Bengali food festival by Pritha sen (the Oberoi gurgaon)

This post is about bengali food festival at three sixty one degrees restaurant, the Oberoi gurgaon dates – 9th to 19th September 2021

In a NUtshell

A fabulous bengali pop up by journalist & food historian Pritha sen, ably assisted by Surojit Rout (founder, Ekdalia Road)…… three set menus to choose from – vegetarian, fishy, meaty. Loved most of the dishes – this was like being in an oasis in the desert (last time we had a Multi course bengali food was during our trip to kolkata, in December 2020).

Advertisement of the event

Address & other details: Bengali food festival

Meal for 2: ₹6000 approx.

Bill – proof of payment

Cuisine type : vegetarian & non vegetarian

Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.

YUMMRAJ rates all the food items & then gives 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

Like it has always been, we have hardly missed a pop up by journalist & food historian Pritha sen – we have incidentally been to her pop ups in kolkata, mumbai , delhi NCR & also Nagaland!!! It’s not that we have travelled to another city to attend the pop ups but it’s just been a coincidence that we are at that city at that time!!!

Instagram ad by Oberoi

So when we saw an insta post by the gurgaon Oberoi, we decided to drop in first day, first show:) We also got to know that Surojit Rout, founder & owner of a lovely restaurant in kolkata – Ekdalia Road, has flown in to gurgaon, specially to assist ms. Sen.

Niramish thala

As we sat, we were given the standard menu of three sixty one restaurant. No mention of the pop up. We said we want the pop up menu.

The boy who was serving us, explained that there are three set menus – vegetarian, fishy, meaty. We asked – are the vegetarian dishes in the veg thali totally different from those in the fishy & meaty? He said ‘yes’. He was wrong.

We ordered one vegetarian & one fishy meal. Wud hv ordered one fishy & one meaty had the boy not made a mistake.

Meaty set menu

In hindsight I am surprised that oberoi did not give us a menu card to see it for ourselves – why did someone at Oberoi need to rattle out dish names like they do in say small roadside eateries. The mistake by the boy cud have been avoided. Later I got to know that the menu was there in the scanned option – the guy should have just told us that.

Also, he told us wrong names of dishes – he pointed at the kochu (arbi) & said doi potol (dahi parwal), pointed at the shahi ghee & said tomato chutney, mishti doi ice cream was called nolen gur ice cream etc. This part was quite a mess. Unexpected at the Oberoi.

Also, surprisingly there were dishes missing from what was on the menu (got a copy later). We did not get Khejur aamsottor chutney & Shobji paturi.

Service otherwise was impeccable at the Oberoi – the best in class, as always.

Food for this festival was served in hand made burnt clay, disposable , bowls.

Sitting at the dining hall with super high ceiling , next to a water body, was awesome. Refreshing.

Loved the food, with an exception to 4 dishes out of a long list of dishes.

Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:

As we placed the food order, few snack items / condiments were brought to us in a hand-made basket.

Condiments in a hand made basket

Shorshey batabi lebu makha – batabi lebu (pomelo) tossed with mustard paste, salt, sugar to a perfect balance. Juicy fruit that was intrinsically sweet & tart & the add ons made a great dish. Rate it 4.5/5

Shorshey batabi lebu makha

Aam er Chutney – raw mango chutney with a hint of salt, sweetness, tart & a bit of chilly. Very enjoyable. Rate it 4.25/5

Aam er Chutney

Nimki mix – salty nimkis (made from maida) tossed with raw onion, Chutney & served. Very interesting. Not so common a dish, it was unputdownable. Rate it 4.5/5

Nimki mix

We also got a welcome drink – tetul (tamarind) gondhoraj (a flavorful citrus fruit). The drink was very good on its own – sweetish. Neither the tamarind cud make it tart, nor the gondhoraj. The flavors of gondhoraj had been brutally murdered by flavors of the tetul!!!! It was nevertheless a good drink. Rate it 3/5.

Tetul gondhoraj

Niramish thala – Vegetarian set menu:

Set menu vegetarian

Shurur patey (beginning)

Khoi er bora – khoi is a form of puffed rice. This bora (vada) was simply Outstanding soft & moist in the middle, slightly crisp on the outside. Taste was a beautiful balance of mild sweet & salt. Rate it 4.75/5

Khoi er bora

Aam adar tikiya – a tikia (tikka) of aloo ful of minced aam ada (a ginger with mango like flavour). Very Good to taste. Rate it 4/5

Aam adar tikiya

Moddho patey (main course)

Niramish thala

Mochar chop – crumb fried mocha (banana flower). The external coat was perfectly crisp & thin. The filling of mocha was good but we have had better mochar chop. The mocha texture was ok ish & taste was flat. When compared to the best in class, this one wud not make it to the podium. However, it was a good snack on its own. Rate it 3/5.

