Sanoli's Kitchen: Restaurant Review
Showing posts with label Restaurant Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Restaurant Review. Show all posts

Thursday, November 27, 2014


November is the time to indulge in a taste for the finer meats braised over a slow fire or carefully turned on a lava stone grill to bring out its tenderness. To get together over smoking pots of Oriental cuisine and conversation with chefs. The signature restaurants trail their vibrant flavours through the corridors of ITC Sonar, filling the air with delicious aromas.

All November, Pan Asian (of ITC Sonar, Kolkata) smokes with the classic flavours of the traditional HOT POT, part of a homey east Asian tradition designed to encourage communal dining. Into a simmering cauldron of stock are added sliced meats, seafood, mushrooms, leek, Chinese cabbage and other vegetables accompanied with an assortment of dipping sauces, salad and steamed rice.

At Pan Asian one can savour the mysteries of east Asia in a journey that begins with Thai Tom Yum, followed by Shabo Shabo from the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan, Hot Pot from the remote and rustic Mongolia and Heomool Jungol from Korea, the Land of the Morning Calm.
(Chef Jerry Bernasol)
Chef Jerry Bernasol has made a very light bonito based stock and where he put firmer vegetables first and then he added chicken, button mushrooms, leeks and onion rings into the stock for more flavor. Sea foods i.e. shrimps, tuna, samon fillet, octopus etc added one by one into the stock. Japanese SHABO-SHABO is a selection of seafood, chicken & vegetables, served with udon noodles, egg, dipping sauces and Shichimi Togarashi innocently lying on the side.

A traditional Thai Hot Pot, TOM YAM MOR FAI served with an array of Asian vegetables, chicken, mixed seafood, prawns & dipping sauces, with a Tom Yam Kung soup base. 

Here also chef added vegetables first and then chicken and seafoods into the broth. The final result came delicious, very flavorful and aromatic dish which was served with light soy sauce, lemon juice and Thai red chilli paste. At this time we were just full, so heavy and delightful platter it was. 
As  the chef promised us earlier, so lastly a wonderful rack-full dessert came, with coconut jelly (top of the rack), wasabi ice cream (middle of the rack) and few pieces of seasonal fruits (bottom of the rack), just wonderful!

The highlights of Pan Asian is its three interactive kitchens with seating around it, which encourages a close interaction with the chefs, thus enabling guests to enjoy the experience of watching their meals being prepared according to their personal preferences.
The costing of Hot Pot meals for two is Rs.3300/- + tax.
Timing: 12.30 p,m - 2.45 p.m. (For lunch)
                7.30 p.m. - 11.45 p.m. (For dinner)

Disclaimer: This was an invited review and no monetary transaction was involved.

