Meal On a pop-up lunch buffet at The Palladian Lounge

By: Rajdeep Bhattacharjee

February 21, 2016

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Recently, a fine dining event was organized by the Palladian Club (3rd floor), Bengal Chambers of Commerce. It was a pop-up lunch buffet or a food huddle and was named Meal On. All food lovers were cordially invited to the event and they got to experience some of the finest meals of Kolkata. The Palladian Club on 21st February was filled with the fragrance of some of the best preparations of the top restaurants in Kolkata. The event started from 12 in the noon and continued till 4PM. The participating restaurants were Bohemian, Oudh 1590, 6 Ballygung Place, Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick, Gabbar’s Bar & Kitchen, Mrs. Magpie, H#shtagwaale, Chowman and last but not the least The Palladian Club.

 

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The concept of food huddle is initially portrayed by Claude Lévi-Strauss, an anthropologist, in his famous book titled Le Cru et le Cuit, interpreted as The Raw and the Cooked. Huddle is described as an antiquated activity of a group assembling, ordinarily in a tight hover, to strategize, propel or celebrate. The festival of culinary craftsmanship. This event, Meal On was a result of such an idea. It is an interesting idea which loans itself well to the field of gastronomy and mirrors an industry which is strong and longing to develop. This event was organized by Aanton Mookherjee, imaginative and showcasing officer, Wedoria Technologies, a Calcutta-based advanced start-up.

 

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According to the managing director of Oudh 1590 and Chowman, Debaditya Chaudhury, this type of event is seen very rare in Calcutta. People should be encouraged more to organize such events more often. A healthy competition is very much needed, but Calcutta has never seen restaurants coming together and arranging a buffet under one single roof.

 

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Meal On powered by Zomato also looked forward to build up a good and brotherly relation between some of the best restaurants of Kolkata. I got invited by Zomato to represent this event as official food blogger of Zomato. Mane foods and recipes were made in this event, especially by the participating restaurants. The visitors got a chance to taste both veg and non-veg dishes. The common thing about each outlet was that they offered a starter and then a main course. It was a full and perfect diet for everyone as sweet dishes were also available in the event.

 

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The following lip smacking dishes I had savored from different restaurants menu –

 

1) 6 Ballygunge Place: Steamed Aam Kasundi Murgi, Bhuna Mangsho, Navratan Paturi and Teen Kona Bangali Parota

 

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Steamed Aam Kasundi Murgi — 6 Ballygunge Place normally known for traditional Bengali Delicasy, but they focusing on both modern and traditional Bengali dishes that are good for everyone to enjoy. Don’t miss their super comforting Steamed Aam Kasundi Murgi, meltingly tender after hours of slow cooking. This super soft steamed chicken , boasted interesting textures with familiar Aam Kasundi flavours and definitely tickle your taste buds.

 

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Bhuna Mangsho — mutton was so tender you only need a spoon to cut it, and flavours so harmoniously layered yet intriguingly familiar. Bhuna Mangsho was extremely flavourful, with fresh, slightly charred muttons adorning the dish.

 

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Navratan Paturi — A unique Paturi you should try was the Navratan Paturi. Slow cooked chopped vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, beans, bottle gourd, cluster beans, carrots and potatoes warpped with banana leaf to get the ideal flavor and richness — perfect for vegetarians.

 

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Teen Kona Bangali Parota — Not tried.

 

2) Bohemian: Grilled Chicken Wrap with Nolen Gur and Green Chillies, Pork Stewed with Bagane Mashla, Fragrant Chillies & Coconut Milk

 

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Grilled Chicken Wrap — The Grilled Chicken Wrap was the one to go for — familiar sweet Nolen Gur flavours stuffed in a light and fluffy steamed chicken piece. Your usual Grilled Chicken Wrap concept will not match with this dish, Nolen Gur and Green Chillies might sound like strange accompaniments, but just give it a shot, ok? After the first bite you will fall in love with this apatizer and I am sure you could not stop after just eating one.

