There is always a dilemma in a Kolkata food lover's mind - which one is a bigger food festival in Kolkata Bengali New Year/ Poila Baishakh or Durga Puja? These two festivals are magnanimous in their own ways with trade happening around them, budgets spent on them, sponsorships associates with them but it’s the food associated with these two festivals which makes them larger than life. This year, Bengali New Year is on a Sunday and that’s like an icing on the cake. Each person associated with the hospitality industry is looking forward to this particular day and wishing to make the most of it for the full season which follows Poila Boishakh till Ilish or Hilsa hits the market in full glory.
Here are some of the choicest meals on this Bengali New year to select from:
Alfresco - The Lalit Great Eastern
This all-day dining at The Lalit Great Eastern will have delicacies from East and West Bengal. Its buffet for brunch and dinner, where Aam Pora Sharbat/ Beler Shorbot welcomes you along with soup Poda Rasun Ar Mugi Shirua. Delectable vegetable spread leads you to Crab or Kakada Bhuna, Thor Bori Diye Chingrir Ghonto, Murgir Aam Kasundi, Rui Mach Sim Diye, Kochi Patha and few more. The ending of this great meal can only happen with desserts like Kheer Kadam, Chanar Jilipi and Nolen Gurer Sandesh. In addition, there will be Tangra Style Chili Chicken, a live station of Deep Fried Fritters or Tele Bhaja, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, live Phuchka station and more.
Where: 18, Hemanta Basu Sarani, Near Raj Bhavan, Kolkata
Cost: INR 2200 plus taxes for either lunch or dinner buffet
Timings: 01:00 - 05:00 pm and 07:30 - 11:00 pm
The celebration bhoj is available for both lunch and dinner. Aamish or Non-vegetarian bhoj will have Aam Kasundi Golda Chingri, Kalo Moricher Pabda, Dhone Pata Kancha Lanka Murgi and Kosha Mangsho in addition to popular vegetarian dishes like Shukto, Chola Diye Narkel Dal, Bhaja Masalar Alur Dom and choose between Luchi or Radha Ballavi or Basanti Pulao. The vegetarian or Niramish thali has Lau Borir Ghonto, Kosha Enchor or Lau Pata Chanar Paturi. Aam Doi, Chenar Jilibi, Patishapta will adorn the desserts.
Where: Vedic Village Spa Resort, Shikharpur, Bagu, Rajarhat, Kolkata
Cost: Non-vegetarian thali is at INR 1300 and Vegetarian thali is at INR 1100 plus applicable taxes
Valid: 13th to 15th April
Looking for something different to celebrate the Bengali New Year, look no beyond than Bohemian. Chef Joymalya Banerjee is offering unlimited Vegetarian and a Non-vegetarian menu with his own twist. The unlimited Non-vegetarian menu will have some of the starters like Fish and Cheese Patty, Mango Pickle Steamed Fish, Chittagong Chicken Mousse with Yogurt Phuchka, Pork Keema Vindaloo on Papri from Non-vegetarian and Vegetarian Egg Devil, Vegetable and Kolmi Fritters, Cabbage and Mustard Money Bags from the vegetarian lot. The main course will see a wide range of dishes in Vegetarian and a Non-vegetarian section with fish, prawns, crabs, chicken, cauliflower, mushroom etc. The dessert will have Orange Bhapa Doi, Gondhoraj Souffle, Fruit Custard and Banana Fritters with honey.
Where: 32/4, Old Ballygunge, 1st Lane, Ballygunge, Kolkata
Cost: INR 1499 per person AI
Its Zamindari khana or the feast of the landlords of yesteryears which are on offer at Buzz – The Gateway Hotel Kolkata. There will be live stations of Chop, Mughlai Paratha, Chat, Churmur. Crab, various fish dishes, dhakai roast chicken, Doi Kasundi Mangsho, Chingri Malaikari will adorn the plates. Dorbesh, balushai, Mishti Doi and Goja are on the offering for dessert. At dinner, one can make a choice between Murgir Roast in the live station and Bhapa Elish, Goalondo Ghat Er Murgir Curry, Bhapa Eelish, Mutton Dak Bungalow and many more.
Where: The Gateway Hotel, 1930, Rajdanga Main Road, EM Bypass, Kolkata
Cost: INR 1500 plus taxes without alcohol and 1750 plus taxes with alcohol plus taxes
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The grand Sunday brunch which coincides Bengali New Year will have a great Bengali spread of Narkel Bora, Mourala Machher Fry, Dimer Devil, Kosha Mangsho, Kancha Lanka Murgi, Bhetki Macher Paturi, Kucho Chingrir Jhal to select from. Desserts will have Rajbhog, Bhapa Sandesh, Mishti Doi amongst many.
