Bengali Buffet @ Karibu
Being well-exposed to different culture and tradition and absorbing the best that this world has to offer, nobody can deny my Bengali roots. I admire almost everything old-school and food and partying forms an intricate part of our culture. So, when The Zuri Hotels, Whitefield organize a Bengali Buffet in honour of Poila Baisakh ( Bengali New Year’s Day), I make it a point to attend it without amiss. The hostess Preeti Saha took special care of me and made sure I enjoyed the evening to the core, even though I was the only one to show up amongst the list of bloggers invited to the soiree.
Zuri Hotels is known for their hospitality in the corporate sector primarily catering to the IT Hub of Bangalore’s ITPL. Their ladies nights held at the Bling are also quite popular. But this is about the Bengali Buffet, and let’s just get back to that.
I was welcomed at Karibu in true Bengali Tradition by a hostess wearing a saree and holding a plate of vermillion, Sandalwood and other requisites considered holy and offered as prayer. I was expecting a mixed cuisine spread but was blown away by the various dishes that emphasize old and new Bengal, something I did not have in mind. We are talking about the quintessential Luchi andAloor Dum placed next to the Uber –contemporary Kiwi Sandesh. But let’s explain the courses in their organised consumption order.
A true bong wants to star his gastronomic journey with a little taste of Luchi( traditional Bengali Flat Bread deep-fried) along with Chholar dal( Chickpea lentils) or Aloor Dum( Succulent pieces of baby potato cooked in a tomato and asafoetida gravy). I them moved on to the next section which comprised of the popular Fish Tikka Salad and Russian Vegetable Salad. The Fish Fries served with Tartare Sauce and Chicken Katti Roll made me miss Kolkata more than ever before. Paired with my personal favourite- a glass of Chenin Blanc from The House of Fratelli, the palate seemed just perfect for the appetizing start to a wondrous journey of pure indulgence in authentic Bengali food.
I started my Main Course a bit later with the traditional Dal and Begun Bhaja (Deep Fried Aubergine) along with a little portion of the Paneer Masala. I was tempted to hog on the next course of Non-vegetarian delicacies starting with the Rui Kalia (Rohu Fish in a thick Gravy), Railway Mutton Curry and Chingri Machher Malaikari (King Prawns in a Coconut Gravy) and Doi Murgi (Chicken in an Yogurt Gravy). I restricted my portions to make sure I have enough space to enjoy the heavenly Dessert Platter that was spread out next. I also delved into the Vegetable Lasagne which was cooked perfectly and bended well with the assortment of Fish and Chicken appetisers mentioned earlier.
As I proceeded over to the dessert section, the Rosogolla, Rajbhog and Rasa Malai caught my attention. I also trued the amazing baked sandesh and their lovely assortments spread out in a welcoming fashion. The Chocolate Tart and the Mango Mousse were my ultimate indulgence for the evening. The star of the dishes was undoubtedly the Prawn cooked in the coconut gravy as it was perfect in flavour and authentic in its presentation. Each and every dish was cooked with utmost impetus on revealing the true essence of the Bengali Traditional food presented in a contemporary chic ambience.
It would be highly unfair to end without special mention of the Hostess-Preeti Saha. She made sure I was comfortable and felt at home. I kept on switching between Bling and Karibu as the Ladies night inside was in full swing and the resident DJ playing fantastic numbers. The décor of Zuri is urban chic and one can get used to this. The lamp shades inside Bling are extremely Avant garde and reminds one of the urban bars in NYC and San Francisco from the late 90s. An amazing experience and satisfaction guaranteed at the buffet for anyone who has, has not or appreciates Bengali Cuisine.