New Delhi: Luchi, begun bhaja, kasha mangsho, chingri maacher malai curry, bhapa ilish and a lot more! During the five-day Durga Puja extravaganza, if you are looking for some authentic mouth-watering Bengali delicacies, look no further beyond than The Park.
Located in the heart of the city on Sansad Marg, near the Parliament House complex, The Park kick-started from Friday its Bengali food festival, Kolkata's Adda, that will end on Navami, next Sunday. The buffet offers a wide range of authentic Bengali cuisine and will be available both for lunch and dinner.
The showpiece restaurant Mist with its serene surrounding offers some of the best settings to enjoy the food festival. The ambience at Mist is cool and calm and the outdoor pool heightens the fluidity of the menu. The ever-smiling staff made it an ideal environment for a family lunch.
Executive chef Abhishek Basu is new in the national capital. For him, the Bengali food festival during the Durga Puja was the best way to impress the foodies of the city.
"I am new to the city. And since this is the time for Durga Puja, I felt it would be great to have a Bengali food festival. We have tried our best to serve the traditional and old forgotten Bengali fare. We promise to rustle up innovative recipes using age-old ingredients like mango-ginger and kasundi (mustard)," Basu told IANS.
True to Basu's words, it is the smell of mustard oil, one of the main ingredients in Bengali cuisine, that hits you first when you enter the Mist. It is time to dig in.
While the main course is authentic Bengali, the restaurant offers a wide range of Indian and Mediterranean salads. But I won't be wasting my time.
I headed off to the fry counter. The aloo bhaja was crisp while the beguni (batter fried aubergines and onions) were juicy, perfect to start my 'Adda'.
Keema ghugni (hand chopped mutton mince with green peas) and kathi rolls, two street food favourites, were the surprise package.
It was then time for the main course, which will be rotation-basis during the festival. I started with stuffed luchi and cholar dal. The cholar dal was sweet and had bits of coconut and raisins, while the luchi was delicately soft. It reminded me of the Ashtami morning breakfast that we generally look forward to after offering the 'Anjali'.
The smell of ghee bhat (rice with butter) was tempting, so was the chicken pulao. What followed next were aloo posto (stir fried potatoes with poppy seeds), rui macher kalia, chingri macher malai curry (prawns in coconut milk) and kosha mangsho. It was lip-smacking.
My tummy was almost full, but like all food-loving Bengalis, I have a sweet tooth as well. Misthi doi, chanar payesh, chomchom and patishapta (pancake with cocunut filling) -- and the plate was overflowing.
Chef Basu made sure that I finish it off with noten gurer icecream. It was time for me to leave and the restaurant was overflowing.