Friday, June 27, 2014


Most of us surely heard the name of legendary Grand Master Chef Imtiaz Qureshi and admired his creations of royal delicacies. Chef Mohammad Imtiaz Qureshi, is known for reinventing the forgotten Awadhi cuisine. He dedicated several years of his life in improvising the Awadhi recipes.But it is something great to meet him and have food like Royal style. It is really rare that he invites you to break the bread with him. We sampled the preview of new menu being unvailed by Master Chef Imtiaz Qureshi of ITC Sonar's Dum Pukht fame, where they showcased a royal repast five course menu paired with Royal Salute 21 YO by whiskey expert Sandeep Arora. Chef Qureshi played the perfect host as we feasted many more exotic specialities from the signature 'Dum Pukht' repertoire. Personally, I felt really fortunate and honoured that chef Qureshi was present among us and described why those menus are called 'Royal'.
Chef Imtiaz Qureshi (Left) & Whisky Ambassador Sandeep Arora (Right)
'The Shahenshah of Dum Pukht Cooking' Chef Qureshi has much to thank the ITC welcomgroup Hotels for. He was the head chef of the famous Clarke's Hotel in Lucknow. And before that a caterer for Mughlai food in the old city. ITC offered Imtiaz a contract, to head the operation of their Indian kitchens. Imtiaz was encouraged to research the forgotten cuisine of the nawab of Awadh. He spent years in perfecting the receipes, naming it "Dum Pukht" after the process of cooking. The cuisine was launched at a restaurant by the same name at the ITC Maurya Sheraton in 1989.
Chef Qureshi (Centre)
When I took a look on his palms, they are not like we usually seen, little big enough. He uses them to measure all the spices that go into his dum pukht recipes. As he can't read nor write, so doesn't understand the measurements. But he has a natural feel for ingredients, as per him 'andaz'. He measures the ingredients in his palm. By instinct, by experience he can understand what is holding is enough or if it is more or less.
Chef inside the kitchen
Before I come to the menus, will attempt to what is 'Dum Pukht' cooking is all about. 'Dum Pukht' is a Persian word, which is a slow cooking technique associated with the Awadh region of India, in which meat and vegetables are cooked in a sealed contained over a very low flame. The technique may be based on earlier Persian cooking methods introduced to India. But tradition assigns in India to the reign of Nawab Asaf-ud-daulah in the late 19th century. This cooking method brings you the intense flavours and leisurely luxury of slow cooked food made from authentic recipes garnered from the royal kitchen of Awadh.
Dum pukht cooking uses a round, heavy – bottomed pot, a handi, in which food is tightly sealed and cooked over a slow fire. There are two main aspects to this style of cooking; bhunao and dum, or ‘roasting’ and ‘maturing’ of a prepared dish. In this style of cuisine, herbs and spices play an extremely critical role. The process of slow roasting gently persuades each to release maximum flavor. The sealing of the lid of the handi with dough achieves maturing. Cooking slowly in its juices, the food retains all its natural aromas and becomes imbued with the richness of flavors that distinguishes the dish. 
Starter Plate
Firstly, a dish arrived to our table named "Raan-e-huzoor", baby lamb legs cooked on the dum with a thick date sauce, embellished with walnut and almonds. Meat melted in the mouth and while it came with mughlai paratha, just amazing! This mughlai paratha is not a layered paratha as we seen usually, it was stuffed paratha, slightly sweet in taste and hard, but easilly breakable. Along with these the next starter was "Jinga Qureshi". Jumbo prawns stuffered with dried apricot and cheese encased in a soft puff pastry shell. The taste and flavours of the prawn was such yummy, no one can resist to taste of it.
Jhinga Qureshi
The next catagory of foods were QORMA, QALIYA, SALAN. By name you can guess how delicious platter was! The first dish of this course arrived in the table was "Samudri Ratan". Soft balls made with fresh and tendered crab meat in a delicate fenugreek flavoured gravy, a very luscious dish indeed! Next dish was "Koh-E-Avadh". This is one of the chef's special recipe of qorma. Elegantly exposed lamb shank, Dum cooked in their own cardamom tinged juices and marrow, finished with saffon, just tastes divine. "Dal Badami" was the next dish which arrived in our table. A real tasty dal made by white urad lentils, flaved and tempered with dill leaves enriched with sliced almond. "Desi murgh ishtew" served on next. A Super tempting country chicken qorma braised over a slow burning fire, with onions, black pepper, yogurt and other spices. "Dum Ki Kumb" the delicious gravy of button mushrooms, which slow cooked in tomato and cashewnut based aromatic gravy imbued with fennel and dried ginger was simply superb! Along with all those four dishes they served soft Roomali Roti and Naan-e-Bah Khummach. The mouthwatery patter definitely fulfilled anyone's tastebuds as well as stomach. It was surely an delicate and delightful platter.

