As I travel the world, trying food from every corner of the globe, I occasionally find myself enjoying a meal that is utterly perfect. For those of you that are passionate about dining like myself, you’ll know that coming across a flawless meal is very rare. It is so incredibly special when a diner is able to enjoy a meal from beginning to end, and fall in love with every bite and every sip of drink. Out of the hundreds and hundreds of restaurants I’ve visited, this has only happened about 5% of the time. Why am I talking about this? It’s because most recently this happened at the Durbari Indian Restaurant at the Swissotel in Kolkata, India. Also, read about my Swissotel Kolkata stay here.
I had multiple meals at the restaurant, but the special meal that blew me away was not a multi-course meal, it was a special Durga Puja Festival Bengali meal. Durga Puja Festival occurs every year in October, but I enjoyed the meal outside of this time. I was informed that all of the items I tried were available on the normal menu, so no need to wait until October to enjoy! I don’t know much about the festival, but I do know the food and drink were life changing.
We started the evening off with several juices. Some had flavors that I was accustomed to, while others were completely new. I loved the Kaffir lime, which has an aromatic quality, reminding me of Thai basil. Soon after the shots, we received our drink orders which were a Fig Mojito and Teacher’s Highland Cream Indian Whisky. Both drinks were a first, and absolutely incredible.
Before I knew it the chefs were parading out of the kitchen with plates and plates of food. The one that caught my attention first was the giant fish head! This fish head was about as big as a Pierre head. It was actually cooked to perfection with juicy meat, which was enjoyed throughout the meal.
In the large center dish were local breads, rice and a few other sides. Served around this large dish were 10 smaller dishes, each with unique flavors, bursting with intensity! I was so excited, I forgot who I was for a moment, and just began feasting. I felt like I died and went to heaven. This was hands down the best Indian food I’ve ever had in my life, and one of the top meals I’ve ever had as well.
Once we had sufficiently stuffed ourselves, traditional desserts were served. These were also very delicious and I’d recommend the Indian pudding with pistachios. Durbari Indian Restaurant serves both traditional and modern Indian cuisine. Another evening we returned to try the modern Indian food.
For this second Durbari experience, the chef started with air bread with creamy lobster coconut curry inside. The presentation along with the flavor in this amuse bouche was impeccable. Probably the most memorable item of the entire evening.
At the same time as we were enjoying our first bite, the cocktails arrived. I must commend the bartender for creating a very smooth Old Fashioned.
Another truly amazing dish was the mutton with an egg white foam. The whole Swissotel Kolkata property knew how to cook meat perfectly. This was some of the most succulent and tasty mutton ever.
There were of course tons more dishes all enjoyable, some better than others. Throughout the entire evening, the service was quite good. Hospitable hosts indeed!
To finish off the second evening was a dessert that made my head explode! This was called Warm Chocolate Sandesh Tian. This dessert incorporated flavors and textures of all sorts. Served on a log, its appearance definitely caught my attention. I loved switching between the sour lime flavor, and the sweetness of the other items.
I think it’s pretty obvious that I fell in love with the Durbari Indian Restaurant at the Swissotel in Kolkata, India! The traditional Durga Puja Festival meal impressed me to the maximum. Every single dish of this Bengali menu blew my mind, and this meal easily jumped to one of the top meals of my life. Not only were the food and drinks amazing, so was the service. Although both meals were good, my absolute favorite was the Bengali food. If you like Indian food and you’re in Kolkata, you must visit the Durbari Restaurant at the Swissotel!
City Centre New Town, Action Area 2 D, Plot No.11/5 New Town Rajarhat, Kolkata 700157
Phone: +91 33 6626 6666