April 15, 2014

Master class International Vine & Food pairing Festival at Taj Bengal, Kolkata

 "FOUR SEASONS, the flagship brand of the company, captures the colors and moods of the four seasons, with three reds (Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot); three whites (Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc and Viognier); and, a Rosé (Blush). The Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Barrique Reserve Shiraz are the premium offerings of the Four Seasons portfolio. These wines have been aged in imported French oak barrels for 9 months before being bottled." (Source: HERE)

Wine was always deprived from my tasting list unless and until I got the opportunity to go through a long educational wine testing session by the Four Seasons, where the whole show got conducted by Mr. Peter Mitter last year. The event was an eye opener for me and I better understood then how one should drink wine along with which kind of food. The marriage between Food and Wine is made in heaven for sure and we all people in earth taking the full pleasure to savour it.


On an invitation by the esteem Four Seasons team led me to witness the Master class International Vine &Food pairing Festival at Taj Bengal a couple of days back. This was for the first time the more than hundred famous International & National brands came under one roof  to showcase a tasting session along with the choice of best food by the talented and reputed chefs from the Taj group (Some got invited internationally too) to an esteem group of people.   My tasting session started right from the Four Seasons stall where the display of all the  range of wines from Four seasons got sampled including  Viognier, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Blush, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon etc and my personal favourite the Barrique Reserve Cabrenet Sauvignon and Barrique Reserve Shiraz.  Four Seasons  produces wines from grapes grown around Sahyadri valley in Maharashtra, India and at its state-of-the-art Four Seasons winery near Baramati, around 65 kms from Pune. It aims to drive interest in wines and wine consumption by offering good quality wines at reasonable price points with packaging options as well as education and engagement.  The Master class session of each brands made the tasting session more interesting when one got to know the birth history  of the a wine till it gets matured. 
Chief Wine Maker of Four Seasons Mr Abhay Kewadkar's  master class was really an eye opener which covered the points like the right Choices of Oaks, Origin of the Oak, the Coopers Craft, The Flavour notes from the Barrel, What does a Barrel do, The Barrel Basics etc.
Moving on to all the other  national International brands what tickled the taste bud was the array of foods on display and that was also direct form the famous Chefs' stalls stationed there. For the first time taste the Rabbit meat sauce with Fettuccine. Though I was a bit skeptical how it would be, it really tasted very nice. Chef Sujan's special Gondhoraj Griddled Kolkata Beckti with Portobello Mushrooms was another dish, worth too mention. The Crab meat cake with Guacamole was just out of the world. Got the opportunity to taste the master class creation by the famous French Chef Marc Thuet too. All the dishes for me were the perfect pairing to complement that evening with the different colours and taste of wines.

Last but not the least the wine that won my heart was the Sparkling wine from Bouvet.  The french wine is the second oldest sparkling wine producer from Saumur in the Loire. The taste will give you the Champagne quality at a very significant price. Now its available in Kolkata Quest Mall too. Overall the whole event was a remarkably educational journey for me, mainly for the exclusive Master Class sessions. Talking with the Brand Sommeliers did break many myth and also gather a plethora of knowledge about the varieties of Wine. Its also a very proud moment to witness such event in our own city Kolkata. Hope to have this kind of event more here. With an ending note would like to convey my heartiest thanks to Four Seasons for extending the invitation for such great event.
 For Photographs please visit HERE..

Also Read what my fellow Blogger Vishal experienced HERE... 
[Disclaimer: Kamalika C participated as a guest of Four Seasons and the post solely based on the author's honest experience..] .

April 13, 2014

Poila Boishakh Special Bangladeshi Spread with Chef Shawkat Osman at Taj Gateway, Kolkata

"Bangladeshi cuisine is not only starkly different, these preparations are as sumptuous as they are spicy." 
-Chef Shawkat Osman