But there was no doubt, champion of the day was "Dudhiya Biryani", a truelly flavourful, aromatic and toothsome biryani which was made in Lucknowi style.  fit for kings and went onto occupy pride of place in the kitchens of Nawabs and Nizams of India as Biryani was considered a royal dish,This delicious and distinct flavoured layer rice dish was slow cooked with Tender lamb morsles, Aromatic Basmati rice, milk and flavouring agents. 
Dudhiya Biryani
This royal meal was ended with "Shahi Tukda", an exotic dessert of saffron rabri, spread on a slice of syrup soaked homemade bread, and "Lab-e-Mashooq", a frozen dessert of reduced milk scented with orange, royal style of 'Kulfi'. The five course royal style meal was rounded off with 'Meetha Pan'.
Shahi Tukda & Lab-e-Mashooq
Whiskey connoisseur Sandeep Arora savours a 21-year-old Royal Salute. "This whiskey has taken so long to reach our table; what were you doing 21 years ago?" he asked. Sandeep is in the city to curate what he calls a Royal Repast: matching the well-aged Royal Salute with the most popular royal cuisine. Sandeep's passion for whiskey is evident when he talks about it. "Whiskys and food pairing was introduced way back in early 90s at a time when whiskey was not very popular, or rather, was losing ground to wines. It's not just a concept where you think whiskey is high in alcohol content or perceived stong drink and you don't drink it with anything. We started pairing this type of food to showcase how aromas and flavours of whiskey could match the flavours of the food", he said. As Dum Pukht cuisine means royal cuisine, so Arora decided to blend this scotch whiskey with gooseberry, hazelnuts and lavender. "The oil in these foods coats the tongue, inhibiting taste. So as not to confuse the palate, Sandeep says that he began to keep one whiskey as the base on which the entire meal can be matched. The food is travelling over different zonal tastes, and the whiskey has to be like a solid partner. Royal Salute fit the bill amount it was non-conflicting, complementary and it gently rests with you. The branding helps in adding to the royal aura of the entire meal", Sandeep explained.
Whiskey Ambassador Sandeep Arora
The Dum cooking using exotic spices and herbs, so that the one dish meal became royal delicacies. As per Chef Qureshi, Pukht means purity, cleanliness. As per him, food should be prepared in such a way so that its sanctity can be compared as offering to the God. Thus, those exotic foods can satisfy each and every soul. But to catch the aromas, flavours and tastes of Qureshi's cooking, you will have to go at Dum Pukht, ITC Sonar, Kolkata.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Easter is the time for holidays, festivals and a time for giving chocolates Easter eggs. But Easter means much more..........Easter is the oldest and the most traditional Christian Festival, the celebration of the death and coming to life again of Jesus Christ. For Christians, the dawn of Easter Sunday with its message of new life. ITC Sonar celebrating Easter in traditional and gorgeous way. A great going event from 16th to 20th April, the Gourmet shop at ITC Sonar is going to have Easter Special starters, main course, desserts and breads, and on the 20th April Sunday, there will be a Grand Brunch. 
ITC Sonar’s elegant 24-hour fine dining restaurant is Eden Pavillion, that offers a delectable spread of Indian and inventive international cuisine. The Eden Pavilion is the ideal place for round-the-clock dining inKolkata.

Easter Goodies: Arround INR 500
Pocket Pinch for Brunch:  INR 2250 plus taxes per person
For reservations and further information please call -033-23454545

Name of the festival: Easter Celebrations at Gourmet Shop, ITC Sonar
Dates of the festival: 16-20th April
Timings of the festival: 11 am- 9 pm
Name of the restaurant where the Easter offer is being held: Gourmet Shop

Chef Harpawar Singh Kapoor (Executive Sous Chef & Pastry Chef) and Chef Gaurav Lavania (Sr. Sous Chef) were reponsible for creating the traditional delicacies, breads, sweets and cakes at the Gourmet Shop and Eden Pavillion. Chef Harpawar stated that the recipe of each and every delicacy is strickly followed by the old one, no twist or mix & match in the dishes and they served in a very traditional way too. Peanut & Chocolate Eggs, Lemon & Poppy seed cake with Berry toping, sour cherry turnover, coconut & lemon tart, walnut & honey torte and carrot cake to name a few.

