Being in Kolkata, one rarely gets an opportunity to enjoy a dinner in the open air as almost for 8 to 9 months of the year, it is either sultry or sweaty or there is rainfall. It is from November onwards, that the weather becomes conducive enough to sit outside.
The Grill by the Pool at Taj Bengal is a great place to enjoy an evening under the stars, with a glass of wine and some fresh live grills presented on a warm black stone, to spread some warmth with the little bit of nip that is the in the air.
The menu is divided into appetisers, soups, steak on stone, Seafood on stone, vegetable on stone with use of sauces like Bearnaise, Red Wine Jus, Smoked Bbq, Sriracha, Makhani and Gondharaj Lemon Butter across various dishes and with sides like Herb Roasted New Potatoes, Creamy Polenta, Char Grilled Vegetables, House Salad, Potato Mousseline and Corn on Cob. The marinades that are used are Chipotle Honey, Chimichurri Rub, Panch Phoran, Texan Bbq and few more. As we spoke to 'Chef Sonu', he gave us some insight into the factors which have gone beyond planning this menu. Considering the temperature, the use of the Black Rock Grills, where the temperature stays back and food remains warm was a brilliant idea. Ingredients which are popular and available but not getting used in the other outlets of the property like Quinoa, Artichokes, Asparagus, Canadian Scallops, Andaman Nicobar Rock Lobsters etc are being used and the dishes are created, keeping in mind the taste preference of both the International and domestic guests.
Roasted Butternut Squash Sage Cream
Roasted Butternut Squash Sage Cream which was not too creamy but the puree seasoned with fresh butter, few leaves with sage added on to the flavour.
Moroccan Lamb and Chickpeas
One can also try out the Moroccan Lamb and Chickpeas where had small mutton chunks and was a delight.
The Chili Onion Croissants served with the soups were a surprise. Pillowy soft enough for a bite, these will disappear no sooner than served.
Chef's Salad By The Pool
If you are trying out the Grill by the Pool, then you cannot miss the Chef's salad By The Pool, which is made with 3 types of imported Quinoa (white, yellow and brown) paired with grilled crunchy arugula leaves, grilled palm hearts with orange juice and Tobasco. This is a top draw for the combination of all these ingredients.
Homestyle Chicken BBQ
The homestyle Chicken BBQ will be loved by all. This is accompanied by a crunchy salad.
Vegetable on Stone
There are some interesting options available here and surely will be a delight for all.
Duet of Peruvian Asparagus and Baby Carrots
The one which ruled above all was a Duet of Peruvian Asparagus and Baby Carrots with Honey and Sherry emulsion. The fact that the asparagus is marinated with chilli flakes and juice of orange and sautéed with little bit of butter, gives it a distinct taste. Check out the Creamy Polenta on the side and Sherry Vinegar and Honey emulsion.
Seafood on stone
What can be more delicious than Tiger Prawns marinated with olive oil, salt, pepper, lime juice and a little thyme and then served with grilled seasonal vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, French beans, bell peppers, to name a few. Lemon butter sauce and parsley butter sauce comes with the prawn. They are simply unputdownable.
How can one miss out on the glorious Grilled Bekti, which is always a favourite at this part of the country? Simple ingredients like olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper for grilling and served with mushrooms and onions, creamy mash potatoes and garden salad. Delicious it is.
Finally to end with the dessert, if you have any place left then try out the Macadamia Brownie made with Brazilian Macadamia Nuts and on top, there is homemade Baileys Ice cream sprinkled with Almond Biscotti and edible flowers.
These were just recommendations but there is much more to explore than this once you set yourself up for the poolside evening. A dinner for 2 will be around INR 5000 plus taxes without alcohol and this will be on till February 2019. Let us wish the winters stay till such time.
A true blue Kolkata foodie, Anindya loves cooking and eating his Kosha Mangsho. Anindya weaves stories around food as he believes exceptional food is an emotional experience. Previously a restauranter, now a passionate photographer and traveller, he runs a successful blog called Pikturenama and contributes to other publications.