Someone appeared without the Chef's Toque and the double breasted chef's suit, casually stormed towards us with his heavy steps, running his fingers through his curly bushy hair. Cladding with a Punjabi (Kurta) and white wide Pajamas renowned Bangaldeshi Chef Shawkat Osman comfortably relaxed on his position and asked "Bolo, Kotha theke Shuru Kori??"  (Tell me where to to start from). In his first appearance his intellectual aura enlightened and changed the whole atmosphere. And thus we started our journey with him to explore the Bangladeshi cuisine, I wished like it would never end ever. A very simple down-to-earth personality who will make one a friend within a second and a bag full of humour to share and make an atmosphere always full of joy with his jovialness - He is like that. Yes, he is Shawakat Osman the famous and talented Chef, who always leaves the impression whenever he comes to Kolkata to wave his magic wand through his authentic style of traditional Bangladeshi Cuisine and let us remember the taste that lasts days after days. We had witnessed an unforgettable memory that we will cherish ever after. . 
Poila Boishakha is just away a few steps from our door step. But Bengal has already glamed up with all the decorations and all the famous food outlets geared up with their Traditional Bengali Delicacies on offer. On an invitation by The Gateway (Taj), Kolkata, to preview the Poila Boishakh Menu spread designed by Chef Shawkat Osman, two of us (Amrita and I) from Kolkata Food Bloggers explored the journey through the Bangladeshi cuisine.  The line of division of Ebar Bangla (East Bengal) and Opar Bangla (West Bengal) not only creates a different outlook in the two cultures but also in the taste that only can be understood when the authentic traditional Bangladeshi cuisine gets served on your table and someone from the root explains you all your queries explaining the Food history and anecdotes behind the cuisine. If this part of Bengali dishes tends towards a bit sweeter side, the Opar Bangla dishes intend to add more chili in the dishes. They will soak whole night the whole red chilies and a group of ladies will come up only to grind the chilies to make a fresh paste out of it. The specialty of Bangladeshi cuisine is thus no addition of sugar or big onions but red chili paste and freshly grind Cumin powder. The only lemon they use, is the Kagzi Lebu (spl kind of Lime) nothing else. A special kind of Cock (Morog) gets breaded especially for the food lovers and to use in a special dish called Morog Pulao.  The flesh of the Morog/Cock is a bit hard but very tasty.  Eyeing down on the menu we found an array of Famous Bhangladeshi Bhorta dishes (I found a very nice article detailing about Bhorta HERE) were enlisted on offering during these fest.  One can have the taste of Baygon (Brinjal) Bhorta , Byagon(Brinjal) Doi Bhorta, Potol (POinted Gourd) Bhorta, Green Beans/Sheem Bhorta,  different kind of fish and prawn bhorta. One can indulge oneself with the very traditional Gime Patar Bora (a special kind of leaf only available in Bangladesh which is quite bitter in taste ) or Misty Kumro Phool Bhaji (Fritters out of sweet pumpkin flower).  Osman's very own creation of Sak Dal (Red spinach with Lentil) is a must to mention which can be devoured as a soup too. Bangladeshi cuisine can't be completed if the fresh pure  Ghee (Clarified butter) is not used. It not only enhances the dish but makes its aromatic and flavourful. And the key is, one have to use the Pure fresh Ghee. That we understood soon after tasting the Bhuna Kichuri, Morog Pulao and Tehari. All the three dishes were exquisitely delectable with the aroma of Pure Ghee. A special kind of Gobindo Bhog rice has been added specially from Bangladesh. In Bnagladesh Bhuna Kichuri is mainly served as a breakfast dish with Egg Korma without the addition of turmeric powder. Even the special kind of Cock (Morog) also gets imported here mainly for the fest to enhance the authentic taste of Morog Pulao.  Tehari is another unique dish got served on our plate. It is one of the famous Fast Foods of Bangladesh and happily gorged by the young generation and famous in the college canteens. Mainly Beef is used for the dish but Mutton is as well famous. To make this one have to take out 40 small pieces out of 1 kg meat.  Chef insisted us to taste the Shorse Mangsho (Mutton with Mustard paste) which is getting first time introduced in Kolkata in his Poila Boishak Menu. In a very pungent mustard gravy the mutton gets slowly cooked. When you will taste the sharp flavour of mustard will give a kick to the palate.  Another dish that is worth to mention is the Murgi'r Roast. Its cooked totally in the Pot Roasting process in a white almond base gravy. The soft and juicy chicken along with the gravy complemented perfectly with the rice dishes. Last but not the least the desserts were worth to mention too. Though I am not a sweet lover but instantly fallen in love with the oozing Kheer Patishapta. Many are on the list too - like Lou Payesh (Bottle Gourd kheer), Gokul Pitha, Khirtosh Pitha. 
Many other varities of Bangladeshi dishes will be served on during this Poila Boishakh Fest: Doi A'chor (Jackfruit in yogurt), Maan Kochu (Taro Root) Malakari, Potoler (Pointed Gourd) Dolma, Machher (Fish) Salon, Rui Moorighonto, PaNch Phoron Murgi, Mangsho Dal Yakni, etc. 
For the refreshment one can indulge oneself with any of the three quenchers: Dub (Coconut water) Komla'r (Orange) Shorbot, Teytul (Tamarind) Shorbot or Lassi...
Executive Chef Ashish Roy of The Gateway explained that all the dishes where presented in the attire of the less spicyness and less oily to maintain the healthy versions of the food.
Dub Komla's Shorbot

