Café on 3 at the Holiday Inn, Mayur Vihar, New Delhi never fails to come up with new culinary surprises for its patrons. They in fact have food festivals every week where they feature different cuisines from all over India. A few weeks back it was ”Purvaiya”, the Bihari food festival and now it was the turn of another Eastern India state; West Bengal. Yes folks, we were there to savour my favourite cuisine – The Bengali Food.
Holiday Inn is one of the top luxury properties in East Delhi and has two dining options for its clients; Kylin Experience and Café on 3. Cafe on 3, is the most happening Cafe and has a magnificent location next to the swimming pool. It is more popular in the town for its food festivals.
Café on 3 is an artistically decorated place with magnificent chandeliers and red glass interiors. The bar at the entrance serves some amazing mixes, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. The outdoor seating by the pool is a delight during the summers. Buffets at Café on 3 are quite reasonably priced and they specialise in Chinese, Thai and Mediterranean cuisines (other than the festival spreads).
So we were here for the Bengali food fest during early October and to satiate our expectations of yummy Bong veggie delicacies. The serving staff was beautifully dressed in Bengali Dhoti and Kurtas and Ladies in Tant Sarees. The entrance to the café was decorated in typical bong style. It all made a scene which I was used to see at most of the bong weddings or events in Kolkata.
As soon as we were comfortable in our seats, Jhaal Muri made in typical bong style was served which we thoroughly enjoyed. Bengalis normally like their Muri (murmure) very spicy (Jhaal). But the chef was smart enough here to keep the spicy level just okay to suit the Delhi palate.
Next in the starters section was Matar Ghughani, Veggie Kathi Rolls and Veggie chops. The ghughani matched exactly what you expect to get in Kolkata and the kathi rolls were super yummy. But the veggie chops missed the standards that Café on 3 has set for its food. I would have preferred to try out the Beet roots chops.
Radha Bollovi and aloo dum were also missing in the starter/tiffin section, but then I was told by chef that these were to be served on the next day on rolling menu basis.
Oops, I missed mentioning about my favourite Phuchkas of Bengal. How can one miss Phuchakas while enjoying bong food? Well, Puchkas served here were as authentic as it can be. And I did go in for a second serving.
After thoroughly enjoying the starters we now moved towards the main course. It was a huge spread – veggie bhajas (mixed veggie fries), aloo posta (Potatoes cooked in mustard sauce), chanar daal (Chana Daal), Lau in dahi (Lauki cooked in yoghurt) for veggies and Macher Jhol (Fish curry with veggies) and Khosa Mangso (spicy Mutton Curry). Traditional rice steamed with pure ghee was served to go with all the veggies and meat.
It really was so difficult for me at this stage to stop feasting even though I wanted to hog on my lifelines – the bong sweets; Mishti Dohi (sweetened curd), Rosogollas, Sondesh and Naroos (Ladoos). And also Gurer sondesh (Sandesh sweetened with Jaggery).
I did find most of them at the dessert counter, but only sondesh and Narikel Naroo (Ladoos of coconut) were worthy enough to please my taste buds.
Overall, it really was a nostalgic sensation that I was going through as I was savouring these delicacies from Bengal. In fact at one moment the emotions went wild and I even thought of returning back to My City of Joy and resettle there. But alas, my colleague woke me up from the trance and we bid bye to our lovely hosts Ms Shikha and Mr Suprabhat with a promise to come back again for some more food festivals.