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There is no sincerer love than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw
This is truly the story for food lovers. After the high of April, when the Bengali New Year ruled the menu at various restaurants for a considerable period of the month, there was a lull before the storm. The next wave started with Mothers’ Day, where there were special offers all across the city’s restaurants that definitely attracted a good number of guests. As the mercury soared, the summer coolers and frozen cocktails started appearing on the menus in the city. The Lalit Great Eastern introduced a wide range of frozen cocktails such as a Frozen Cranberry Mojito, Baileys Mocha Frappe and others. Yauatcha Kolkata and the Novotel Kolkata also offered innovative summer coolers infused with summer fruits. But the star summer drink was definitely the mouri mishri gondhoraj lemon mojito from the Park Kolkata.
What better way to beat the summer heat than with some ice cream? While all the ice-cream parlours and brands eye this season as a way to maximise their sales, new joints come up every year with a new take on the ice cream. Icy Fusion opened last year with their special sundaes that are folded and mixed on a frozen marble stone; this year, the new place is Mumble’s Lab, the first liquid nitrogen ice-cream parlour in the city. No cream, no egg; each scoop is made to order with food-grade liquid nitrogen. Some of their flavours (such as ginger honey basil, orange caramel, Nutella with red velvet/hazelnut toppings) have already become favourites with the customers.
While innovations on food will continue to happen, it is good to see that a sizeable number of food enthusiasts are making an effort to unearth and rediscover old recipes in order to present them, once again, to the world. The latest trend in this is to curate and unearth the menu from Rabindranath Tagore’s kitchen in Jorasako, famously known as Thakurbari. There have been at least two pop-ups based on this, as well as the restaurants that offered this meal as part of the celebration of the poet’s birth anniversary. On the same lines, the Gateway Hotel held a festival with food recipes from the royal palaces of Bengal.
The availability of ilish or hilsa depends on the rainfall and it will be no sooner than late June before hilsa makes its way onto the restaurant menus. Let’s wait for an exciting June.