Gime Patar Bora


Osman's Sak Dal



Bhuna Khuchuri


Morog Pulao


Shorshe Mangsho




Doi E(N)chor




Ayre Macher Kalia


Murgir Roast


Kheer er Patishapta & Gokul Pitha
Highly recommend to try out the Bangladeshi Culinary journey at The Gateway, Taj, Kolkata. More detail:

Buffet : Priced at INR 1250+taxes
Saturday 12th April - Dinner
Sunday 13th April - Lunch and Dinner
Monday 14th April - Dinner
Tuesday 15 th April - Lunch and Dinner

Thali :Available for lunch and dinner from Saturday 12th April-Tuesday 15th April, 2014
Niramish Thali (Vegetarian) - INR 1000+taxes
Amish Thali (Non vegetarian) - INR 1100+taxes

Timings : 12:30 pm-3:00pm and 7:30 pm-10:30 pm

For reservations call : 033-66653133 

For more photos visit HERE...

Read Fellow Blogger Amrita's experience HERE...

[Disclaimer: This is an Invited Review and solely based on the author's honest experience..] . 

April 12, 2014

Poila Boishakh Menu Preview at ITC Sonar, Kolkata

"My favourite Bengali dishes are Begun Bhaja (Brinjal fry), Luchi (Puri) and Aloor Chachhari (a speciall bengali curry with potato)…" Said Chef  Gaurav Lavania, Sr. Sous Chef at the hotel. 
A true Bengali Platter to celbrate Poila Boishak
When the Bengali dishes come from a Non- Bengali Chef, it becomes more interesting how authentic way he can present it and at the same time  challenging  too.  Hailed from UP and Married to a Bengali he did lot of research works, digging down the old hand written recipes - getting the translated versions of it, interacting with his customers then it became more easy to plan a menu for one of the famous Bengali festivity seasons, that proudly welcome our own Bengali New year "Poila Boishak". Getting an invitation from ITC Sonar to the Kolkata Food Bloggers group, a set of five KFBians reached the ITC Sonar to attend the press meet arranged over an array of Bengali delicacies that are ready to serve to celebrate Poila Boishak. Checking on the Menu it got our attention that the Chef team has tried to cover most of the famous Bengali delicacies which are very common in our daily Bengali platter at our home and also we love to have those on any celebration. One gets welcomed by the ever refreshing quenchers like  Gondhoraj Lassi, Duber Jol (Coconut Water) or Pora Aamer Shorbot (Roasted Raw Mango Drink). You will get the delicacies like Mochar Ghonto, Shukto, Thorer CheNchki, Chholar Dal, Chhanar Paturi, Cholar Dal Narkol Diye, Jhuri Aloo Bhaja, etc from the Vegetarian Section and from Non-Veg section you will have  Bhetki Machher Paturi, Chingri Triguna Bhaja, Kosha Mangsho, Chingri Malaykari, Rui machher Kalia and those who are allergic to seafood are complemented with a flavourful Chicken dish. The Chef shared that he loves most to the Chicken dish is on the offering and my fellow bloggers appreciated that too.  Even on the Buffet spread few more dishes are going to be added like : Bengali  specialties­ - Bodi  diye  Pabda Maccher  Jhal (Fish Dish),  Sorse  Chingri (Mustard Prawn),  Kochi  Pathar  Jhol (Mutton Dish),  Korai  Suti  Monger  Dal, Aloo Phoolkopir Dalna, Enchorer Kalia (Jackfruit Curry) and Doi Begun (Bringjal in Yogurt) etc. As the palate cleanser the Aamsotto  Kejhurer Chatni is on the menu. In the dessert section the menu has been designed keeping in mind the famous sweet delicacies from a Bengali Kitchen. More surprisingly one will get to taste the Nolen Gurer Payesh on this off season of Nolen Gur.  Rajbhog and Chhanar Jilibi are there to make it a cherry on the top. As long as the taste of the food is concerned it is delectable though you will get different flavour here mainly I found in the Veg delicacies that is not common in our Bengali Kitchen. Upon asking that the Chef replied- if you get the same taste out here then what is the point of spending money it.  Apart from all the drool worthy delicacies the most captivating aura of dining out specially on this Poila Boishakh day is to be having the foods served on beautiful earthen terracotta lined with Banana Leaves utensils with the Lebu-Lanka(Lemon & Green Chili) and Papad. Don't Forget the Gorom Gorom (Warm) Luchi & Ghee Bhat to pair with the main course. Along with the True Bengali dishes it creates a true Bengali cultural atmosphere that represents our ancient traditional heritage. Likewise the name ITC Sonar suggests to represent our Sonar Bangla's Food and Culture which are nothing but a spirit of the city  stands with a water-filled space of 120 meters long . It tries to represent the ancient Baganbari spirit -a confluence of its people, their culture and their symbols.
Among all I liked most the Luchi & Kosha Mangsho.
Gondhoraj Lassi

