The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The city is known for its old alleys. One such is shot by Atanu Pal.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer specials at Casa Kitchen

A question was playing on my mind for some time- Does Kolkata celebrate summer foods in the eating out space? After all, this is just not the weather to eat out to one heart’s content. One feels like having a light meal and craves for refreshing drinks to quench thirst and stay hydrated. So when I received an invitation for a special bloggers’ preview of a summer food festival from Casa Kitchen, the fine dining multicuisine restaurant & bar on AJC Bose Rd, between Minto Park and Camac Street, I was happy.

It is called Summer Time Soiree- a fare of salads, cold sandwiches and refreshing cocktails & mocktails. I was welcomed by Mr Swarup Ghosh, GM of Hotel Casa Fortuna, which houses the restaurant. Also present was Mr Shantanu Lahiri, Chief Advisor to the hotel. He has a long experience of serving in 5-star properties in the hospitality industry and now runs a consultancy firm for hotels and restaurants.

The welcome drink was a cucumber-based one, called Cucumber Curry Leaf Lemonade. It was refreshing, especially so in a hot and extremely humid summer day.

Cucumber Curry Leaf Lemonade

Shantanu shared with us the idea behind holding the festival. In summer we do not crave for rich and spicy food, and that’s bad for health too. So they thought of curating foods and drinks with ingredients that are cooling, hydrating and full of antioxidants to take care of both gastromomic need and health. We bloggers were discussing all things culinary with Swarup and Shantanu, while Swarup told us about a mocktail they make with guava juice which is a take on Bloody Mary and reminds us of having raw guava with black salt mixed with red chili powder (commonly known as jhaalnoon in Bengali). It’s named Chatka Marie. We found it interesting and it was served. The taste of ripe guava with a recreated hint of vodka and a lick of the salt covering the rim in between sips made for a good time. It is not on the menu of Summer Time Soiree, but available on demand. Try it if you make a visit.

Chatka Marie

Coming to the menu, it starts with the coolers. There it has six fruit-based coolers and mocktails like Deep Blue Sea- a yellow and green mocktail of mango and pineapple, Just Peachy- a frozen drink with peach and orange and Fruity Delight- mixed fruit juice with vanilla ice cream and hints of strawberry crush, made to be loved by the kids. They are priced Rs 175  each (without taxes).

Deep Blue Sea
Just Peachy

In cocktails there is a choice of eight made with whisky, vodka, rum, tequila and gin. Keeping with the theme, there are fruity options like Blood Orange Sunrise with orange juice and whisky on the rocks and Kiwi Cooler with kiwi, white rum and cranberry juice. The tequila lovers may wish to indulge in a Mango Margarita (frozen cocktail infused with tequila and fresh mango) while those who like vodka cocktails can go for Pink Glow Splash and the gorgeous looking White Russian (a classic cocktail with vodka, coffee liqueur and cream). They are priced Rs 475 each (without taxes).

 Kiwi Cooler
 Mango Margarita

 White Russian

The food section is all about salads with two sandwiches thrown in. The Watermelon Sandwich is a simple yet innovative take on watermelon made this season and for this festival. It’s fresh, round watermelon slices sprinkled with home-made feta. Cool Casa Sandwich is a rich preparation of pickled zucchini, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, baby corn, gherkins and mustard mayonnaise between multi-grain bread slices. Liked its lightly spicy and tangy taste. Next came Woldorf Salad- apple pieces tossed with apple acid vinegar, mayonnaise and pieces of walnut. I am not a salad person, but I just loved the combo of apple and walnut with the sauce playing catalyst. It’s easily my pick of the menu and it will be loved by fruit salad lovers.

 Watermelon Sandwich

 Cool Casa Sandwich

 Waldorf Salad

I also sampled Mediterranean Salad with Balsamic Glaze and Vegetable Caeser Salad, both of which should be liked by green salad lovers. The first one is char-grilled veggies, including bell pepper, with balsamic glaze and the latter is iceberg lettuce tossed with garlic mayonnaise and croutons.  Liked the first one more because of the rightly grilled bell pepper. Also liked the tangy taste of the simple pasta salad thanks to the cocktail sauce. All the dishes cost Rs 195 or 225 without taxes.
 Mediterranean Salad with Balsamic Glaze

 Pasta salad

Shantanu wanted us to taste their paneer tikka and said that the paneer is made in house to maintain a certain quality. The dish was served sizzler style. Though I am not an admirer of anything made of paneer as I consider it a character-less ingredient, I liked the taste. Yes, the paneer was soft and tasted better.

 Paneer tikka

It was wonderful to meet friends and fellow bloggers and bond over food & drinks. Poorna of the blog PresentedbyP (one of city’s best food blogs), Anindya of Pikturenama and Indrajit of A Bong Petuk’s Diary were present. Also met Sanjay Sagar, a veteran professional photographer, who love shooting food & beverages.

So head for this summer food fest if you are in the mood for this kind of food.

Summer Time Soiree
18th to 31st May
11 am to 11 pm
Cost for two- Rs 1000 + tax

Casa Kitchen
234/1 AJC Bose Road
Kolkata 700020

For table reservations call 033 40218050 or 8017088003.

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