 

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Pork Stewed — Go for the sinful Oozy Pork Stewed with bagane mashla, fragrant chillies & coconut milk — properly cooked pork chunks coated indulgently in creamy, flavourful and spicy greavy— a definite request for more. Certainly try out the Pork Stewed, a deceivingly humble name for lovely tender pieces of pork served with sweet coconut milk and smoky fragrant chillies.

 

3) Chowman: Lemon Coriander Thick Soup, Pan Fried Noodles (veg/ non-veg)

 

Lemon Coriander Thick Soup — Not tried.

 

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Pan Fried Noodles —Tried little bit to taste and found it not appealing.

 

4) Gabbar’s Bar & Kitchen: Papdi Chaat, Gabbar’s Maa Ki Daal

 

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Papdi Chaat — Be sure to start off with the Gabbar’s Bar & Kitchen’s Papdi Chaat, presentation was awesome, its felt like “a mass of pure indulgence being indecently colourful”. The simplicity of the Papdi Chaat was deceiving. It’s the kind of comfort food you wish you could have anytime.

 

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Gabbar’s Maa Ki Daal — Not tried.

 

5) Oudh 1590: Galawti Kebab with Lucknowi Paratha, Shahi Tukda

 

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Galawti Kebab —no doubt, go for the irresistible Galawti Kebab and fall in love with the perfectly cooked fresh boneless chopped Mutton mixed with many herbs and spices — taste so good you’ll want to lick the plate clean!

 

Lucknowi Paratha — Not tried.

 

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Shahi Tukda —Had a small portion, decent texture and good balance of sweetness. Found it good but nothing to wow about.

 

6) H#shtagwaale: Phuchka, Grilled Vegetable Skewers with Baby Potato, Paneer Tikka Masala, Aloo Dum Hashtag Style and Fish Florentine

 

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Phuchka — H#shtagwaale had injected fun and unique twists to familiar Phuchka (yes, though we’ve tried this before) that might just blow your mind a little.

 

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Grilled Vegetable Skewers with Baby Potato – Tried two and found them not suitable for my palate.

 

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Paneer Tikka Masala – Expected a lot but turns out an average dish.

 

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Aloo Dum Hashtag Style — The Aloo Dum was just fantastic — seemingly rustic, yet elegant in execution.

 

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Fish Florentine — If you like Florentine or Au Gratin, you have to go for the H#shtagwaale Fish Florentine, a brimming plate of perfectly cooked dish which had a mild flavor with a moist texture. Gorgeous chunks of brie sitting just-melted over a thick slice of baked fish, and just a slight hit of fresh spinach enough to make you forget you’re having a bad day.

 

7) The Palladian Club: Peshawari Aloo, Fish Ajwaini Tikka Masala, Paneer Sashlik with Couscous, Apple Crumble Pie with Bitter Caramel Sauce

 

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Peshawari Aloo — Not tried.

 

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Fish Ajwaini Tikka Masala — an excellent appetiser of spicy mouthwatering fish, with flavours amplified by Ajwaini and served with mint-yogurt chutney.

 

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Paneer Sashlik with Couscous — Another adorable dish, charred in all the right spots, and chewier than you’d expect — but not in a bad way.

 

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Apple Crumble Pie with Bitter Caramel Sauce — For something lighter on the palate, try out Apple Crumble Pie with Bitter Caramel Sauce. Ideal for people who want to end the meal on a less sweet note with their version of, an not-so-sweet dry Apple Crumble Pie with Bitter Caramel Sauce.

 

8) Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick: Rosogolla Flambe with Rum, Nolen Gur Souffle Sandesh

 

Feast your eyes on the variety of intricately designed desserts on display — give in to temptation and indulge in three (or five!) right there.

 

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Rosogolla Flambe with Rum — Rosogolla lovers will definitely find the Rosogolla Flambe with Rum intriguing, with lusciously soft Rosogolla well-burned in alcoholic flavours. To take things up a notch, the flavours really oozes out as you sink your teeth into these babies. Now this is what dreams are made of.

 

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Nolen Gur Souffle Sandesh — Do yourself a favour and try out a bowl of Nolen Gur Souffle Sandesh — it will leave you begging for more, ever-popular Balaram‘s signature sweet. Its every layer had different texture and taste – oh so irresistible.

