris, this champagne brunch at China XO is expected to launch in a couple of weeks. For now, we catch up with executive chef Dharmen Makwana for more on this bespoke experience at the hotel’s Chess Garden. 

    Only the best
    Formerly just a sit out, the 1,500 sq ft Chess Garden is now a venue for bespoke dining and will host couples with a private musician and a slew of personalised services. The menu, for example, can be seven courses that start with caviar tasting and end with a dessert that conceals a ring, says the chef, adding that the couple will be entitled to the choicest ingredients the hotel has to offer. From Angus fillet to Japanese Bluefin tuna and Alaskan crab legs to Morel mushrooms from Kashmir.
    Take your time
    With no pressure to begin diThe Perfect Platterner straight away, sip cocktails and nibble on canapes for as long as you choose. “The meal would last three to four hours minimum,” says the chef, reasoning that this is after all for couples who want to be pampered. They can arrange an interactive cooking session if you choose, but Makwana is confident that guests would rather sit back and watch the chefs in action at their flambe trolley. And if a proposal is on your agenda, his team is happy to help with creative ways to present the ring — all you have to do is cough up the `55,000 plus tax for you and your beloved. Details: 33661234

    — Ryan Peppin

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