The buffet at Taj Samudra is pretty good - great presentation and we loved the desserts, though the seafood wasn't so impressive. Latitude has a set menu as well but we're covering the buffet here.
Service & Ambience
The Taj Samudra lobby is huge and epic - you have to go through giant swivelly doors to get in there (but walk fast lest the swivelly doors squish and kill you) and then you walk straight ahead through lovely walls of wine bottles before entering the dining area. The dining area is cosy with low lighting, a regular formal dining arrangement, and a glass window view of the pool at one end and tall greenery out the other window.
The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. Some of the cooks would explain some of the dishes to us, the manager especially was attentive, and our glasses were refilled by the waiters the moment they got empty. This may have been because it was only about 7PM and the room was scarcefully full, so it's a good idea to get there early before the folks staying at the hotel file up for dinner.
During Ramadan they've got an ifthar deal too. It only lasts from 6PM to 7.15PM. You get to pick from a variety of little sandwiches with chicken, egg and fish filling, samosas, fruit juices and faluda, and of course, beef kanji. The kanji was not the best out there but it was well done, the faluda was awesome and we highly recommend the fish sandwiches. Samosas were just so-so, they're made in the North Indian way as opposed to our regular Bombay Sweets type samosas. The whole thing costs Rs. 1350 though, which is a lot, so one might as well go for their dinner buffet too - you get the ifthar snacks and dinner altogether for Rs. 2700.
Dinner & Dessert
Taj Samudra is top-notch at presentation, everything looked amazing. The spread was generous: they had vegetable biriyani, noodles, and the open kitchen will make you hot pasta or naan (open kitchen buffets are awesome). You've got all the meats and seafood - the regular prawns, mussels, calamari and crab were a bit disappointing, and the steak was average - but what we loved was the mutton badum cooked in Sri Lankan spices, and the fried seafood in Sichuan style.
The mutton badum was spicy and tender, clearly the best meat in the spread, and the Sichuan seafood was basically prawns fried in corn flour and they was crunchy and delicious. We went for the noodles, they were very well done, and went well with the Italian potatoes and mutton. The hot-hot pasta was however a little bland.
There was an awesome variety of desserts, from cake to tarts to mousse. The chocolate chip cakes were just okay, the almond tarts tasted amaze, and surprisingly, we found tasty cheesecake here - they've got tiny pyramids of cheesecake with a side of strawberry, make sure you leave some room in your belly to gorge on these.
Taj Samudra's buffet is pretty good - large variety, some very tasty meats, and yum desserts. And since their ifthar selection is basically a pre-cursor to their dinner spread - we'll rate the whole thing alongside Cinnamon Lakeside's ifthar
-- Taj is better than the former but not as good as the latter.