Enter Sonar Tori’s restaurant and it’s designed right after any Bengali’s heart. Pages from Rabindra Rachanabali seem to leap out of the vaulted ceilings, in what looks like his handwriting and his artistic way of scratching out words in his poems. Every table has a bowl of sweet-smelling yellow champa flowers and two smaller bowls of Bengali pickle — karamchar aachar and lonkar aachar. There’s even a corner dedicated to books by and on Tagore. But enough about the decor, what’s cooking for lunch?
There are three kinds of thalis to pick from. Grameen will have simple but hearty rural fare to carry on the peasant theme of Bengal. Expect simple Dhekibhanga Chaaler Bhaat or red rice with ghee, and lots of Bhaate — Aloo Bhaate, Ole Bhaate, Dal Bhaate (boiled and mashed dumplings of potato, yam and lentils, respectively) and a novel Posto Chutney. Posto or poppy seeds are roasted and ground with red chillies and served with mustard oil. This will also include Saag Bhaja and simple fish preparations like Mourola Maachher Bati Chorchori and Kochupata Diye Kucho Chingri. The Grameen thali will be priced around Rs 650 (veg) and Rs 800 (non-veg).
The second variety of thali is Musholmander Aahar, a hardcore carnivore’s dream with rezalas, kormas, biryanis and Mangshor Bhuna. The veg and non-veg variety for both these thalis will be priced at Rs 750 and Rs 900 respectively.
Zamindari, the third thali, will have heartier fare but with a balance of both — “the simplicity of the Grameen and the richness of Musholmander Aahar,” says corporate chef Sumanta Chakrabarti. Like Ilish Paturi, Daab Chingri and Mochar Pulao.
Desserts have to be ordered a la carte and if you make it to Sonar Tori during the “taal season”, you can have Taaler Kheer (fresh off the palm trees around the pond) or Makha Sandesh or Mihidana. A sample platter of all the desserts on one plate is also available.
Sonar Tori opens later this month.