|L-R Chef Dinesh Kapri, Chef Prabir Haldar, Rohini|
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
A TRIBUTE TO THE FLAVOURS OF KOLKATA
Having spent a part of my childhood in ‘Calcutta’, eating Bengali Cuisine for me is always an opportunity to experience a refreshingly unique and delicious approach to food. It seemed like an enticing invitation to indulgence where one is spoilt for choice with the aroma of nostalgia wafting through the menu, I simply couldn’t resist, and so off I set with my mother.
A tribute to the flavours of Kolkata, the New Town cafe @ Park Plaza Hotel, Gurgaon dishes out Bengali and a wee bit of ‘Kolkata continental cuisine’ to food lovers in the city. The Bengali cuisine has loads to offer and at NTC the menu changes every day during this festival. Contrary to popular belief Bengali cuisine also has much to offer to vegetarians, so out here, luckily my mother got enough choice. There are ambrosial dishes out of the often times rejected peels, stalks and leaves of vegetables! The ‘Mocha Dhokar Dalna’ dumplings made with banana flower florets, ‘Echorer Kofta’ made with raw jackfruit dumplings simmered in a tomato gravy, and ‘Doi Potol’ wax gourd in a yoghurt gravy are a must try. The ‘Mochar Chop’ a preparation of cooked florets of the banana flower, crumb fried and served with mustard sauce and the traditional ‘Mulo Bhaja’ marinated radish fried with a rice flour batter were superlative. Favourites from the desi sahib’s anglicised menu add a firangi flavour to the offering like the ‘Roast Leg of Lamb’. Vegetarians could sample the ‘Corn and Mushroom Pie’. Recommendations go all out for the ‘Shukto’ a mixed vegetable preparation flavoured delicately with randhuni, ‘Phulkopir Bora’ deep fried cauliflower in a lentil batter, or ‘Postor Bora’ - poppy seed balls pan roasted, to go with ‘Bhaja Moong Dal’, Moong dal cooked with green peas and tempered with ghee.
A true Bengali menu will be considered a meal incomplete without fish and celebrations are never done without a fish preparation in mustard oil. I hogged on the East Bengal’s pride- the Hilsa in mustard gravy aka ‘Sorshe Elish’ as if there was no tomorrow. Yes, the famed ‘Kosha Mangsho’ traditional Bengali mutton curry cooked on a slow flame which allows the spices to combine with the meat was simply divine and to go with all this the restaurant offers the aromatic rice of Bengal- Gobindo bhog as an accompaniment with the dishes on the menu. We ended our meal on a sweet note by gorging on ‘Misti Doi’. The piece de résistance however is the café’s tribute to the quintessential king of sweets- the Rosogolla.
Chef Prabir Haldar who has been flown in from Park Plaza, Kolkata for curating this Menu shares, ‘My mother was always my inspiration to Bengali food and my family cuisine inspired me to create dishes of my own; I have worked in speciality Bengali food restaurants as 6th ballygunge place and Bhojohori manna’
New Town Cafe & Lounge, Park Plaza, B Block, Sushant Lok, Phase I,
Tel: 91 124 415 0000
Timings: Lunch and Dinner
Price: Meal for Two - Rs. 2198 plus taxes
Festival Dates: 22nd April until 5th May 2013