Chingri Triguna Bhaja (Prawn Fried with Poppy Seeds, Sesame Seeds and Nigell/ Onion Seeds/Kalo Jeera/Kalonji)

Bhetki Machher Paturi

Rui Machher Kalia, Chingri Malaykari & Kosha Mangsho

Luchi, Cholar Dal, & Mochar Ghonto

Rui Macher Kalia & Chingri Malaykari

Aloo Posto

Nolen Gurer Payesh, Chhanr Jilipi & Rajbhog


 The Poila Baishak Food Fest continues: 11th April to 19th April'14 (Dinner Buffet. On 15th Both Lunch and Dinner Buffet)
Venue: Eden Pavilion
Pocket Pinch: Rs 2000 plus applicable taxes with soft beverages and INR 2750 
plus taxes for unlimited premium brands of select alcohol .
Timings: 12:30­ 2:45 pm and 7:30 to 11:45 pm 

For more pictures please visit HERE....

Read More Reviews here by the KFBians:

[Disclaimer: This is an Invited Review and solely based on the author's honest experience . No monetary benefit is included]


April 8, 2014

Celebrating Bengali New Year with Phulkopy Posto/ Cauliflower with Poppy Seeds

Bengali New year is heading and this time I always feel nostalgic because I miss those wonderful days of my student life, my friends, my teacher and above all my family. We cherish the different phases of our life. But I bet everyone will be on the same tune that the student life is the best time that every one wants to get back it again and again. I have though shared this in one of my earlier posts, today again would like to share it again. The main reason behind that is, the world that I want show and share from where I actually came from and my soul belongs entirely to there. Sharing few of my childhood memories which are engraved in my heart so deeply that every year on this very day I feel profoundly nostalgic and sad to get those days back.

I always felt exceedingly blessed when I thought that I had completed my education from Visva- Bharati Santiniketan, a place founded by Rabindranath Tagore. The natural beauty of the place infuses its elegance through the mode of education. The freedom of creativity and thoughts always evinced through the various festivals celebrated on the auspicious occasions of special calendar events. The potentiality of a talented soul do always gushes out in the form of initiation which leads to build up a strong relationship between hearts and an integrated world.
During my school days this Bengali New Year celebration used to start a week back. Those days are crystal clear in front of me. I can still visualise the little girl holding her mother’s or father’s hand heading towards the crafts shop to buy a bunch of white blank cards with full of excitement. The next few days run within a fraction of moment with full concentration on filling the blank cards with all those imaginary creative mentations. In our school the best part of Naba Barsho (New Year in bengali) celebration is the exchange of these self created cards. Each and every student used to create cards by his/her own hand and would gift it to his/her friends or would make friends by exchanging the cards. The new day becomes emblematic for inviting new friends, divulging one’s talent through the cards and a learning process of acculturation. Now coming to a matured age I realise the hidden truth of the festivity. But at that time that was only a satiated fun to amplify the friends’ group and also an exhibition of talents. Self written short poems used to be scripted in the cards too.
Another fun of this day was to stand in a long line in the scorching heat only to get a Kochori and two sweets. In our school premise this collation used to be distributed to the students on this day. These most common bites used become too tasty and worthful on this very day only. Now I am never going to get back those days, the tastes. Only what I have the fragrance of the sweet retention and an urge to make alive few of those memories through my daughter. My father has few of those New Year cards made by my sister and me in his collection. Sometime I will surely share those with you all.

