June 6, 2015
K-19, Park Plaza, Kolkata
It’s that time of the year, when street food from all over Kolkata comes to the Park Plaza to tease the taste buds of foodies. Park Plaza, Kolkata is the first hotel properly in Eastern region from Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Situated in the upscale South Kolkata, Park Plaza brings the culinary taste of Kolkata local fare with Kolkata Street Food Festival, from 29th May to 14th June 2015 at K-19, all day dining restaurant. With schools shut for summer vacations and mercury soaring high it’s a perfect place for a jamboree to enjoy their evening amidst the Kolkata specialties.
Kolkata the gastronomic capital of India, is the reason to be called ‘City of Joy’ as its every landmark has a speciality associated with the food, whether it is world famous Kolkata’s Phuchka, Victoria’s ‘Jhaal moori – Bhelpuri’, Dharmatala’s ‘Moglai Paratha’ & ‘Lebu Sorbot’, Dalhousi’s Chow mien, North Kolkata’s ‘Bhaja Bhuji’ (chop & shingara), Vardhan Market’s ‘Pao Bhaji’, Shyambazar’s ‘Fish Kobiraji’, Deckers Lane’s ‘Chicken Stew’ or Park Street’s ‘Kathi Rolls’. K – 19 bring the entire spread of lip smacking authentic street fare for the epicures of Kolkata. Executive Chef Jayanta has meticulously designed the menu, while some street food is authentic regional delicacies; others are invented ones with an ambiance to match the street food lovers’ delight. If you love street food of Kolkata, then this one is definitely for you!
Like most of the people I also started with Phuchka Counter, They were serving two kinds of Phuchkas, though the base was same old mashed spiced potatoes. First I tried sweet and sour phuchka with pudhina water, which was fantastic, that aroma of pudina and slight hint of sweetness brings out a different taste & flavour. After trying few, I shifted my attention to hot and sour phuchka and it was just amazing. Red chilli and tamarind base water did the trick, same longstanding taste, very authentic. Your heart will definitely crave for more and more.
Next I move towards jhalmuri live counter, here you can make your own choice of jhalmuri and staffs were always ready to help you. I tried to make my own choice by mixing the ingredients i.e. fresh peanuts, mango and lemon pickles, jhuri bhaja, chanachur, chopped green chilli and mustard oil, missed out two ingredients; crushed gatia and papri, but my jhalmuri turns out intriguing and worth a try.
North Kolkata’s bhaja bhuji, chop & shingara were my next target. There were five types of chop (beguni, alu, mocha, fuluri and amm) and side by side phulkopir shingara. Among those I tried beguni, mocha chop and phulkopir shingara. Beguni felt traditional but Mocha Chop was terrific, thumbs up to the chef.
Phulkopir Shingara was irresistible, you will certainly went for second helping as soon you finished your first, crunchy yet smooth, it will unquestionably fill your mouth and as well as your soul.
Pao bhaji was more than a simple snack; it’s a quick meal that could be grabbed on the go. You just need to wait till the soft and crunchy pao was toasted to perfection with oodles of butter. Finally, top with the raw onions and tomatoes, squeeze a tad of lemon atop the bhaji, and forget yourself. I normally love all kinds of pao especially Keema Pao, but here I tried veg. pao and felt that crunch was missing in pao and mixture was tad too salty.
Afterward I tried Shyambazar’s ‘Fish Kobiraji’ and it was aromatic and pleasantly lighter, it’s wrapped in beaten eggs and served with mustard sauce (kasundi) & onion rings. It was sure to blow your mind with its pleasing taste. It was crisp, it was less crunchy but it was fresh fish! Fish kabiraji is like the ultimate thing to eat in this season.
Moglai Paratha is one such food that requires no introduction. It was an exemplary illustration of Mughal influence on the cuisine of Bengal that had sneaked through the kitchens of Nawabs of Murshidabad and now has become the most sought after street food of Kolkata. When it comes to Mughlai paratha, the very basic definition of paratha changes, executive chef perfectly draw out a new level of gastronomical height and after a bite or two, you will realize why Bengalis are so crazy about it. It was stuffed with eggs, spicy vegetables, herbs and potato, feel the crunch in your mouth, just heavenly. Its legendary reputation is immunity in itself.
Deckers Lane’s Chicken Stew is famous all around the Kolkata. Bengalis have their own version of chicken stew; it’s healthy and also a virtuous food to have in hot summer as well as chilly winters with loads of vegetables. At the first glance I was surprised as its resembled the exact image of the Dacers Lane’s authentic Chicken Stew, hue and aroma was precisely the same. After the first bite, OMG, chicken just melted in my mouth. What a great flavour! Spices and herbs didn’t over power each other, perfectly cooked. The taste was magical because of the flavour and aroma of spices. This was exactly how Chicken Stew should be. I never thought that I would have gotten so excited over this dish but it was simply amazing! It captured my taste buds and held them captive! What aroma! What finesse! What ingredients! What taste! Kudos to Chef Jayanta Banerjee.
I missed few street foods like Alu Kabli, Gugni, Doi phuchka, Ghoti Gorom, Cotton Candy, Ice Gola and Kulfi.
I had a nice conversation with Executive Chef – Jayanta Banerjee regarding this street food festival and menus. ‘We want our guest to relish the authentic taste of Kolkata street food fare under one roof, we deliberately kept the palate local for our discerning guest which will take them to a gastronomical tour of the City of Joy’; Executive Chef – Jayanta Banerjee.
Come and experience the authentic street food of the city along with local flavours and ingredients. Join in at the venue and relish some delicious and interesting fares along with friends and family. The food festival will be a part of a vast dinner buffer spread till mid of June; any precise item is also available on a la carte.
Park Plaza’s management kindly invited me to enjoy their event “Kolkata Street Food Festival” at Ballygunge.