The five-day celebration of Durga Puja is ending on October 15 with Vijaya Dashami / Dussehra. It will also mark the end of nine-day long Navratri celebrations. Durga Puja is the time to get your hands on a plate of not just any Bengali delicacy, but the most traditional form of Bengali food. In Delhi, the festive spirit has been tarnished this year too because of the Covid guidelines. Pandals used to offer lip-smacking foods, but this time it wasn’t possible. So, when we decided to go for pandal hopping, we were saddened to see the entry was limited to members only. We started craving for good Bengali food there and that made us Google a few good restaurants nearby. As we searched, Crowne Plaza Today, Okhla, New Delhi popped on the top of the list as they have a Bengali Food Festival going on which is till October 15.Also Read - Rage Coffee Review: Unique Taste of Caffeine That Almost Looks Like Liquid Caramel
Once we entered their restaurant Edesia, the decor, lightings, colours attracted us and it felt we as if we are inside a Durga Puja pandal. We relished classic Bengali delicacies from puchkas, rolls to authentic Bengali thali. It featured signature specialties of the award winning guest chef – Chef Rangonath Mukherjee who travelled all the way from Kolkata to ensure that quintessential authentic Bengali cuisine is prepared and plated to perfection for this festival. Also Read - Empress of China Review: The One Way Ticket to Heavenly Chinese Food
‘Bong Connection’ at Crowne Plaza Today Okhla, New Delhi | PC: Kritika Vaid
The thali is a longstanding food tradition across cultures and communities in India and therefore it is said ‘It’s all in the thali’. Our big thali which was a lavish spread of eight dishes included Bhapa Ilish (literally means steamed hilsa fish with the marination of mustard and spices). The taste I’ll never forget ever! The pungent mustard oil and chilli on top of freshly cooked Bhapa Ilish took the steam to whole new dimension. The thali also included posto murgi, bhetki fish paturi, bhapa ilish, bote diye begun bhaja, pur bhola potoler kalia, Kolkata style biryani, luchis. The fried fish disappointed me because it actually gave that ‘fishy’ smell. May be the lack of availability in the market is forcing fish mongers to use frozen fish.
After completing our heavy meal, we left a room for dessert. The malai cham cham, rasgulla (roshogolla), Sandesh, mishti doi (jaggery curd), cakes, and tarts were nicely presented on the table and we tasted them all.
Dessert options available at Edesia’s Bengali Food Festival | PC: Kritika Vaid
Shuvendu Banerjee, General Manager, Crowne Plaza Okhla threw light on the idea behind hosting the Bengali food festival. He said, “Durga Pujo festivities are incomplete without quintessential Bengali delicacies. With Pandal celebrations going low key for yet another year, we decided to curate an experiential culinary event that celebrates the culture of Bengal, the essence of Pujo festivities and authentic food in the safe and hygienic environment. A replica of a Pandal in the hues of crimson red and white with beats of Dhak in the background will add to the charm of the festival. We will ensure that you don’t miss the festivities of Durga Pujo during such times.”
Verdict: Overall for a buffet place it is a nice experience. Most of the food selection was lovely and but one thing that disappointed was the pungent fish. One can pay this authentic Bengali food festival a visit. Located inside Crowne Plaza Okhla, the 5-star hotel provides accommodation and is near Lotus Temple and Kalkaji Temple. The nearest metro station to reach the hotel is Govind Puri.
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