True Bong nature defines us as the epicureans who are head over heel in love with food. Say it Non Veg or Veg dishes, Bengalis will be always seen smacking there fingers and burping with utter satisfaction. I have shared most of the time Non- Veg delicacies. But this time I am going to share a Veg-Bengali Dish. Posto/ Poppyseed is one of the important ingredients and also very common in the daily meal mostly in the west Bengal cuisine. Last time I have shared Chhana Posto/Cottage Cheese with Poppy Seeds, where I got a raving feedback. Many tried it in the following days and my inbox got flooded with appreciations. I always feel like a blessed blogger when I get the feedback from my readers considering the true success of blogging. So now let us move to the recipe with out wasting much time:
Phulkopy Posto/ Cauliflower with Poppy Seeds
Ingredients:
Cauliflower: 1 medium size
Poppy Seed - 3 tbspn heaped
Mustard Seeds- 1/2 tspn
Ginger paste: 3/4 tspn
Tomato: 1 small (Optional- See Note)
Salt & Sugar : As per taste
Mustard Oil: 4 tbspn + 1 tbspn (If needed)
Raisins: Handful Soaked (Optional)
Ghee: Few drops.
Method:
1. Cut the cauliflower in to semi small florets. Clean nicely. 
2. Boil water desolving a tea spoon full salt. Pour the florets in to it and boil for 3-4mnts. Staring and reserve.
3. Soak the poppy seeds for 5-10mnts then make a smooth paste out of it.
4. Heat 4 tbspoon of  oil in a Kadai or a deep dense pan. Make sure that the oil is hot enough. Add the cauliflower in small batch and fry till they turn brown. Strain the excess oil and then reserve them on a kitchen towel/Tissue. Repeat the same with the remaining batches.
5. Check how much oil is remaining the pan/Kodai. If more oil needed then add. Temper the mustard seeds till those sputter then add the tomatoes (If adding) and the ginger paste. Saute nicely till oil starts to separate. Add the cauliflower florets and mix nicely. Add the poppy seed paste and 1/2 cup water. Cook till the Cauliflower is cooked and the the juice dried up. Add the raisins and few drops of ghee. Fold gently and then take it off the flame and serve with hot rice.
Note:
1. You can add potato along with the Cauliflower. If potato is added then fry how you have fried the Cauliflower.
2. Tomato I hardly use. So I felt it tasted better with out the Tomatoes.

This recipe is off to the ongoing online event: Poila Baishakh with Veg-Bengali Dishes by Kolkata Food Bloggers:





