If there is an “Innovation with Ilish” then 6 Ballygaunge Place is the master of the game. A yearly event in all foodies’ calendar and this year it was an honor for PanchPhoron bloggers to get invited to their brand new fine dining outlet at New Town, to relinquish the specially curated menu by Chef Sushanta Sengupta.
But before moving to what’s on the table lets have a quick tour of the decor of the outlet. The ambiance recreates an old-world charm of our culture and heritage. The moment you step in, will give you the feel of an old zamindar house with chessboard floor, outdated furniture, wooden railings, iron rod grills, khor-khori windows and kori-kath ceiling. The colour pallet of black, white, grey and green is complemented by the Bengali artwork on the plates and napkins.
On the table we were introduced with 9 tantalizing dishes with center of attraction being ilish. Ilish Biryani, a delectable symphony of the fragrant basmati rice and the pompous ilish. Biryani is a well loved item and ilish is one of those rare foods which Bengalis are weak at. This offers an irresistible combination of the rich biryani & tasty ilish. Ilish Chalkumro Bhaja is deep fried chalkumro (ash gourd) fitters the stuffed with boneless ilish mash. Mocha Ilish Paturi is a classic Bengali delicacy, where ilish coated with grated banana blossom (mocha), wrapped up with banana leaves for further slow cooking. In this slow cooking method the banana leaves got burnt, and this burnt smell got infused into the food to give the incomparable taste.
Kalojeera Bata Ilish is simple dish yet lost in the sands of time where ilish is cooked with the paste of kalo jeera (nigella seeds). It has so much flavour and taste just irresistible with steamed rice. Ilish Maach er Matha Diye Kochu Shaak er Ghonto is ilish fish head mixed with mashed taro leaves (kochu shaak) to give a semi-thick preparation called ghonto, tempered with mustard seeds and onion. Aam Tel Ilish is a hot and sour ilish preparation just so perfect for the bong taste buds.
Dhakai Bhuna Ilish is thick gravy prepared with sliced onion and sliced green chilis. Its too hot to handle. Kancha Aam Diye Ilish Maach er Roll is flaky crispy thin layers deep fried roll filled with green mango and boneless ilish stuffing. Badami Ilish Maach er Roast is a Bangladeshi specialty where the fish is marinated and cooked with onion, tomato, ginger, yogurt but the twist of cashew nuts gives that crunchy finishing.
The main reason, the Ilish Festival at 6 Ballygaunge Place is rated so high among gastronomists because of the size of fish been used and quality is never compromised! They are so particular about abundant availability of ilish fish that they plan the Ilish Festival based on this. This year the festival is going on in all their outlets from 2nd Aug to 19th Aug. Go and enjoy the essence of ilish with your family and friends amidst fine dining culinary experience.