The Telegraph
Monday , November 19 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Name a city restaurant where fish is the only constant from starters to the main course. Suggest where you can sample fish delicacies from the subcontinent to the Mediterranean, from down south to Latin America. Find a dine destination where the head chef is eager to share his recipes with an enthusiastic fish lover.

Don’t scratch your head. Instead, head for FishFish, “the city’s first and only fish gourmet restaurant” at 13/5 Swinhoe Street, near Patha Bhavan Montessori.

The brainchild of chef and “food stylist” Debasish Kundu and restaurateur Aniruddha Guha Roy, FishFish is hosting a winter carnival from November 16 (11am to 11pm).

You can begin with a Thai seafood salad — a heady mix of prawn, squid and bekti tossed in basil, coriander and lemon grass. Sample some Mee Bakso soup — bekti dumplings cooked in bekti stock with green chilli and coriander. Dig into a platter of Tuna Crosstini and Fried Calamari with a French mustard cocktail dip. Lend it an Indian touch with Lote Machher Bora, Ajwani Machhi Tikka or Chital Machher Seekh Kebab.

For the main course, spoil yourself with Mediterranean Salmon or a Singaporean Chilli Crab. You can also opt for Steamed Gondhoraj Bekti or Steamed Pomfret for a low-calorie spread. You can choose from a variety of rice, noodles or pasta options with your fish.

You can even settle for a combo menu consisting of Topshe Bhaja, Chingri Machher Malai Curry, Begun Bhaja and Ghee Bhat.

Don’t forget to have the chef’s special Padma Ilish (not the river, it’s the flower, silly!) — hilsa cooked in a paste of lotus bud, poppy seeds, ground coconut and green chillies.

Round up with a bowl of Tofi Makhana with a dollop of vanilla ice cream for dessert and wash it down with mocktails ranging from Blue Curacao to Gondhoraj Ghol.

They also have a fisherman’s basket (Rs 600), an assortment of fried topshe, prawn, pomfret, bekti, lote and calamari. We suppose one visit won’t suffice if you want to try it all!

The combo meals cost around

Rs 350 per head and a lunch for two comes at Rs 500 onwards (plus taxes).

Not everyday do you walk into a restaurant and get to dine with a foodie-turned-film-maker like Anurag Barfi! Basu. A “fish-lover to the core”, he shared his fishy passion with t2...

You like fish?

I love fish! Wherever I go I look out for places where they serve good fish.

So which is your fave fish destination in Calcutta?

My home. I love cooking fish. For dining out, till recently it was Kasturi on Free School Street. But now, it has to be FishFish. It is outstanding and I wonder why Calcutta didn’t have anything like this so long!

What is your favourite fish recipe?

Any day it is Tetul Ilish. I marinate the hilsa with tamarind chutney, chilli paste and salt and then sauté on low flame.

Your top picks at FishFish?

A tricky question! Well at gunpoint, I would say the Chital Machher Seekh Kebab, Padma Ilish and the Singaporean Chilli Crab were superb. I also liked their Barbecue Prawn and Grilled Catfish.

Chef Debasish Kundu shares his grandmom’s recipe for Padma Ilish

Blanch the hilsa in warm milk.

Make a paste of green chilli and lotus buds.

Mix a little coconut and poppy seeds.

Cook the fish, milk and the paste together till it attains a creamy texture.

To give the city a taste of organic food and fat-free cuisine, corporate chef Niladri Chakraborty launched the Edible Flower Food Festival at The Sonnet, Block DD, Sector 1, near City Centre, on Friday. The menu features dishes made with flower extracts, fruit juices and other organic herbs.

“All of us had a high-calorie diet during the festive season. I wanted to come up with something healthy that will not only offer a different culinary experience but also detoxify the body,” said the chef.

With his signature dishes, like Tortellini Verde with Cilantro Jalapeno and Tomato Reduction, made of spinach filled tortellini tossed with fresh tomato salsa, Braised Chicken Salad with Grape Juice, Honey and Fresh Lily on the menu, Chakraborty is set to give foodies a unique experience.

“I have used a lot of herbs and flower extracts like lily, tulip, rose, rosemary, lilac and various fruit juices. The dishes are fat-free and offer a break from the regular oily food,” he added.

He also wishes to bring to the city the “real” taste of organic cuisine. “Calcutta is not yet familiar with organic cuisine. We are more into oily diet that uses a lot of mustard oil, refined oil, ghee and butter. Fruits and flowers are a storehouse of essential minerals and have medicinal value. They are easily available and very easy to prepare as well,” he said.

The festival will be on from November 23 to 25. A meal for two costs Rs 700 (plus taxes).

Swati Tewari

Picture by Anindya Shankar Ray