Mexo-Italiana! What kind of a cuisine is that? I thought as I was scheduling a visit with blogger friends to the food festival on the invitation from management within a few days of sampling Tex-Mex cuisine (which was on attending the launch of the international Tex-Mex cuisine casual dining restaurant chain Chili’s at Acropolis). Even Google failed to answer.
It was revealed early in the evening I was at Casa Kitchen, one of the best multicuisine vegetarian restaurants of Kolkata, located at Minto Par. The GM of Casa Fortuna hotel (where it is located) Mr Swarup Ghosh, who always plays an impeccable host to us bloggers, told that it was a festival they were doing for the first time with Mexican and Italian cuisines thereby balancing between two very different tastes. Mexican cuisine is known for its spiciness (common to Indian cuisine) and Italian is mellowed and its cheesy flavour is appreciated. Since Italian is a popular cuisine in the city, it was an effort to bring Mexican cuisine to the fore riding on the popularity.
I joined blogger friends Anindya S Basu of Pikturenama and Indrajit Lahiri (he has plenty of mentions on this blog) on the table.
|Indrajit's welcome drink- red wine. The view of the busy AJC Bose makes for a good sitting by the glass wall|
After the wine (mine and Anindya's was white wine), we were served Veg Tortilla Soup and Zuppa Toscana (Italian) to start with. The former is a tangy and very spicy Mexican soup, where the spiciness was muted a bit to suit the palate of the patrons. I simply loved the tanginess of the tomato soup with tortilla chips dropped in it. The Zuppa Toscana topped up with whipped cream transported the taste buds to its own world and I loved it with all its creaminess. Both are ideal for a winter evening.
|Veg Tortilla Soup|
|Veg Tortilla Soup|
The salads arrived. Grilled Corn Salad and Vegetable Caesar Salad. The corn salad could have scored more with a bit more corn in it, though the use of vinaigrette dressing gave it a nice tart flavour. The Caesar salad (Iceberg lettuce tossed with Parmesan cheese and garlic mayo) was decent.
|Grilled Corn Salad|
|Vegetable Caesar Salad|
Among the starters, I liked the Bricole Mushroom Frito (Crumb-fried mushroom stuffed with jalapeno and cheese). I have said earlier that I love mushrooms and rue the fact that the city is yet to wake up to its charm. The bite in this Italian dish unleashed the molten cheese on the middle of my tongue creating a zesty moment. It should be a hit with the children on the family dining out. The (Mexican) Corn Cheese Ball was flat and I agreed to Indrajit that the corn nuggets should have better been broken corn as corn lovers love to feel the corn. The cheese seemed lacking too. There are three condiments served along with these two- salsa (with diced tomatoes), avocado and sour cream dip.
|Bricole Mushroom Frito|
|Corn Cheese Ball|
Arrived the burritos (tortilla bread rolled around refried beans, Mexican rice, bell pepper and cheese). This classic Mexican dish is heavy enough to qualify for the main course and full of flavour coming from the diversity of the various ingredients mentioned.
|The dips- (Left to right) Salsa, sour cream, avocado|
The Italian part of the mains has my favourite section of Italian cuisine- pasta- in two varieties. First came the classic Mac n Cheese (macaroni pasta baked with cream and cheese). A sprinkling of oregano and a wee bit of chili flakes went well with this delicious creation. The Vegetable Milano (pasta sheets and bell pepper and other exotic vegetables baked with cheese sauce) was very good too and I took it with a bit of the hot
sauce. It has been a kids’ favourite since the festival started. The Risotto Primavera (Arborio rice with spring vegetables) tasted good too, but the two pasta dishes overshadowed it clearly thanks to my weakness for all that’s pasta. Tabasco
|Mac n Cheese|
|(Left to right) Chili flakes, Tabasco sauce, oregano|
I was feeling quite full and trying to keep some space in the stomach for the desserts. But the Mexican main dishes arrived. Two three quick bites, and between the Quesadilla and Enchilada, my vote went to the former. The well-grilled tortilla in the quesadilla had a resemblance to ‘paratha’ in look and taste. It is a wholesome and tasty dish (with a filling of mixed beans, jalapeno and cheese). Tomato-rich flavours in the main course don’t excite me much, so the spicy enchilada wasn’t appealing.
Desserts finally! Couldn’t manage more than two spoons from the tiramisu which was given a light coffee flavour. It was pretty average.
The classic sizzling brownie topped with ice cream set the palate right. A good brownie never fails to score and is a safe choice to end a hearty meal.
Unfortunately, this post comes pretty late and there’s just a one-and-a half-day before it is closed. With some quick planning, it can make for a good lunch or dinner this weekend. The portions are generous. There's also an offer- a glass of house wine on order of two portions from the menu.
The festival is open all day.
Cost for two- Approximately Rs 1200 + tax.
For table reservations call 033 40218050 or 8017088003.
#MexoItaliana #VegFoodKolkata #CasaKitchen #MexicanCuisineKolkata #ItalianFoodKolkata
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