March 26, 2014

Restaurant Review- Smoke House Deli

Fine dining is not a new concept in Kolkata but what is new - is the establishment of the new branded food chains which have already crowned the fame in the gastronomic world. Thankfully the trend of Shopping Malls has not only opened the options of shopping after your heart under one roof with your desired brands but also to regain your lost energy with the quality food. Under one roof you can opt for a quality dining or just cheer around on a casual one. At the same time it is always good to see Kolkata embracing the different types of world cuisines which are already popular in abroad and also in the other metropolitan cities of India. Smoke House Deli is one which is famous for serving European cuisines recently opened in the 5th Floor of Quest Mall in Kolkata. 
Our Kolkata Food Bloggers' March Table meet has been decided at Smoke House Deli. Four Food Bloggers from the group landed up almost in time and reserve their sits in a comfortable place. A prior reservation is a must that was told to us mainly in the weekends. Therefore one from our group has been taken this charge to reserve table for us. The ambiance is pretty serene with the entire black and white Victorian style wall decor with a pristine sophistication. I always felt that whenever you visit to dine in a place the ambiance books a big part of your likeness/ unlikeness.  A mind-blowing decor of a restaurant may give you the feel instantly of a quality dining. No matter if the food is not up to the mark or how the the entire whole place promises to offer. But the overall satisfaction scores. Here the food and the ambiance both got the scores.
Promptly we were served water and the complementary bread basket with two dips which can be refilled at free of cost. We loved the way they were serving the water with a Jug filled with big sliced lemon and mint leaves. Having making ourselves pretty busy with the fresh breads we engaged our selves to flip through the Menu. Here are the following dishes that we have ordered for the afternoon and enjoyed thoroughly. 
Lemon Mint Ice Tea: Our fellow blogger ordered for it and she loves her tea with less sugar. So the tea was served with the separate sugar syrup in a small glass. Very impressive indeed. 
Baby fennel+Smoked chicken+Thyme soup (Rs 220/-):  I was really feeling for some warm soup. So we all decided to order for one and share the portion. The soup is thick and a bit bland in taste. But I loved the smoky flavour of the chicken pieces and the crunchy baby fennels. 
Peri Peri rubbed grilled chicken+Citrus Pimento (Rs 430/-) was served with potatoes and a side salad. The gravy on the top is quite salty and spicy. But I loved my bite with a piece of grilled chicken, a piece of potato and salad. The whole bite gave a balance in the taste and make it quite impressive.
Chilli crusted Bekti+Lemon+Thyme (Rs 590/-) was served with a bed of creamy rice and steamed vegetables. This dish was the house special one and the taste really won my heart.The crusty Betki was perfectly cooked and goes well along with the vegetables. The creamy rice was also very balanced in taste. The tinge on lemon flavour made it more dishy. 
House special Tenderloin steak (Rs 520/-) was served with mashed potato, vegetables and a brown gravy. I hardly tasted the dish. But found it very salty and not that impressive too. Though the mashed potato with the sour cream enriched the taste bud.
Spinach+Ricotta Ravioli (Rs 430/-) was the take of day and loved by all. The Raviolis were served in a delectable tomato based gravy which had perfect seasoning topped with an olive Tapenade. The Ravioli just melted in mouth leaving a flavourful taste of the spinach blended with the ricotta cheese. Next time I am surely going to try this again.
Bitter Chocolate+Orange Ganache Torte with ice cream (Rs 190/-) was the most disappointed part of the meal. It didn't reach our expectation at all. The dessert was presented well. But when we tasted we found it very sweet and the over loaded syrup had made it soggy and crumbly.
My over all experience is very nice. I would love to got back again with my family and friends. But I have three suggestions:
1. The Dishes on the menu should be explained a bit. i.e the Chili Crusted Betki was served on a bed of rice and steamed veggies. But it is not written on the menu along with the dish. A very small brief on the menu about the dishes gives the customers to understand better what they would like to order as there will be many who will try this kind of cuisine for the first time. 
2. Though I have tasted only one dessert, so didn't want to be more critical with my one experience. But it is a suggestion to take more care on the dessert part.
3. Many would not know that the bread basket can be refilled again. So the servers should keep an attention to the customers by asking if they any more or not.

For more photographs visit HERE..


Address:
Quest Mall, 33, Syed Ali Amir Avenue, Beckbagan, Ballygunge, Kolkata
Pocket Pinch for two: 1500/--2000/- (INR)


Read more reviews by my fellow bloggers:

[Disclaimer: The review is solely based on the author's honest experience . No monetary benefit is included]

A Journey with the Mediterranean Cuisine at Souk, Taj Bengal, Kolkata

"A Souk is a traditional Middle Eastern marketplace where Mediterranean cultures and cuisines have mingled for centuries. True to this history, Souk - the flagship restaurant of Taj in Mumbai - Now brings together the myriad flavours of the region to Kolkata, at Taj Bengal."


On our last meet it was decided with the PR Director of Taj Bengal to have an exclusive Kolkata Food Bloggers Table meet at one of their restaurants. And as promised it got organized. A charming  and vibrant Table got all set in no time at Souk which was famous for serving Mediterranean Cuisine on go. The special prize for the day was meeting Chef Sujan Mukherjee and the General Manager K Mohanchandran in person and sharing the depth of knowledge on Mediterranean cuisine. For me I have tried Mediterranean cuisine but can not vouch on the fact that I tired the most authentic one and I have a vast knowledge on the cuisine and its taste. Therefore this table meet has honestly opened the plethora of knowledge to make sure what the authentic cuisine really offers. From my last few experiences I always look forward to meet a chef in person to know their point of view on presenting a cuisine on a different region which is not only challenging but also need the skill to read the peoples mind and taste. As for Kolkata, it is a city which is famous for food lovers and love to welcome the world cuisine and to experiment with it. Though now a days the Street food's Lebanese offerings are much more famous and people  gobbles up the  dishes. But we are missing out the original flavour of the cuisine. Here at Souk, Taj Bengal we made an authentic culinary journey which was not only educative but helped us to open the vastness of the cuisine by the verities of dishes that was served to us, the stories behind all and original way of cooking it. 

