-By Suresh Hinduja
A slice of Kolkata in the heart of Bangalore, Esplanade takes you off on to the foodways reminiscent of a certain era.
You have to be observant lest you miss this place. It is on the floor above a lounge.The decor is restrained with wooden beams, panels and comfortable seating areas partitioned by wrought iron grills. The elegant lighting and old Calcutta photographs will take through time capsule to the era of Zamindars and Nawabs without being too gaudy and loud.
We were expecting sumptuous and elegant Bengali cuisine when we planned to visit the refurbished Esplanade, the new kid in the crowded restaurant space of Indiranagar. But in its new avatar this restaurant has taken a giant leap in representing not only authentic Bengali cuisine but also showcasing the popular dishes from the famed eateries of Central Calcutta.The menu has been influenced by the many cultures including Anglo Indians of Free School Street and Park Street, Chinese quarters of Tangra and the legacy of Nawabs in the bylanes of Chitpur and Gardenridge. For the starters, we tried Chanar Paturi and classic Fish fry- a thick slice of boneless Sea Bass(Bhetki) was fried perfectly in a thin batter served with the quintessential Bengali favourite Kashundi (Mustard Sauce).We sampled the old-time club favourite Chicken a la kiev which had a perfect crispy outer coating and a soft butter core, served with vegetables and mashed potato, it felt like you are dining in a popular eatery of Park Street.The menu offers some classic Tangra Chinese, Mughlai and Bengali fare.The Mutton Rezala with a hint of 'meetha attar' brought out the subtlety of flavour, the Hilsa marinated in mustard sauce tastes as authentic as any Bengali household will serve.We gave the regular fare of Luchi, Begun Bhaja, Kalia, Chanar Dalna, Kosha Manghso a miss but if you are missing Bengali homestyle food you will not be disappointed. Even if you are full to the brim, one cannot afford to miss the nolen gurer icecream, which is absolutely a delight to the taste buds.Also try the Rossogollar Payesh, which is served in a small earthen vessel.
Service was a bit scratchy compared to the fantastic food that was offer. Our waiter couldnt explain a few of the dishes and had to seek the help of kitchen staff to find out how a particular dish would taste or be presented.
Plus and Minus
Esplanade is a homecoming for the Bengali diaspora and others who would want to try this structured cuisine.The Tangra Chinese part of the menu needs some tweaking.
Review posted more than a year ago
I visited this place one year ago with some of my friends. The food that I tried included Bhetki Paturi, Mochar Ghonto which tasted good but the condition of the restaurant placed a question on the hygiene of the food served. More than that, after placing our orders, we had to wait a lot that we felt that we better have our food somewhere else. I tried the place that’s enough and not going to suggest anyone to visit the place.
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