Heralding Restaurant Week India at Souk, Taj Bengal

Restaurant Week India is something I have a lot of nostalgia associated with. The very name transports me back to my days as a rookie in New Delhi. RWI would happen twice every year — once in April and again in September. And from a month before, my friend T and I would start to set aside money so that we could make the most of the event. I have often cribbed that we don't have such events celebrating fine-dine quality food at affordable prices in Calcutta, and lo and behold, a few weeks back I get a call from Communications 2.0 intimating me that RWI is all set to take the city by storm (to know what RWI actually is and how it functions, click here).
My destination for the event was Souk, the Mediterranean restaurant of The Taj Bengal. My friend S accompanied me and together we were set for a brilliant Middle-Eastern meal and lots of catching up.
We started off with the Hummus bil Lahm (traditional hummus topped with crispy lamb, pinenuts, lemon and parsley) and Crispy Samak (batter-fried tiny fish cubes with garlic and harissa sauce). The hummus was decent (and it came with three kinds of pita bread), certainly not the best I've had but what took me by surprise were the bites of smartly-spiced fish chunks. Despite trying to steer clear of deep fried food, I couldn't help but take a second helping of the fish.
The mains comprised of Kotopoulo Stifado (Chicken stewed with roasted white onions, flavored with cinnamon) which was served with parsley rice and Chicken Shawarma. Warm, comforting and spicy, this stew was another winner in my book. It scores much higher than the light and brothy stews that we are used to eating. No wonder there's such a rage for stews in the Middle-Eastern world. By the time we unwrapped our Shawarmas, we were veritably full and and after a couple of bites into it, we decided to save our last bits of no-longer-existent appetite for the desserts.
Now Mediterranean desserts as we know them are extremely rich. So what I liked about their service was that they had kept the portion sizes small and finish-able. I mean really, who in his right minds would want to see half a slice of Iranian pistachio-packed Baklava going waste? But waste is not what we did and despite being full to the brim, we wiped our plates of Baklava and Rose Petal Ice-Cream clean.
Specially curated by Executive Chef Sonu Koithara and Sous Chef Palash Ghosh, the RWI menu at Souk  features most of the items that are signatures at the restaurant itself. So if you want a three-course Mediterranean fine dine experience for as much (or as little) as 900 INR + taxes/person, make sure you book your tables fast because the event is on till Sunday, September 20.

The other participating restaurants at RWI are:
Baan Thai, The Oberoi Grand
Durbari, Swissotel
La Cucina, Hyatt regency
Pan Asian, ITC Sonar
Peshawri, ITC Sonar
Serafine, Quest Mall
The Legacy Grill, Lalit Great Eastern
Yauatcha, Quest Mall
Zen, The Park


  1. A nice peek at RWI Kolkata! Enjoyed reading. It would be good if the pictures were captioned. And what is that orange thing on top of baklava?


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