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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Swissotel celebrates Hyderabadi Food Festival from 18th-24th September,'15

    Swissotel, the newest luxury hotel in Kolkata  has organized a food festival on the Nawabi cuisine of India, "Hyderabadi Cuisine" from 19th till 24th September,'15 at their contemporary Indian restaurant, Durbari. Located in Rajarhat, Kolkata beside the IT hub, Swissotel offers a distinct mix of leisure and business facilities, and is noted for its unique offering of Swiss hospitality. Durbari is a fine example of balance, where traditional and modern design elements meet in a relaxed setting. Located on the 2nd floor of Swissotel, this Indian speciality restaurant offers diners a comfortable and relaxed homely feeling.  

   Swissotel Durbari and their private seating arrangement & Chef Pranay Singh, mastermind behind this awesome food festival
    The festival is organised to offer diners a vast range of mouth watering traditional Hyderabadi delicasies like succulent kebabs, steaming hot traditional Hyderabadi Dum biriyanis, traditional hyderabadi side dishes like Haleeem etc. and delectable nawabi dessertslike Shahi Tukra. For vegetarians they have also enough choices. The executive chef of Swissotel, Chef Pranay Kumar singh, who have created these delicacies has learnt this cuisine from Hyderabadi Chef Ustaad Nawab Ishfaq Ali Khan Lodhi, who is a decendant of Lodhi dynasty. Chef Pranay Kumar singh was explaining to us how different and unique was his technique for making the biriyani and he also followed the same procedure as he learnt from him, so that people get to taste the authentic taste and flavour of Hyderabadi Cuisine.
     Swissotel invited Kolkata Food Bloggers on their first day of festival to preview their menu. Me along with two other fellow KFBians went at their contemporary Indian restaurant, Durbari. I just loved the simplicity and homely feeling of that place. Here I should mention that this festival menu is not any buffet or thali menu, but a-la-carte. 

    We were served few Veg and non-veg delicacies from every category. First, we were served our choice of drinks. Then came a bowl full of potato and masala papad with 5 types of dips ranging from mint chutney to spicy Burnt garlic dips. The spicy Burnt garlic dip was just excellent with papad as well as kebabs.
      Then came a big bowl of thin Lamb broth or Marag. Marag means any thin shorba or broth or soup. It is made with mutton or lamb meat with bones. Meat is roasted first, then boiled in a big pot with selected spiced packed into a potli. This is a very popular starter in Hyderabadi cuisine. The soup was just so fragnant and delicious. There are few more soup dishes on the menu like Tarkari shorba(Mixed vegetable soup) and Murg Pudina Shorba.

      For appetizer, a huge plate full of succulent Hyderabadi kebabs were served with carrot and beetroot nest on the side. On the plate were three types of kebabs - Vegetarian Arbi Ke Kebab(Colacassia Kebab), Tala Murgh(Hyderabadi spicy pan fried chicken) and Lamb Seekh Kebab. Arbi or colacassia kebabs were so delicious with melt-in-the-mouth texture. Tala Murgh, which is basically a pan fried chicken was hit with everyone. Seekh kebabs were made from ground spiced lamb meat which is minced and molded onto the skewers and cooked inside tandoor. Other than that, menu has few more jewels like Subz shikampuri Kebab or Shammi Kebab or Salim-e-raan

     In the main course, Swissotel has designed a lavish menu consisting all the popular and best delicacies of Hyderabadi Cuisine one can think of. In vegetarian they have Bhagare Baigan, Paneer pasanda, Aloo Methi, Kadhai Arbi, Mirch ka salan and many more....In Non-veg. list includes Mahi Kaliya, Dum ki Machli, dum ka Murgh, Methi Murgh, Haleem, Nalli Korma like delicacies. List is endless and you'll be spoiled for choices. We were served a Dal with vegetables(Dalcha) was very delicious, then Dum ki Machli, Methi Murgh and Haleem. All the dishes we tasted were finger-liking good. Even though I am not a big fan of Haleem, surprisingly I loved their haleem.

     To accompany the main course, they served Aloo Gobi ki Tahari and Khameeri(yeast) Naan. You'll also get Sheermal, Roomali Roti and off course Hyderabadi dum biriyani with Chicken, lamb and vegetable. 

     After all these yummy food, when it was hard to even breath due to the overfull stomach, we were served the desert platter, Shahi Tukra/Double Ka Meetha and Lauki Ki Kheer. Even though I was full upto the throat, I tasted them and found them to be very well-prepared. In Shahi Tukra, bread was so crispy and it tasted heaven with the thickened milk that was covering the bread slices. Even lauki ki Kheer was really well-made without being too sweet. 

    I'll recommend my readers to attend this festival if you are a lover of Indian traditional food. You won't get to taste such traditionally prepared food other than this. The price can vary from 2000-3000 rs. for 2 persons. The festival is on for lunch and dinner, between 12:30 to 3:30 pm, and 7:00 to 11:00 pm everyday, and the dishes are all available a-la-carte, not buffet or set thali.

    A big thumbs up to their hospitality. A special thanks to Chef Pranay Kumar Singh, who was so kind to sit and dine with us and shared his learning experience with us. Also a special thanks to Enakshi Kundu, Manager-Marketing and Communications of Swissotel for inviting us to this festival and to all the staffs who served us all these yummy goodies on the table.

You can place reservations through email to or by phone at +91 90070 21408.

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