January 25, 2014

An Overview of the Seafood Festival at Swissotel, Kolkata,


A chill wintery evening lured the KFB table members to esteem the invitation came from the Swissotel, Kolkata to sample their "Seafood Festival". Seafood is always my weakness and the invitation made me excited to experience a focused journey, mainly where one could witness a face to face conversation with the chefs. It’s a long drive from my place to reach Newtown. Thankfully I have one of the KFBians to give me company and make the long way shortest with all the chitchats and giggles dominated the mechanical traffic sounds echoing all around us. After reaching Swissotel, we were warmly welcomed by the Team Swissotel. Their cordial gestures made us to sit comfortably and at ease. Soon we were offered Juice/Tea/coffee to satisfy our quenched heart and no later the other 3 KFBians joined the group. And the journey of the "Seafood Sensation" started and it would never end, if we didn't have the rush to again cover the long drive and reach back home safely late at night.
The most proud moment arrived when shortly Chef Mahesh and Pastry Chef Sanjay joined us. In no time we all swayed in the jaunt discussing minutely the dishes listed down in the menu and proudly exhibiting on the dessert buffet corner . Chef Mahesh, young he is but experienced that he proved by the dishes and the knowledge he shared with us. Patiently he kept on answering all our questions and we all stepped in the shoes of a student mesmerizingly lost in the land of learning the culinary secrets that came direct from an Experienced Chef. He unfolded the myths embedded in our mind and stirred it up  with the knowledge that would help us in the long run.
The sample dishes from the Seafood Fest kept coming one after one and our discussion on that particular dish kept on blooming with Chef Mahesh. First we are served two dishes from the Appetizer section: Yam Talay (450/-) and Seared Scallops (675/-). Yam Talay was made after Thai cuisine, a seafood salad with a spicy salad dressing. Crab meat, scallop, prawns, squids all got mixed with the green mesclun (young salad leaves) and got sprinkled with the chilly infused citrusy  dressing which after each bite would hit the palate with a kind of yamness. But the Seared Scallops I must say was the star appetizer of the evening. This is for the first time I have tasted Daikon (Radish of Japan with a long hard durable root eaten raw or cooked) and the Cauliflower Veloute. The pan seared scallops were served on a bed of Cauliflower Veloute, (made out of pureed cauliflower sautéed with butter and flour) and Daikon was an amazing combination. Taste wise I just felt keep on eating the dish. It is a must try dish.
Next came lining up the 3 exotic dishes from the Main course. We all jumped with joy when we found Lobster Thermidor (1400/-) on the table. This is one dish that we the KFBians kept on discussing and tasting where ever we got it but failed to taste the authentic Thermidor that the actual recipe called for. Where ever I have tasted in Kolkata it was served either very creamy or very cheesy. But here we had totally the dried version of it. The Chef told us the original recipe calls for very less ingredients, scooping the flesh out of the Lobster shell, roughly chopping it, nicely mixed with the ingredients and to bake. Ah, I must say I loved it with a tiny bite on the Asparagus, Broccoli, and Garlic bread the Thermidor cooked up the perfect bite in my mouth.
Next we tasted the Norwegian Salmon (850/-). Pan roasted Salmon served with Salsa Varde, Mashed Potato and Chorizo (Pork) crisp. After settling down in India, this was for the first time I have taste Salmon. The taste blended perfectly with the minimum spices used to give a crispy bite to the Fish steak. Loved the pairing with the mash potato and the chorizo crisps which gave an extra hint to the flavour to make the bites more savoury.

Chermoula Spiced Fish (500/-) was the last one we got to sample. It came direct from the Meditarian Cuisine, spiced up in a Moroccan style. No need to say it has also won our heart.
The Seafood Festival Menu has been created taking dishes form all over the world. The Chef said he tried to maintain the authentic recipes of the classic dishes but at the same time he has introduced few fusion dishes too.  The Chef did able to create a Seafood Sensation by the magic of his creations.
We then move on the Buffet portion where dishes from French cuisine were luring us but the dessert section entice all to eat less the savoury items but gobble up more the dessert. Chef Sanjay did proved that his experience made him crown the hat of the best baker for us. The amazing beauties made perfectly and tasted out of the world, made us so impressed that is beyond explanation.
Last but not the least what surprised us and just bowled all of us, was the Paan Icecream. First time we heard and also tasted for the first time, we were not the verge to believe that the Icecream has been made out of Betel leaves. The taste was just out of the world, and I was not able to control myself to keep on tasting and tasting. Topped with gulkand gave us the feel of having meeta paan (Sweet Betel Leave) but in the attire of an Icecream. This was the best dessert of the night. And yes the Nolegur Icecream is amazing too. But I got hooked with the Paan Icecream.
The Seafood Sensation can be happily devoured in any of the outlets within Swissotel (the Swiss cafe, the Maaya lounge, Durbari and Splash). I would highly recommend to enjoy the feel on the pool side that is in the Splash and enjoy a journey to the seaworld. 
The overall experience was amazing. Mainly I would like to thank the wonderful hosts - Enakshi, Maya and Anuj for their awesome hospitality and the cordial gestures that made us feel so free and enjoy the evening with utter satisfaction.

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Hamaree Rasoi said...

Very nice review of the seafood festival. Believe it wa sa super hit evet.

Jenny Dsouza said...

Very informative post you have shared about restaurants
restaurants in kolkata