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As a Bengali child, I always thought that I was special since I got to celebrate New Year twice in a year. Little did I know that just like Poila Baishakh, almost every region of our great nation has a different New Year or a harvest festival which falls in Chaitra and Baishakh months as per the Hindu Calendar. And I am not so sure about other regions, but we Bengalis just need another reason to celebrate and best way to do that is to eat out with family or friends.
The Lalit Great Eastern is serving up delicacies from the ancient Bengal Royal families of Murshidabad, Shova Bajar, Hetampuri Rajbari and Ita Chuna Rajbari. There is a grand buffet for both lunch and dinner at Alfresco incorporating special dishes like Murshidabader Morog Pulao, Rajbariri Kosha Mangsho, Thor Bora Jhol, Chapor Ghonto, Live Tele Bhaja Station, Gondhoraj Mangsher Chop, Patishapta, Aamrar Murabba and many more. The buffet with several live stations, Acharer Dokan and a special Calcutta Chinese section, is priced at Rs. 2000 plus taxes per person and is nothing short of truly Royal.
The Oberoi Grand gets to celebrate Poila Baishakh for the first time with its new jewel - Threesixtythree°. Ever sought after for their Bengali food, the all-day dining would be having a buffet layout comprising of Naboborsho specials like Topshe Fry, Fish Paturi, Kosha Mangsho (and we need not mention the superior taste of this Kosha Mangsho), Prawn Malai Curry, an envious array of Mishti made in house and so on. The buffet is very competitively priced at Rs. 1400 plus taxes per person and is there for lunch only.
Sonargaon at Taj Bengal has chosen the traditional Bengali Aamish, Niramish and Seafood Thali dining experiences which will include local specialities of the region like Echorer Kaliya, Shukto, Radha Bolobi, Kacha Lanka Bata Murgi, Kacha Aam Er Chutney, etc. It will be held for 3 days starting 14th April for lunch and dinner. The price will range from Rs. 2100 plus taxes per person for vegetarian thali to Rs. 2500 plus taxes per person for non-vegetarian and Rs. 2800 plus taxes per person for seafood thali.
The Gateway Hotel on the other hand, is doing a lunch and dinner buffet on the 15th of April, bringing the taste of traditional Bengali Zamindari food at Buzz. From Nawabi Amish to Nawabi Niramish, one can indulge in a treat of old Kolkata cuisine which will include a selection of fresh prawns and seafood. Some special dishes in the buffet will be Machher Kochuri, Kankrar Kalia, Aam Pabda, Dhakai Roast Murgi, Mochar Ghonto. For the dessert, there will be Jilipi, Labang Latika and Chhanar Payesh among others. It is priced at Rs. 1499 plus taxes for non-alcoholic buffet per person and Rs.1699 plus taxes for alcoholic buffet per person.
The Park Hotel celebrates this festivity with an exclusive buffet along with a live band at The Rosewood Hall. It is priced at Rs. 1995 all inclusive with unlimited beer for both lunch and dinner. Selection includes Chingri Malai Curry (the creamiest and flavoursome ever), Kacha Lonkar Murgi, Mocha Bori Ghonto, Baked Mihidana, Sitabhog Lasagne and much more. Saffron is celebrating for a week long from the 7th till the 16th of April with a special lunch and dinner sit down thali with 2 domestic beers/ 2 glasses of house wine. It is priced at Rs. 1450 plus taxes per person for vegetarians and Rs. 1850 plus taxes per person for non-vegetarians. The selections includes Beler Shorbot, Dimer Devil, Jhingey Aloo Posto, Parse Macher Teljhal, Shukto, Baked Komola Rajbhog and many more. Poila Baishakh at The Bridge is even more exclusive with a lunch and dinner buffet on the 14th and 15th of April at Rs. 2495 all inclusive with IMFL. Selection includes Mutton Daak Bangla, Borishali Aloo Dum, Sorshe Parse, Potoler Dolma, Mango Sandesh Paturi, Jhal Bhara Sandesh and many more
Eden Pavilion at ITC Sonar is doing a traditional lunch and dinner buffet with authentic delicacies from age-old family recipes handed down through generations. The popular Bengali dishes of Kosha Mangsho, Machher Paturi, Chennar Paturi, Alu Posto Chorchori and the likes will be on the offer for Rs. 2250 plus taxes per person with soft beverages and Rs. 2750 plus taxes per person with unlimited premium beverages. Dum Pukht, the legendary kitchen of ITC, is going to have a special set menu called ‘Bhadralok’ which will truly be a nawabi dawat and is priced at Rs. 3250 plus taxes per person.