Where: The Oberoi Grand, 15, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata
Cost: INR 2000 plus taxes per person for soft beverages and 2750 plus taxes per person for selected premium alcohol
The celebration at The Square Novotel is throughout the week till 15th and the lunch and dinner buffet will see dishes like Kosha Mangsho, Fish Paturi, Bhapa Ilish, Doi Katla, Chenar Dalna, Radha Ballabhi, Luchi and more. Desserts are especially inviting with in-house Roshogolla, Mishti Doi and other Bengali sweets.
Where: Novotel, CF 11, Action Area, 1C, New Town, Rajarhat, Kolkata
Cost: Lunch @ INR 1149 plus taxes | Dinner @ INR 1449 plus taxes
It’s the first Bengali New Year celebration at The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat and it’s an assembly of East Bengal or Bangladesh and West Bengal. Some of the signature dishes which will be served are Smoked Hilsa, Dab Chingri, Chittol Mach, Doi Murgi to name a few. The buffet will have an array of local fishes like Bhola Bhetki, Parse, Tilapia, Topse, Tangra. Add the quintessential Ghee Bhat or Kolkata Biryani with Rezala or Chaap or Gobindhobhog Pulao, do you need anything else? Wondering what’s for sweet? Try out Chamcham, Sharbhaja, Mouchak, Mishti Doi amongst many others.
Cost: INR 1399 plus taxes
Valid: Saturday (Lunch and Dinner) and Sunday (Brunch and Dinner)
JW Kitchen has a host of activity from 13- 15th April. While the typical Bengali favourites like Bhaja Moong Dal, Basanti Pulao, Aloo Posto, Kosha Mangsho will be served as a part of the buffet, the live stations will cook up Kolkata favourite Tele Bhaja and Aloo Kabli. There is also a high tea menu to create the sentiment of Chai and adda for Kolkata. High tea will be available from 4 to 6 pm. Saturday and Sunday will include Beer and Sangria.
Where: JW Marriott Hotel Kolkata, 4A, J.B.S Haldane Avenue, Science City Area, Kolkata
Cost: High tea INR 599 plus taxes, Friday Lunch -INR 1250, Saturday Brunch - INR 1500 and Sunday Brunch - INR 1850 per person AI. Dinners on all days are at 1625 per person AI.
Valid: 13th to 15th April
The all-day dining at Taj Bengal Kolkata will have 3 thalis namely Niramish thali (vegetarian thali), Amish thali (non-vegetarian thali) and Seafood thali. An array of fishes like Topshe Fry with Kasundi, Doi Katla along with Kosha Mangsho and Pabna Murgi are highlights for the Amish thali. The vegetarian thali will have Potoler Dolma, Shukto, Echorer Kalia as stars with Narkel Postor Bora and the Seafood thali will have Chingri Malaikari and Bhetki Machher Paturi amongst many. Pathi Sapta, Gobindo Bhog Chaler Payesh, Kacha Golla and Mishti Doi will be the desserts.
Where: Taj Bengal, 34B, Belvedere Road, Alipore, Kolkata
Cost: INR 2200 plus taxes for vegetarian thali, INR 2500 plus taxes for Non-Vegetarian thali and INR 2900 plus taxes for Seafood thali
There is no buffet at The Salt House Kolkata but some innovative dishes which chef Auroni is offering for this Bengali New Year. Order Zucchini Noodles, Toasted Almonds, Herb Oil, Chicken a la Truffle-Kiev and Peyaz Kuli Maach, Basil Fettuccine in Lebu and Mascarpone Cream, Chingri Agnolotti, Baby Laal and Kolmi Spinach, Coriander Pesto, among the plethora of options. End your meal with our new favourite, Carrot and Citrus Fondant with Cream Cheese Ice Cream, or take a walk down memory lane with Malpoa Funnel Cakes with Maple Syrup and Pistachio Ice-Cream, or Mango and Coconut Panna Cotta.
Where: Shakespeare Sarani, Shakespeare Point, Theatre Road, Kolkata
Cost: A la carte basis.
There is perhaps no eatery in the city which is not celebrating Bengali New year and apart from the aforementioned ones, there is First Innings multicuisine restaurant at The Stadel has a Baishakhi Mahabhoj at INR 1200 plus taxes per person, Aromas at The Kenilworth Hotel has special Poila Boishakh lunch at INR 1500 per person as well as Flury's is offering some sweet and savoury delicacy with a Bengali touch. Ozora Kolkata has got a specially curated rich authentic Bengali menu which is priced at INR 2500 plus taxes for a couple available from 4 pm onwards.
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.