Mochar chop
Cross section of mochar chop

Alu posto – potato & poppy seed paste. Alu posto is a common dish in Bengali homes. There are different versions – dry, runny. However all versions have one thing in common – the aloo & the posto get along together. In the aloo posto at three sixty one, the aloo turned out to be too dry & the posto seemed unhappy with the aloo & constantly showed u separately. The mingling did not happen. The two cud not do a tango. They let go!!! Rate it 2/5

Alu posto

Pui shak chorchori – pui shak (malabar spinach) & vegetables cooked together. This dish again was not good at Oberoi. The beauty of the dish otherwise is that the vegetables & the saag beautifully mingle with each other & still partially retain their textures. The one at Oberoi had the vegetables being unsocial – maintaining individuality & arrogance & refusing to work towards firing a team!!! Rate it 1/5.

Pui shak chorchori

Palang chhanar kofta was outstanding. Unbelievably good. Soft chhana (solidified curdled milk) & palang (palak/spinach) koftas in a gravy. The texture of the kofta & the taste was just too good. Rate it 4.75/5

Palang chhanar kofta
Cross section of Palang chhanar kofta

Ganti kochur dom (our server had said this is doi potol) was very good again. Loved the texture of the ganthi kochu (arbi) & the taste of the gravy. Rate it 4.25/5

Ganthi kochu dom

Chholar daal was excellent. The individual grains of daal made their presence felt – yet they were super soft. Seasoning was perfect. Rate it 4.5/5

Chholar daal

Biulir daal – in hindsight we realized this was not a part of lunch menu but we had this in our platter. Super simple preparation. Brilliant. Speechless. Rate it 4.95/5

Biulir daal

Begun bhaja – deep fried begun (brinjal / aubergine). The beauty of this dish usually is the juiciness of the vegetable , specially the winter ones (the less seed variety that is used to make bharta in northern India). The begun bhaja here was good in terms of seasoning but way low on juiciness & the magic of aubergine. Incidentally I had got a piece that had too many seeds. Rate it 2/5

Shobji paturi – we did not get this. So of course can’t review.

Shahi ghee – ghee with dry fruits, caramelised onions & a bit of spices. This was wow. This had to be had with rice & a pinch of salt, at the beginning of the meal. However since our guy said it was Chutney, we did not try it till the end. Rate it 4.95/5.

Shahi ghee

Gobindo bhog rice – fragrant short grain rice. Loved the quality of rice used here. Cooked to perfection.

Gobindo bhog rice

Luchi – pooris made with maida & a dash of salt (so that it can be eaten as it is). The luchi was a bit rubbery , probably due to less fat (Moyem) in the mix.

Luchi

Papad was roasted, like in north india. In a Bengali meal, papad is deep fried & served with Chutney, after the savoury food is eaten.

Khejur aamsottor chutney – we were not given this. So of course can’t review.

Mishti (sweets)

Mishti
Set menu – sweets

Baked komola bhog – komola bhog (a denser & flavored version of roshogolla), baked with reduced milk. Tasted very good on its own but not like what we have had in kolkata. Who cares. Rate it 4/5

Baked komola bhog

Kesar Sandesh was good to taste. Rate it 4/5

Sondesh (left ) & kheer kodombo (right)

Mishti doi ice cream – they told us this was nolen gur ice cream. So when we tasted, we found it a bit sour. We thought it has turned bad. We left it. Don’t know how to rate it.

Mishti doi ice cream

Darbesh – outstanding. This is a sweet made by few shops in kolkata – boondis & dry fruits bound together to be made into laddoos. Excellent to taste. A bit over sweet but that’s how it is. Rate it 4.5/5

Darbesh

Pati shapta – a Bengali version of crepe with reduced milk filling. This was excellent. Low on sweet, high on taste. Rate it 4.5/5

Pati shapta

Kheer kodombo – a sweet with ras in the middle & an outer layer of dry Sondesh (over simplified description, bordering stupid). Liked this a lot. Rate it 4.5/5

Machher thala – Fish set menu:

Fish thala set menu

I am not repeating what we had common with the vegetarian set menu

Maacher thala

Matsyer lebu kabab – incredible. Juicy, bursting out with flavors, loved the texture – perfectly browned in the outer side. Just too good. Rate it 4.95/5

Matsyer lebu kabab
Cross section of Matsyer lebu kabab

Mangsho pitha – chicken cooked in a leaf – really nice & juicy pitha. Great to taste. Rate it 4.5/5

Mangsho pitha

Badshahi qaliya reminded me of the lunches during bengali marriages. Thick , super flavorful gravy of large rohu fish. Excellent. Rate it 4.75/5

Badshahi qaliya

Chingri maacher malaikari – prawn Malay curry. Loved the texture of the prawn & the perfect taste if the gravy. Rate it 4.5/5

Chingri maacher malaikari

Ilish bhapey was the best We have had this year. Outstanding quality of right sized Hilda from Padma river of bangladesh, pungent mustard paste , perfectly cooked inside a banana leaf. Wow. Rate it 4.95/5

Ilish bhapey
Ilish bhapey
Ilish bhapey

Overall rating of food & beverages at the Bengali food festival averages out to 4.1/5

Most of the misses seemed to be execution errors made at the hotel kitchen, as we have eaten these dishes at pritha’s home pop up earlier – those were outstanding there.

Look forward to pritha Sen’s next pop up as usual . Always look forward to going back to Oberoi gurgaon – love that place. Great news is that Amaranta has reopened.

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