Social Kitchen at the newly opened Holiday Inn is doing a lunch and dinner buffet bringing in the rustic flavours of Bengal from various districts / regions. Authentic traditional recipes indigenous to different regions of Bengal from Chandanagore in Hoogly to Krishnanar in Nadia & more include dishes like Alu, Kumro and Dal Bhate, Dim Posto, Ghoogni Mangsho, Murgir Posto, Doi Katla, Sita Bhog, Pantua and so forth for a nominal price of Rs. 1100 for lunch plus taxes per person and Rs. 1350 for dinner plus taxes per person. This will be on for 3 days starting 14th of April.
First Innings at The Stadel is having a sit down vegetarian and non-vegetarian Thali for both lunch and dinner. The vegetarian thali is priced at Rs. 650 and non-vegetarian at Rs. 850 all inclusive. The thali has everything from the welcome drink to the dessert and has lip smacking dishes like Chanar Kofta, Dhakai Pulao, Mangshor Do Piyaza, Potoler Dolma, Aamsatta Khejurer Chutney etc. Mirage, the poolside restaurant, on the contrary, is doing a fusion Bengali À la carte menu with unique dishes like Cheese Baked Chicken Paturi with Kalmi Saag Kabab, Spinach And Govindbhog Risotto, Pesto Channar Sabzi, Rum Soaked Mutton Dakbungalow and the likes. There is also a Bengali grand buffet at the Stadel Banquets for Rs. 1236 all inclusive along with an ethnic fashion show.
Novotel Kolkata Hotel & Residences celebrates the lost recipes of Bengal focusing on East Bengal, West Bengal and Dhaka cuisine at The Square from 7th till 15th April. Bringing traditional Bengali cook with ages of experience and hands on dishes of epar and opar Bangla, the buffet is priced at Rs. 999 for lunch plus taxes per person and Rs. 1299 for dinner plus taxes per person. Sunday brunch is priced at Rs. 1299 plus taxes per person and Rs. 1799 plus taxes per person with unlimited beverages. Some dishes to look out for are Bhapa Bhekti, Machher Tel Chorchori, Macher Laal Jhol and Bhapa Sandesh among many.
Moving to a standalone restaurant, Monkey Bar is doing something unique – the first ever Poila Baishakh eve party on the 14th April evening onwards. The gastropub is all set to rock the city with some handcrafted and intoxicating cocktails along with fascinating food. With live performances by ‘Paloma and Adil’ onwards followed by DJ Rwik, Monkey Bar’s resident DJ, spinning his tracks through the night, you can set the floor on fire. Few irresistible dishes to go for would be Tikki Of Joy, Devilled Fish, Mushroom Galouti, Saag Kebab, Baked Brie, Butterfly Chicken among the plethora of options. Till 9 pm, there will also be one - on - one offer on Kingfisher Beer, Jacob’s Creek Wines and Sangrias. Post 9 pm, interesting cocktails to head for would be toast to Calcutta, old fashioned on Camac, Mama’s Girl or Tipsy Sherbet.
For someone who's run two restaurants, being a baker and cook par excellence comes easily to Madhushree . When she's not eating out, she's organizing her own pop ups or experimenting with regional recipes. Her experiments with food and her recipes are part of Pikturenama , where she's a co founder.