 

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For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the Rosogolla Flambe with Rum or Nolen Gur Souffle Sandesh.

 

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9) Mrs. Magpie: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Chocolate Sauce, Cupcakes

 

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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Chocolate Sauce — Not tried

 

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Chocolate Cupcakes – Tried one and found its just above average.

 

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Complement these luxurious dishes with Palladian Lounge’s selection of Mocktails (Mojito, Margirata and Aam Panna) and your craving will be sorted in an instant. Mocktails here were fun and went well with the food.

 

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Food Huddle was no doubt a novel concept which made Bengal Chamber of Commerce, Palladian Lounge crowded even on a Sunday. Such a unique and novel issue is worth the crowd. The organizers arranged this event with an aim to offer something different and unique to the people of Calcutta. The best part about this arrangement is that you can get a variety of mouth watering dishes from the experts.

 

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Grabbing the meal tickets was also made easier prior to the start of the event in all the participating outlets. For one person the cost of the ticket was INR 1750 which was quite reasonable. This was no doubt a great even for all the food lovers. Different experimental dishes were also offered by the participating restaurants which was no doubt lip smacking. It was a collaborative initiative, a great food festival to offer the finest foods of Calcutta to every citizen.

 

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The event saw numerous food enthusiasts enjoying their meal with either a large group or by their own. In every corner there was smiling faces holding their plate full of tasty dishes. The sprinkles of conversation were mixed with a dash of laughter. It was really hard to say if the people were busy enjoying the meal or busy enjoying their friend’s company over the meal or both. However, each of them seemed to be multitasking. It was a gala event overall.

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About Rajdeep Bhattacharjee

A ravenous eater, a thirsty drinker, an enthusiastic traveller and a very sound sleeper – once a wannabe hacker and now a Government employee, is an aspiring food critic and travel blogger. He hates the loose use of the word ‘foodie’ and prefers, instead, the expression ‘food devotee’. For him, good food and honest people are the biggest motivators.

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1915940_101100699948573_1759232_nRajdeep Bhattacharjee wears many feathers in his cap. A ravenous eater, a thirsty drinker, an enthusiastic traveller and a very sound sleeper – Rajdeep, once a wannabe hacker and now a Government employee, is an aspiring food critic and travel blogger. He hates the loose use of the word 'foodie' and prefers, instead, the expression 'food devotee'. For him, good food and honest people are the biggest motivators.

He is the founder of Gourmets Travel Guide, a website devoted completely to food and travel. Rajdeep is an avid blogger and one can find many of his sojourns aptly expressed on the website www.gourmetstravelguide.com.

Rajdeep had been recently chosen by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to board the inaugural flight from Kolkata to Bangkok (TG – 336) and received accolades for wonderfully recounting the experience, from start to finish, in his blog. In fact, his travelogue was featured in Hangla Hneshel, one of India's foremost Bengali magazine dedicated completely to food and travel. Rajdeep doesn't stop there! One of his undersea walks also got featured in The Telegraph, one of India's leading dailies. He is also one of the chief curators and a selector for chefs and restaurants for Channel One's Resto Ranna episodes.

Zomato ranks Rajdeep among the top ten food connoisseurs in the city. He has also been ranked number 5 and 6, in this year's Network 18 and Burrp surveys respectively, as one of the discerning food critics in the country.

Rajdeep loves eating out at different restaurants. A true blue Bengali at heart and gut, experimenting with food and palates come naturally to him. And he doesn't mind leaving an endearing word or two for chefs who have displayed their talents on the plate and the restaurant management for the inviting ambiance of an eatery.

Rajdeep counts is as his forte the wonderful rapport he shares with different media houses. Thus his writings have already been picked up by top food journals and news dailies apart from the exposure he has to talk about them on social media. Reputation management of his clients come naturally to him be it on the virtual platform or in print.

He has been blogging for the last three years. When he is not writing on food and travel or working as a Government employee, you can most certainly catch him with a camera slung around his neck and travel gear ready to satisfy his inner wanderlust.