Bringing home the flavours from Lebanon, Morocco, Syria and Turkey, Souk presents truly a Mediterranean dining experience with minimalistic décor where one can relax and enjoy the food. With two private dining area (Chef's Studio & Casablanca) the place offers a lavish regular buffet spread for all as well as A la Carte menu too. A special A la Carte menu is been designed for the private dinners or if some comes up with a group which comprises of touching all the famous flavours to have an exclusive Mediterranean dining experience.  The menu keeps on changing to give the ultimate freshness to the customers and verity.  Souk is truly the Mecca for connoisseurs of fine dining who wish to discover - or rekindle - a passion for authentic hummus, felafil, mezzes, tagines, kebabs and pastilllas.
Amuse Buche - Watermelon with Feta Cheese and Mint

The Mezze Platter with Assorted Pita 
After tasting each dish it became clear that the spices here are having a very distinct flavour. We kept on tasting each dish and Chef kept on clearing all our doubts as well as kept on enriching our knowledge on Mediterranean cuisine too. we got to know that original Hummus always tastes better when the chickpeas are skinned and then pasted. Seasame seeds are grilled and pureed to produce Tahina which is the most important ingredient in the Hummus. The Hummus were offered here with a perfect blend of spices and I loved the creamy texture that melted in mouth. The Mezze platter is a significant offering on its own way. The tradition of Mezzes is very strong, as it is in the Mediterranean basins.  Loved the crispness of the Felafil - a spicy snack made from a puree of chickepeas, rolled n to small balls or shaped into patties and then fried in oil Traditionally it is eaten in Pitta Bread. The quality of meat in the Kibbe is worth mentionining. The meat comes from Jaipur to offer the quality lean meat. The grill platter just opened the original flavour of the Grill culture. It is an understanding that Mediterranean cuisine is simple yet at the same time sophisticated. The subtlety of Middle Eastern dishes is mainly due to the numerous spices and aromatic herbs which are used in their preparation. 
Mixed grills – Izgarlick Karides (Prawns from Egypt), Adana Kebab (lahm kebabs with bell peppers), Tavuk Yogurtulu Bitlis (chicken from Bitlis) and Samak meshwi (fish from Turkey) and Truffle Pilaf

Lahm Tagine (lamb with preserved lime, olives and chickpeas in tangy sauce with couscous)
Samak Moroccan (pan fried fish with pickled lemon, cayenne pepper, parsley and onion)

Pasta from the regular Menu

MOUSSAKA

Lahm Tagine, Samak Moroccan, the Pasta all were sumptuous and flatters with the aunthentic mediterranean flavours. Pasta dishes are very famous in the middle eastern cuisine. The one we tasted had a very disticnt flavour of the berries, olives and tomatoes. But what won my heart and was the start of the afternoon was the Moussaka. It is a baked dish which is very common in Turkey, Greece and the balkans. It is made with layers of aubergine (eggplant), meat sauce and often with a thick Bechamel Sauce. Here the addition of Zuccini and layeres of cheese made the perfect and delectable. I will go back again to have this dish again.

Omali, Rose Petal Ice Cream and Baklava  
I am not very fond of desserts. But loved the Chef's taste of making Baklava less sweeter than the original Baklava (Which tastes tad sweet). Loved the flavour of the Rose petal ice cream. In the Mediterranean Cuisines a incredibly wide range of flavours and sugar is always a fundamental ingredient. Mainly the flavours of  rose water and Orange flower water are much significant in the desserts.
Moroccan Mint Tea  at the end made the meal perfect.

KFBians & Chef Sujan Mukherjee


The overall Experience was wonderful.  Not only it was an afternoon where we got lucky to taste the Authentic Mediterranean Dishes but being a food blogger the knowledge which I had gathered from the Executive Master Chef and also from the honourable GM it was worth sharing. So if you love to experiment your taste bud and love Mediterranean food then Souk at Taj Bengal is a must visit place.

