You can tell me whatever, but I think Durga Pujo is not simply a Puja. It is a carnival. I think Durga Pujo is a festival that is much more relatable to the ecstatic spirit of Mardi Gras celebrated in New Orleans than to Navratri.
It is a time when the entire metropolis comes to a standstill. The traffic doesn’t move. Offices, schools and universities shut down. Friends and family come together from all corners of the world to celebrate this great festivity. Durga Pujo is absolutely mind-boggling to think how much effort goes into putting up all the artsy pandals only to be dismantled after 4 days.
But, amidst all the glitz and glamour of the Pujo, in between all the pandal-hopping spree and the HaHa and HeHe’s, food is eaten and drinks are drunk. This is an inevitable part that you cannot deny‼
Without further ado, let me tell you the hottest joints in Kolkata where your pet pujo will be complete. Take a look and thank me later.
6 Ballugunj Place (Ballygunj, Sector 1 Salt Lake, Globsyn Crystals Sector 5 and Kasba)
Did I hear your tummy scream authentic Bengali restaurant? Come straight to 6 Ballygunj Place. Pujo is for everybody so, do not let your mother step into the kitchen for even a second! Here, you can taste traditional Bengali khabar dabar that have been taken from renowned cookbooks including recipes from Rabindranath Tagore’s family. Do try their Pabda Machher Jhol (fish prepared with poppy seeds and mustard paste), Daab chingri, Prawn malai curry and Dimer devil. For a real feast, you can opt for thei =r sumptuous dinner and lunch buffets.
Banquets at The Park
The Park situated at Park Street is all set to welcome Maa Durga in complete bhuribhoj style. They are offering a special buffet menu for Saptami, Ashtamia and Navami. The spread includes delectable Bengali delicacies, such as Gondhoraj Lemon drink, Steamed fish paturi, Narkel diye dui saag bhaja, Chholar dal, Misti pulao, Sponge rosogolla and more. Worried about the pocket pinch? You can go to Nearbuy.com and a buy a coupon starting at only Rs. 745 per person. Hurry Up!
Bohemian (Old Ballygunj 1st Lane)
I know that Pujo is all about getting back to your roots. Wearing sarees and salwars and ditching the jeans. Eating Bengali food and ignoring your love for continental. But, what if you get to have the best of both worlds? Contemporary Bengali fusion food is what Bohemian is famous for. They make use of Bengali spices and flavors in their cooking, but with a twist. So, this saves you from the guilt trip of not eating Bangali khabar. Try out their global dishes and I bet you will want to visit this place again!
Taste of “Zamindari Cuisine” at Aaheli at The Peerless Inn
Don’t you just love visiting bonedi barir durga pujo? These pujos have such homely feel to it that it soothes the soul. So, after you have clicked some awesome pictures at the Sovabazar Raj Bari, Rani Rashmoni Bari or Ramdulal Nibas, dig in some authentic zamindari cuisine at Aaheli. As the waiters clad in traditional attire wait on you, you cannot help but feel like a royal! Do not forget to try their Rui macher patishapta (fish crepes).
Tantalize your taste buds with some AWE-waitforit-SOME European preparations at West View (ITC Sonar Bangla)
So, you have eaten enough Bengali food? Change your taste by munching on some seriously sick European preparations at West View. They also have a great collection of cocktails and spirits for you to choose from. The music is simply amazing! If you have the moolah, West View Bar & Grill can provide you with an unforgettable experience.
10 Downing Street (Sector 5)
This is the new kid in the block, but it is stealing hearts alright. If you haven’t been here yet, let Pujo be a reason for you to try out some super delicious snacks with cheap beers. The music will definitely tempt you to show off a move or two!
Forget all your dieting this Pujo and just immerse yourself in the spirit of festivity. Eat. Drink. Party. Normal life resumes only after 4 days!