This Easter you can look forward to a grand Sunday Brunch that will lay out Easter goodies like Easter Roasts, Anglo Indian food, Egg & Prawn cocktail, asparagus & balsamic trio, Egg Benedictine, Herb Roasted Turkey with berry glazed jus , Pork Saltimbocca with rosemary jus , Four cheese scalloped potatoes. As per me, asparagus were less seasoned, rather than that all of the dishes are very traditional and really very delicious and super tasty sides. For Easter, exotic eggs items are on main course menu. All though, all the items are basically European and choosen for this special festive event.
(Top Left: Asparagus & Balsamic trio, Top Right: Egg & Prawn Cocktail, Bottom Left: Herb Roasted Turkey with Berry glazed jus, Bottom Right: Pork Saltimbocca with rosemary jus)
(Egg Benedictine)
We were greeted with a huge trolley with full of incredible goodies, hot cross buns, braided bread not yeasted, topped with eggs, fudges, tarts, cakes etc. 
(Top row from left to right: Carrot Cake, Sour Cherry Turnover, Lemon & Poppy Seeds Cake with Berry Topping. Middle row left to right: Coconut & Lemon Tart, Peanut and chocolate eggs, walnut & honey torte. Bottom row: Hot Cross buns, Braided Bread with eggs topping, Nougatine)

Other than that Yummilicious fudges are there dark chocolate almond fudge and Milk Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Fudge. As per me, both fudges are super tempting!
Don't miss to celebrate the festival of life and living with ITC Sonar where they promise to offer you a heavenly experience. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


The Bengali New Year celebration is popularly known as 'Poila Baisakh' (the first day of Bengali calender), which was on 15th April this year. Bengalis usually celebrate this auspecious occassion with new clothes, lots of  sweets, prayers for the well-being and properity of the families and 'haal khata' (an auspicious day to open the ledger for Bengali traders, Ganesh & Lakhsmi puja occurs in every business oriented house hold). The New Year cuisine for lunch, of course, contains various preparations of fish, meat, traditional vegetarian dishes, rice and specially with mistanna or traditional sweets such as Rasogolla, sandesh, kalakand, payesh and ras malai. Those who prefer to go out to eateries get to have some pure pleasantries for the palate, and other mouthwatering culinary dalliances.

The Astor Hotel has organised a fabulous lunch buffet at Kabab-e-que with mouthwatering Bengali traditional dishes and the great going event named, "Suru hok Bangaliyana" (Bengali New Year Food Festival) from 15th April to 19th April, 2014. I was the part of this auspicious celebration with gorgeous and glorious Ms. Supreeta Singh (Marketing & Communication Manager of The Astor Hotel) and the team of a very renowned & popular Food Magazine 'Hangla Henshel'.
The starters with welcoming drink are Aam Panna, Cold Soup, Mochar Chop, Chingrir Bora, Red Cabbage and Apple Salad, Pasta Chicken / Green Salad / Boondi Raita / Dahi. 

Main Coarse serves with yummilicious traditional and very popular Bengali veg and non-veg dishes, e.g. Basanti Pulao. Macher Matha diye Moong dal. Sukto. Dhokar Dalna. Mocha Chingri. Narkeli cholar dal/ Kadai sutir kachuri. Sorse Macche. Murghi Posto. Mutton Kasha. Aamsatto khejurer Chutney. 

Usually Bengalis are very much fond of sweets, so desserts are choosen on this idea only...such as Kamala Bhog. Aamsatto Sandesh. Cheese sandesh duet cake. Vanilla Ice cream. Chocolate ice cream. Complimentary drinks. Return gifts.

Chef Sanjay elaborately discussed, why they choosen the popular traditional Bengali dishes in their menus to give more importance to this celebration mood of common people and which really touch every heart very easilly. Don't miss to tweak of this luscious taditional Bengali dishes with Bengali values. This event will be great going till 19th April, 2014. 


Lunch Buffet: INR 599 + Tax
Dinner Buffet: INR 699 + Tax

The Astor Hotel
15, Shakespeare Sarani (Theater Road)

Call: 9830230033.

Disclaimer: This was an invited review and no monetary transaction was involved.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


ITC Sonar, a luxury hotel in Kolkata having a distinctively modern and sleek architechtural design contrasting with the rich historical essence of Kolkata. After Delhi and Mumbai, an exquisite event is going on at Pan Asian, ITC Sonar, Kolkata; named  'The China-Japan Debate On A Plate' partnered with Johnnie Walker for a very short period from 7th Nov to 10th Nov. In this, the Corporate Chinese Chef Liang Xiao Ping and Contemporary Japanese Expert Chef Vikramjit Roy, both are offering delectable menu and contesting against each other. The pair have offered outlandish menu pairing with delicate blended Johnnie Walker Black Level. Join this event through Twitter, Facebook or Google+. Visit and put in your words to get a chance to win exotic signature culinary experience in this short event. 

