After the disastrous tasting at a bong joint on Sunday, I was craving for some authentic delicious bong food. Thank my lucky stars, along came an invite for the “Peth Pujo” Kolkata food festival at Hyatt Regency.
I had noticed the buzz around this festival on social media, with the highlight being Chef extraordinaire – Anirban Dasgupta from Kolkata. I was pretty sure of the flavor-gasm in store for me!
As we entered The Cafe at Hyatt Regency, we were greeted by Kolkata style Puchka, Jhalmuri , Chicken Roll and Chowmein stalls!
Gorging down some delicious puchkas and tangy, sorse tel flavored jhalmuri, we turned towards the bong food on offer. And the bong inside me went into top gear!
A typical bengali meal starts bitter and ends sweet. And lo-behold! There was the Karela Bhaja (fried karela), sitting pretty among the Alu, Potol and Begun Bhaja!
Also on offer was a variety of chutney that had me salivating – right from your Tomato + Khejur Chatney and Plastic chutney to the sweet n sour (tok jhal misti) Ananas chutney, Kuler achaar and Kacha Amer chutney. One entire course was just me licking the plate spread with chutney!
The Alu Dom + Luchi was spot on (though I prefer the luchi to be a tad softer – they may want to tune their “moy” (maida) ratio). The Chanar Dalna (paneer) was creamy, with fried slabs of soft paneer.
The Paanch Misali torkari (mixed vegetable with 5 vegetable) had the distinct flavor associated with a chorchori. I was missing a sukto, but Chef mentioned that it should be on the menu in the coming days. Musur Dal, Kodai Suti Polao (peas pulao) and Ghee Bhaat (rice) gave company to the vegetarian dishes.
As I moved on to the non-veg section, my heart skipped a beat seeing the Malai Chingri. Chingri (prawns) is my 2nd favorite meat (after, of course, bacon!) and malai chingri is a fantastic bong preparation, that ranks right up there with the best. I did find the flavor lacking the typical coconut base though.
The Chicken Chaap was fantastic – one of the best variants of this Kolkata-Nawaabi preparations I have had in recent times.
And of course, you cant have a bong meal without maach 🙂 Doi Maach did supreme justice to the fresh rui (rohu) maach. It was a tad spicy for a doi maach, but was delicious nonetheless.
They are expecting to bring in Hilsa in the next couple of days, so all you Ilish premis out there, might want to peek in after a couple of days!
With a full tummy and a content heart, I looked at the dessert section, and of course, the Rosogulla caught my eye.
With 3 of those sweet sweet globules tucked away in the dessert section of my stomach, I picked up a kullad of Misti Doi, and settled down for a good 15 minutes, wiping the kullad clean. Fresh, sweet, cooling, with a hint of sourness – perfect end to an amazing meal. I also tasted the Nolen Gurer ice cream (palm jaggery ice cream) – found it a bit too frozen by my liking. I’ve had better.
They also have Continental and South East Asian dishes as part of this buffet to please the non-bong/expat crowds. I didn’t try them, but they smelled good. The veg and non-veg items will change over the course of the next 2 weeks – expect kosha mangsho and ilish to also come into circulation! 3 veg mains, 3 non-veg mains is what you should see, along with the accompaniments (this could change, so please call them before going to avoid disappointment).
The buffet costs 1050++ for lunch and 1299++ for non-veg and is on till 30-April
I was invited for this tasting event. The Usual Disclaimer applies.
Some pics to round this off: