In a NUtshell
A beautiful evening spent in a lovely restaurant enjoying some absolute art on the plate & some other good bengali food from undivided bengal
Address & other details: three sixty one degrees
Meal for 2: ₹5000 onwards
Cuisine type : vegetarian & non vegetarian
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I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster
Short description- in case u r in a hurry
5 yrs bk I had first heard the story of the overnight goalondo steamer & it’s famous fowl curry, while attending a pop up by food historian, journalist & food curator Pritha sen. We had fond memories of the food & the adda (chat) we had with people we had never met b4.
After that pop up, i have seen this name goalondo pop up in different eateries that serve bengali food.
So when Pritha announced a second edition to the goalondo festival, we were sure to go. It was great to meet Surojit Rout, who runs a lovely restaurant in KOLKATA inside a heritage building – Ekdalia Rd.
That the second edition was more about the food from regions that the steamer serviced. The steamer was used as a metaphor for the cuisine that existed before partition and has languished in neglect after that in West Bengal. The current bangladesh cuisine has become very different from what the people used to have those days – the Islamic & Pakistani influence has given birth to a new kind of food there. It’s great to see people trying to revive some of those lost food in india now, thru pop ups so far. Hoping one day there will be a restaurant that serves the food of undivided bengal.
Three sixty one one degrees, as many of you would know, is the coffee shop of the Oberoi. I was a bit surprised at the pop up being held at three sixty one degrees coz in the past, most interesting Indian food pop ups that we had attended at the Oberoi , were at Amaranta (a specialist Indian restaurant in the hotel).
The three sixty one degree restaurant is spacious & beautiful.
The staff members were super warm & treated us like family. They were very efficient as well. Best part was that they had good knowledge of the menu card & hence could hold a good conversation on food.
The food was very enjoyable. I liked the mains better than the starters & other courses. I was amazed at how the menu had some items that are simple home foods, hardly served to guests as well – takes a lot of guts to do that.
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
Chutneys, amuse bouche, starters & drinks
Chutney made with sour fruit ‘Kul’ was very good & it had no twist from the classic version. Rate it 4.25/5
Amsatwa & kamranga (star fruit) had predominant flavour of aamsatwa. Kamranga texture cud b felt though. The ‘pak’ of the dish was a bit less than the chutneys & the dish felt like having suboptimal caramelisation. It was bland. Rate it 2.5/5
Amuse Bouche – tamarind chutney with a slice of black grape on top – the chutney was milder than what is made in bengali homes, I guess to make it appeal to a wider audience. Good to taste. Rate it 3.5/5
Batabi lebu (pomelo) makha with kasundi (salad with mustard dressing) was very good. I Have had the version with raw mustard oil, green chillies salt & jaggery. This one was very good as well. Rate it 4.25/5
Chonga kabab – mutton & spices stuffed into a bamboo & steamed. Once The cylinder of meat came out of the hollow bamboo after steaming, it was sliced. Rice powder was used to bind. It was also Light fried on both sides. the rusticness if the fish would have reduced due to these two steps. Rate it 4/5
Murgi pora (literal translation- burnt chicken) was served in banana leaf. It was a boneless piece of chicken with mild flavours. This dish seemed a bit out of place & out of sync & seemed to be a dish to pacify the generalists:) it was Good to taste. Rate it 3/5.
Loitya machher jhuri (Bombay duck fish) on a small parota. Outstanding flavours of the fish. Rich& Robust overall flavour & taste. Intense. Licked off every trace of this dish. Rate it 4.5/5
Goalondo fowl curry – country chicken cooked & served on an overnight steamer to goalondo. Like I mentioned, We had had this dish 5 years back at a pop up by Pritha sen in gurgaon. Of course I do not remember the details of what I had but I had a mental note of how much in liked it. This time my mind says that I liked the thin jhol (gravy) much better. It was immensely flavorful. Rate the jhol 4.95/5
The meat was falling off the bones, a bit more than optimum. Falling off the bones is good till the time they become a bunch of meat separate from the bones totally. It’s not easy to get the desi murgi right & that’s why I guess most commercial places do not even attempt. The meat was tasty & very good. Rate the texture 2/5, taste 4.5/5 & flavour 4.5/5. Overall rating of the meat averages out to 3.7/5
Goalondo fowl curry overall rating comes to 4.3/5
Baburchir jhol with bhetki fish was a thin gravy of bhetki fish (with bones). Loved the subtle flavours of both spices & fish. Texture of fish was perfect & so was the taste. In mustard mumbai, the bengali dishes had been given an international plating spin by Pritha. Here the fish came with bones, just like the real one, in bengali homes. Rate it 4.5/5
Chingri machher monmohini was prawns cooked with coconut, tamarind, spices & mustard. Quite an unusual combination of tamarind & mustard. The dish was unique & very enjoyable. The prawn pieces were very good but not comparable to the fresh Sassoon dock (mumbai) ones that we had got used to, in the last 4 years. Rate it 4/5
Baansh diye haansh was duck meat slow cooked with bamboo shoot. Absolutely bowled over with this dish. Cooking duck meat right is an art form – they generally tend to become hard & chewy. This one was outstanding. Cud not stop licking my fingers while eating this dish. Perfect texture of meat, bursting out with meat & spice flavours, the right amount of fat in the gravy ….. rate it 4.95/5 …. BTW ‘baansh diye haansh’ as a bengali phrase can also mean ‘sly smile after screwing someone’:)
Mutton hussaini kalia – mutton cooked on bamboo skewers with pearl onions. We ate this not in the beginning & hence it had become a bit cold & chewy. Wrong judgment on my part to have it towards the end (was following the sequence followed by Bengalis – mangsho ( red meat usually) in the end. Ideally in a 5 star set up where there is ideally no restriction to the number of service, this could have been served separate b4 the main platter, to ensure undivided attention & hence ensure that the meat is soft.
Loved the taste & the flavours of the masalas. Rate it 3.75/5
Maheshwardir mushur daal (Maheshwardi is a place in faridpur, bangladesh) was a wonderful masoor dal. Loved every drop of it. Rate it 4.75/5
Lau doga diye moricher jhol – gourd greens & stalks, gourd, veggies & lentil cakes. The day we dined was the last day of the festival & they had mostly run out of gourd greens & stalk by the time we were served. However, the rest came together to form a marvel. Totally impressed that this humble yet super tasty item was on the menu. It’s easy to make a meat dish tasty but this one needs some serious level of skills. Rate it 4.75/5
For dessert we had bhapa doi, makha sondesh & kheer komola
Bhapa doi was low on sugar & just right. The texture was very good. Loved every bit. Rate it 4.5/5
Makha sondesh was soft & tasty. Subtle, while ensuring a contrast of textures due to presence of nut in the soft sondesh. Rate it 4.25/5
Kheer komola was flavored with fresh orange in kheer (sweetened reduced milk). Very unusual combination. I had earlier had this dish at mustard mumbai. The one at Oberoi turned out to be many notches better as orange expressed itself way more, thus bettering the balance of the two contrasting tastes & textures. Rate it 4.75/5
Shoru chakli was excellent – soft, a bit fermented & perfect seasoning. Temperature was perfect. Rate it 4.5/5
Drooling over the dry yet immensely tasty Bhuna khichuri – independent grains of rice & dal, perfectly cooked, in symphony, simple yet complex layers to it. Rate it 4.75/5
Dhakai parota was outstanding. Infinite layers made it super crunchy. Right amount of salt made it tasty. Rate it 4.75/5
There was also some Luchi & rice.
Overall rating of food at this pop up averages out to 4.2/5. That’s an awesome score, considering there were so many dishes. It was a real joy eating this dinner.
Look forward to the next pop up by Pritha sen already