Before the main event begins, we were asked with a lovely cocktail as a welcoming drink, I choosen 'Wasabi infused drink Rising Sun'. It was an exquisite cocktail of pomegranate, whiskey, pickled ginger and some other ingredients, shaken well and served over ice cubes. This was a Japanese version of cocktail, on the other hand Debi parna choosen Chinese tea infused cocktail, which I tasted, a lovely stong cocktail of Chinese tea and Johnnie Walker Black Lebel whiskey.

Before sitting up in dinning table, Chef Vikramjit told us that he would have a special drink for us to start and when it came in our table, I was really very excited and that vodka based peachy drink, the glass rimmed with soy based salt and served in a very special manner. I really surprised to see how it was presented so wonderful way. Chef Vikram describes us how to drink it with plum tomatoes, bean curd, wafer with pinch of celery salt.

I choosed option for starter and soup, starters 'Golden fried prawns with crispy garlic chilli powder and sesame seeds', a Chinese classic; where as soup 'Edamame soup sansho crisp, foie gras foam', a fusion Japanese contemplation. In golden fried prawns, prawns were crisp from the outer side but soft and tender from inside, truely a mouthmelting dish.  On the other hand, 'Salmon with confit melon, miso cream cheese, bubuarare smoked corm mash' was made as Japanese non-veg starters. The second dish which was an absolutely delectable soup offered by Chef Vikramjit where 'Foie gras' i.e made of the liver duck or goose that had been specially flattened. Its flavour is rich, buttery, delicate and not like ordinary duck or goose liver. The speciality of soup served a covered dome, when it opened a roundel of sansho crisp with a slice of foie gras, warm Edamame soup poured on it, simply a super fusion and delightful Japanese combo soup. Mr. Raveen Mishra, Regional Brand Ambassador, Diageo India who describes about three types of Johnnie Walker whiskeys which we would be served with Four courses of dinner. The first it came with starters was Johnnie Walker Gold Lebel. I must say it was a wonderful paired menu.

For main course I opted Chinese classic, 'Double Fried Pork with mild chili and hoisin sauce' with chinese fried rice, actually a traditional and popular dish in Sichuan, China. Pork was tender, tasty, slightly sweet but I missed its crispyness. Raveen brought out for us 'Johnnie Walker Platinum Label' for pairing with this delectable Chinese speciality. Both flavours so well, which tuned with me for a long time. But Japanese segment's 'Blue cheese and spinach stuffed chicken breast, freeze dried tomato, whiskey ponzu reduction' caught definitely my attention, I tasted it little bit and it was just amazing!

For dessert, I choosen Japanese delicacy, 'Poarched pear carpaccio yuzu probiotic Yoghurt ice', it was absolutely delicious and wonderfully paired with 'Johnnie Walker XR 21' a whiskey which preserved in cusk at least for 21 years. The whiskey smelled so well and tasted divine with desserts. On the otherhand, PB went with fried ice cream from Chinese segment. It was also a mouth watery dessert.

Another surprise came from Chef Vikramjit, a fusion dessert and which was not in menu list. A lovely combo of sweet-bitter combo in a one dish, valhrona mousse based with crumbled biscuits and a scoop of yummy mint ice cream; small balls of fruits - a total fusion dessert, simply awesome!!! 
(Group Photo - Picture courtesy: Poorna Banerjee)

Lastly, we were gifted with a lovely pack of goodies by ITC and returning back to home with a ton of sweet memories, will remain with me forever.

