June 5, 2015
With the Ramadan food walk fever finally over, it is once again time to sit up and take note of what is happening in the city. Celebrate the rain with the most awaited event at 6 Ballygunge Place, Ilisher Swadkahon (Hilsa Festival) from August 6 to 16, at both its outlets at Ballygunge Place and Salt Lake, for not just the Ilish fans but also for the food explorers. If your Ilish rendezvous is limited to Shorshe Ilish, Bhapa Ilish and Ilish Paturi, here’s your chance to romance the queen of fish in many of its different avatars.
The hand-picked menu includes Ilish Maachher pur deya Lanka Bhaja, Chalkurmo Ilish Bhaja and Fried Smoked Hilsa for starters. Among main course items don’t miss Kanchalankar Achar ar Kumror Doga diye Ilish, Begun Bharta Ilish, Ilish Tomato Posto and Doi Shorshe Elish. Want more than just Ilish Dim Bhaja? Go for Ilish Dimer Dhoka.
Their savoury Ilish Maachher pur deya Lanka Bhaja was simple, honest, and hearty, but it truly kicks ass. With boneless spicy hilsa sitting in the middle of a chilly, it was blanketed in soft yet crunchy batter and comes with a side of scrumptious mustard sauce. It was simply mind-blowing, be it the perfect mix of spices, or the boneless hilsa which was so soft it just melted in my mouth.
They called their Kanchalankar Achar ar Kumror Doga diye Ilish ‘some of life’s best things on a single plate’. With impeccably cooked hilsa drizzled with mustard oil, served with kumror doga and lashing of rich green chilli pickle, we couldn’t have said it any better. My foodie self express the dish, ‘it’s as if the meal wants to smother me with pleasure’.
Their specially reinvented Ilish Dimer Dhoka really stands out with its spiced, crisp caramelised crust, fresh spices tossed in a flavour explosion of dhoka and Ilish er dim – infused dish. Hats off to the chef for cooking this fish delicacy so perfectly.
Hilsa, Tomato and Posto? Not the typical union of flavours, but 6 Ballygunge Place’s rendition proves it to work. The Ilish Tomato Posto here plays on the balance between sweet and salty. It was completely different than traditional hilsa dishes I had tasted; hint of sweetness in its taste really tickled my taste buds.
Speaking about the selection of menu, Chef Sushanta Sengupta said, “Ilish festival is the most anticipated festival in our calendar. We were waiting for the best quality hilsa to be available in the market before starting our Hilsa Festival. It might have taken us a while, but I am sure our guests would appreciate the research that’s gone behind the menu and quality of ilish we are offering. The wait has indeed been worth it!”
Available from noon to 3.30 pm for lunch and 7.30 to 10.30 pm for dinner, a meal for two would cost Rs 2,000 (taxes extra). So do drop in at 6BP to get high on hilsa, before it stops pouring Ilish this monsoon. Be sure to bring a friend, just so you can try all dishes.