The year 2020 put a dampener to the Durga Puja spirit. But revellers bounced back with joy this year as night curfew was lifted and there were celebrations galore. With pandals off-limits and people trying to be mindful of the pandemic, they rushed to their favourite restaurants to catch up with their friends over good food and drinks. Here’s what restaurateurs have to say about their guests…Bengali food rules the roost during Puja
The most sought-after cuisine during any cultural or religious occasion in Kolkata ought to be Bengali food. A restaurant chain that specialises in authentic Bengali delicacies saw foodies pre-booking for the lip-smacking experience. “This year has been excellent considering the preceding lockdowns. People have gone out and enjoyed to the hilt. Ilish, mutton, bhekti paturi and pulao were among the most-ordered dishes,” shared Debasree Roy Sarkar, executive director-elect of the hotel chain, which opened a new outlet on Sarat Bose Road this Puja.
Family members go pub-hopping together
It was a different scene altogether at pubs and lounges. You could see the entire family eating, laughing and
having a gala time together. Keeping the pandemic scene in mind, people looked for places that were yet to see the Puja rush. “People chose restopubs mostly because of the ambience and the view. It was easy for them to relax in an open-air space, enjoy the Kolkata cityscape and avoid the crowds at pandals. Items like paneer tikka, fish tikka, mutton pepper fry, gnocchi, risotto, tutti frutti and cocktails were a hit,” shared Raajiv Nathany, partner of a recently-opened restopub in Kolkata.
Chinese cuisine still a hot favourite
It was quite a familiar scenario for most of the Chinese eating joints in the city. According to Debashish Ghosh, general manager of a specialty chain of Chinese, Bengali, Indian and Mughlai cuisines in India, people were all out to celebrate Puja like old times. “People look forward to enjoying our celebration buffets this time of the year. It’s fast because it’s already laid out, and they get plenty of options to try out. Even with waiting time of more than an hour, people were cooperative and patient. We hosted large families, maximum being 14 members. Kolkata just loves its food with a special liking for Chinese, which is one of the oldest foreign cuisines in Kolkata,” he said.
Many relish Italian food tooNot only during Puja, but also generally, foodies in Kolkata have a special place in their heart for the world’s best cuisine, Italian. Pizza and pasta are a staple for many while trying out a new restaurant. “The revelry this time during Puja created an electrifying scenario of good food, fine dining ambience and lots of laughter. Our restaurants saw people chilling over food and drinks till the wee hours. It was great to see people enjoying Italian and other global cuisines. Pizzas, fish tacos, dabelis, dishes with mushrooms were the most loved ones,” said Gautam Singh, operations head of global and Indian restaurant chains.
Source: Times of India