A wise man once said “If Bengali cuisine were Wimbledon, the hilsa would always play on Centre Court.
Sonar Ilish Festival at Sonar Tori
The menu is the brainchild of Bhaskar Dasgupta, Executive Chef of Sonar Tori and the name Sonar Ilish celebrates the irresistible combination of Hilsa and Shorshe (Mustard paste), which is used in most of the dishes in the menu. The festival is on till 2nd September and what is special about it is the availability of a variety of both East Bengal and West Bengal Hilsa dishes. There is an option to choose from either of two platters or à la carte. The platters are priced at Rs 1100++ and the à la carte dishes range from Rs 200 – Rs 750++.
When it comes to Hilsa, it is very difficult to choose a favorite but there is one dish that I have loved forever and that is Doi Ilish or Hilsa with yoghurt. When I saw that in the menu, I could not resist myself and placed an order for it and what came in front of me was perfection. A soft, perfectly cooked piece of fish in a yoghurt sauce that balanced the flavour of the Hilsa without overpowering it.
I also wanted to try something unique hence went for Laupata Ilish O Aamtel Bhaate which is Hilsa wrapped in bottle gourd leaves and steamed with mango pickle. The dish is served with rice and the pickled oil and with the fish, makes for a deadly combination. If you don’t mind your fish to be slightly tangy, definitely order this one.
As with its regular menu, the Sonar Ilish festival aims at reliving the culinary pleasures of old Bengal. You have time till 2nd September to go and romance the fish that is nothing less than a cultural icon to people of two countries.
Sonar Ilish Festival Details
What: Sonar Ilish at Sonar Tori
Where: Fourth floor, Block B, City Centre, Salt Lake
Timings: 12.30pm to 3.30pm, 7pm to 11pm
Pocket pinch: Rs 1100-plus for platters and Rs 200 – Rs 750-plus for à la carte (one piece of Hilsa per dish)
P.S – I was invited by the management to the restaurant. The pics with the watermarks are courtesy Ambuja Neotia.