Review for the Bengali Food Festival @ New Town Cafe, Park Plaza, Gurgaon (2nd March to 15th March)
I was invited to the Bengali food festival running at NTC till 15th March and being a fan I signed up immediately to be there.
Chef Samir, who is the Chef de Partie at Park Plaza has been specially flown in for this festival and the authenticity shows. Although my favourite Bengali dish, Kosha Mangsho, wasn’t available today but there were many items to please the palette.
The starters had a couple of instant reminders of Kolkata. Aloo chap was decent and the filling (although potato) was quite different to the usual dry and spicy filling we are used to. The best starter was the fish gloki fry, which was deep fried balls of fish along with raw banana. I especially loved the coating of this dish which was so crispy. The filling too had the mild pungency of mustard, representative of many a Bengali dishes.
The main course had an array of non veg and veg dishes. There was the subtle sarson katla. This was made in a mild mustard curry but was a tad disappointing. I know this dish wasn’t meant to deliver a punch but it lacked flavour.
There were a couple of other good dishes, kochi patter jhol and a chicken tikka dish cooked in spinach. The kochi patter jhol was just like a home cooked meal, made with potatoes and poppy seeds. The chicken was passable too.
The veg dishes, and I am surprised to say this, were the real standouts. The chorchori, for the uninitiated, is a staple Bengali dish made with many vegetables and traditionally ‘pui’ saag. the Chef told me that as ‘pui’ wasn’t available here, he used spinach instead. The taste was perfect – light but full of flavour.
The other great dish was channer mohima. Paneer and khoya dumplings were floating in a sea of yoghurt based curry. The best part of this dish was how it balanced the richness of the dumplings with some tang in the curry.
The dal and aloo bhajja was like you would get at home. Uncomplicated but tasty.
The desserts though were the best course of the day with just one disappointment – the mishti doi. It was nearly not as sweet or creamy or delicious as it could have been.
The payasam was maybe the best I have ever had. The nolen gur lends an outstanding ‘sondha’ taste to the kheer and made with the special ‘gobindobhog’ rice, this kheer is elevated to another level.
There was another old Bengali classic, patishapta, which was great as well.
Having been born in Kolkata and grown up on Bengali food I was quite excited to be part of the festival and although there were some dishes that could have been better but I enjoyed the food, ambience and most of the dishes.
You should drop in and check it out too.
Article & Images By: Shivangi & Mayank
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