Pan Asian, ITC Sonar
Date: 7th - 10th November 2013
Timing: Dinner Only - 7.30 to 11.45 pm
Price: INR 4000++ per guest
For reservation and further information call 033-23454545.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


'Italian Cuisine' follows the Mediterranean pattern of food - focuses on natural as well as simple ingredients, i.e. whole grains, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, dark green leaves and lots of cheese making it one of the healthiest diets of the world. The benefits of a Mediterranean style eating pattern may include improved weight loss, reduced risk of depression and better control of blood-glucose (sugar) level in human body. Recently we, a group of friends from CaL Bloggers Table explored out for some authentic flavours from Italy in our city, Kolkata. We selected Fire and Ice (a reputed Italian Cuisine Restaurant), located in heart of city. Fire and Ice is one of the best Italian joints in the city. The atmosphere is great, the place is very spacious, very comfortable and serves a good long menu. Although it can feel that way with all the aromas around making you hugrier.

I arrived little late, as I saw everyone ordered for drinks and starter. We ordered vegetarian 'Farcita' (Rs. 400/-) which was not included in menu card, first entree as a starter. As per my knowledge, farcita (Italian round bread) is hot and crisp from the outside and enfolding with cold mozzarella and tomato slices from inside. It would be very tasty by dizzling little olive oil and sprinkling red chilli flakes on the top. But here I observed it was very cold from inside and outside both, not satisfied my tastebuds.

Next came two skewers of grilled boneless chicken which arranged alternatively with slices of tomato, green pepper and pearl onion; named 'Spiedini alla Griglia' (Rs. 495/-). It was served with herbs melted cheese, really very delicious. Chicken was very soft, tender and perfectly grilled.

As I reached little late, so I ordered another starter 'Rondelle di Patate Fritte' (Rs. 295/-) came on our table. This was actually dip fried potato chips with tomato sauce and basil pesto. Loved potato chips with the dips, but according to me it was exuberantly high priced.

We selected few items from menu card for our main course. The first one came was 'Penne Bolognese' (Rs. 435/-), which was a choice of penne pasta with meat (mince lamb) sauce. Pasta was well cooked, but little salty and meat sauce of bolognese was lack of tomatoes. Overall, it was not satisfied my tastebuds well.

I always love the crispness of thin crust Pizza. Next came 'Half and Half Pizza', Fire and Ice on one half and pepperoni on the other. It was demanded by our house and truelly delectable. Fire and ice had tomato, creamy potato, mozzarella, rosemary and oregano, very creamy and mouth watery. Tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni and jalapeno made Pepperoni Pizza very toothsome and just wonderful. Personally I loved both the pizzas from the core of my heart.

Our meal was not completed except 'Lasagna'. So 'Lasagna Tradizionale' (Rs. 495/-) came to our table. A flat sheet of pasta dough cut into cut into strips, probably one of the oldest type of pasta. Lasagne is traditionally made with interleaving layers of pasta with layers of sauce, made with tomato sauce, mozzarella/ricotta cheese and various meats. Here I felt the lack of ricotta cheese layers in this dish with very less amount of tomatoes in the sauce too. Pastas were overcooked and meat sauce was very similar with bolognese sauce. I expected more delectable lasagne, so not fully satisfied with this dish.

As we had little space in our stomach, so group ordered for dessert, 'Apple Pie with Ice Cream' and dark 'Chocolate Mousse'. Apple Pie had a warm crust and filled with cooking apple, sugar and cinnamon. As cinnamon flavour was little high, so the taste was average. 

Dark, rich 'Chocolate Mousse' without ice-cream was very delicous and fully chocolaty. it was not that much silky, still was satisfied my taste buds.

My overall experience with Fire and Ice was nice. One thing I must say, they need to improve more on the quality of their dishes. I loved the place as well decorated with a nice ambiance, but I must say they are little poor in services. Looking forward with the next blogger table's meet with Chef at Large.

Fire and Ice

Kanak Building, 41, J.L. Nehru Road,
(Entrance on Middleton Street)
Opp. Jeevandeep Building
Kolkata - 700 071. West Bengal, India.

Contact No: +91 33 2288-4057
Cuisine: Italian Cuisine (pizzeria)
Timings: 12 Noon to 12 Midnight

Here's everyone from CAL Blogger’s Table had to say:
Megha Jhunjhunwala
Poorna Banerjee
Amrita - Vishal
Kamalika Chakraborty
Sarani Tarafder