BENGALURU: Esplanade, which has been giving solace to all the homesick Bengalis in Bengaluru, is hosting a fish festival currently, with dishes that taste like they were made right at home and served hot. On a rainy weeknight, we made our way to the restaurant and found it to be full of families and youngsters catching an early dinner.
We started the meal with the Chingri Macher Piyali – minced prawn and onion cakes – which were soft and melted in our mouths, served with the pungent kasundi. The Loita Macher Bora – crispy fried Bombay Duck – is another winner on this limited menu, and when paired with a masala coke, this combination is perfect for a rainy day.
After loading up on the starters, we tried Aar Macher Shorshe – catfish in mustard gravy – and the Bhapa Chingri – steamed scampi in coconut and mustard gravy – with rice. Both dishes were absolutely delicious and rich. Do make sure you come hungry, and don’t load up on the starters, or you won’t have room to really enjoy and savour the flavours of the mains. The seafood was very fresh, and the strong mustard flavours are sure to spread a warm, comforting feeling with every bite you take. Those who can handle a fair share of spice, do give the Kanchalanka Whole Bhetki - sea bass in green chilli gravy – a try. Fair warning – the dish is spicy and HAS to be shared, as the sheer size of the sea bass will keep you full for a long time.
After this rich and heavy meal, we had a little space left for something sweet, and the Nolen Gur ice cream did the trick. This date palm jaggery ice cream is a Bengali speciality, and was the perfect end to the meal. The only thing missing was a crane to lift us from our seats after this scumptious meal. The fish festival is on till Sunday, so do go do give some of these dishes a taste.