For more pictures click HERE.


INDEX

100TH POST 50th POST Amereekandesi American-Chinese ANANDAMELA Andrenalize 2014 APPLE APRICOT ARBORIO ASIAN PALM FRUIT Atulya Mahajan AWARDS BAKED Baking Palooza2013 BANANA BLOSSOM BANANA BLOSSOM HEART Bangaldeshi BASA BENGALI DISH Bengali new year BENGALI SWEET Best Indian Wine BHETKI BIRIYANI Black Forest Cupcake BOHEMIAN BONGOAN BOOK LAUNCH REVIEW BOOK REVIEW BOOKMARKED RECIPES BREAD BREAKFAST BROWNIE BUNDT CAKE BUTTER CHICKEN CAKE Caramel Sauce cauliflower Chawlas 2 CHEESE CAKE CHEF AT LARGE BLOGGER'S TABLE CHERRY CHICKEN CHICKEN CHAANP CHICKEN QUICHE CHILD EDUCATION Chilli Fish Chilli Mutton CHINESE CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CAKE Chop Suey CHOPS/CROQUETTES coconut CONDENSE MILK COOKIES CORIANDER LEAVES Cottage Cheese/ Chhana CRAFTS/CREATION CREAM CHEESE CRISPY CROCHET CUCUMBER CUISINE RESTAURANT DEVAPRIYA ROY DHONE PATA FISH DIARY DRINK DULCE DE LECHE DULCE DE LECHE BROWNIE DUMPUKHT EGG EGG LESS CAKE EGGPLANT ENCHOR CHINGRI English Bites ENHOR EVENT REVIEW FIRE AND ICE RESTAURANT FISH FLOWER FONDANT Food Bloggers Association of India (FBAI) Award Ceremony 2013 FOOD INFO FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY FOOD REVIEW FOOD/RECIPES FOUR SEASONS WINE FRUIT SAUCE FRUITS FUDGE GIFTS GRILL GUEST POST HAKA RESTAURANT KOLKATA Herb HILSHA HUNAN STYLE ICE CREAM ITALIAN ITALIAN CUISINE ITC Sonar JACKFRUIT JUST EAT WEBSITE REVIEW JW MARRIOTT KFB BIrthday Party KFB Bloggers Table KID'S MEAL KITCHEN TIPS KNOW YOUR KOLKATA BLOGGER FRIEND Kolkata Kolkata Blog Kolkata Food Blog KOLKATA FOOD BLOGGERS KOLKATA RESTAURANTS KOLKATA STYLE CHICKEN CHAANP LITERARY WORKS LUNCH BOX MAHALAYA Maharashtrian dish MANGO Manish Gupta MARSHMALLOW Mexican MOCHA MOCHA CHINGRI MOCHAR PHUL Mousse MULTI- MUSHROOM MUTTON NATURE NONVEG North Indian One pot meal ORANGE OTG OTHERS PAN FRIED PARATHA/BREAD/ROTI PASTA PASTA SAUCE PATURI PHOTOGRAPHY PIE Pinwheel Cookies PIZZERIA PLAGIARISM PLUM Poila Boiskash POSTO/POPPY SEEDS POTATO Potluck POTOL/ PONTED GOURD POUSH SANKRANTI PRAWN PREETI SHENOY PRODUCT REVIEW PUBLICATIONS PUMPKIN Quest Mall QUICHE RASPBERRY red wine REFRESHMENT RESTAURANT REVIEW RICE RISOTTO ROHU ROTESSERIE RUI DUMPUKHT RUI MACHH SALMON SANDWICH SANGEETA KICHLU SCALLOP Scavenger Hunt Sunday SEAFOOD Shawkat Osman SIDE DISH/MAINCOURSE Singapore Peranakan Food Festival Smoke House Deli SNACKS Souk SOUPS/SALAD SPAGHETTI SPINACH SPROUTS STARTER STORY STRAWBERRY Stromboli SWEETS/DESSERT Swissotel Taj Bengal TAL TAL KHEER TALER BORA TANGERINE TEA PARTY SNACK TEA TASTING THAI the GateWay THE SECRET WISH LIST THE WEIGHT LOSS CLUB TIFFIN Tikka TILAPIA TRAVEL VEG WHOLE CHICKEN WILD LIFE WINE WINE VINEGAR yeast YOGHURT