Think of Bengali cuisine and the first place that comes to your mind is Aaheli, an authentic Bengali restaurant at The Peerless Inn Kolkata. Joydip Sur caught up with Executive Chef Rupam Banik and Ashim Chakraborty, Manager (F&B) to find out what make Aaheli a class apart.
The name 'Aaheli' is derived from an Arabic word which means authentic. Aaheli, a brainchild of Mr. S K Roy, Chairman of the Peerless Group, was inaugurated on May 18, 1993. The decision to open an authentic Bengali cuisine restaurant was revolutionary by itself because selling Bengali cuisine in Kolkata - the bastion of Bengali food and culture was not an easy task. But the restaurant proved to be a roaring success and thus Aaheli became the brand ambassador of the hotel.
Aaheli caters to the taste buds of both local and international guests. They have evolved a varied fare, which include the very best cuisines from both the parts of Bengal- the east and the west. “Our clientele is very niche and comprises both domestic and international guests. But it is not just our food which attracts the guests; the ambience, décor, music, art, bell metal utensils, traditional attire and hospitality, all add to a complete dining experience,” said Ashim Chakraborty, Manager (F&B). “The very logo of Aaheli – a mother feeding her child - speaks for itself of the manner in which we indulge our valued guests. The mother-child relationship is one of the most sacred relationships in the world. A mother is loving, affectionate and takes utmost care while feeding her child and we do the same to our guests,” he adds.
Aaheli incorporated the cooking styles of different districts of Bengal and has been instrumental in bringing back the lost 'zamindari cuisine', 'the cuisine of Thakurbari' to the connoisseurs of Bengali food who want a taste of their gourmet past. They also hold several food promotions round -the-year to bring in variations for their regular clientele. Bengali traditional music is performed live on every Saturday and Sunday. “We are extremely strict about the quality of ingredients used to prepare the food. The fish, meat, vegetables and spices which form the primary ingredients are sourced from steady suppliers and go through regular quality checks. We also encourage innovation and run a round-the-year recipe contest which is open to all. We shortlist some of the best recipes from the pool of entries and on receiving positive feedback from our guests we include those items in our menu,” said Executive Chef Rupam Banik.
• Bhapa Goldar Bahar – lobster cooked in malai gravy.
• Dhumro Gondhi Illish – boneless hilsa cooked in mustard paste.
• Rui Maacher Patisapta – minced rohu fish stuffed in a pancake.
• Mochar Chop – banana blossoms, coated with shamolina and then deep fried.
• Bhetki Paturi – fillet bhekti marinated in mustard paste, wrapped with banana leaf and then steamed.
• Chital Mutha – boneless chital fish rolled in circular shape, deep fried and cooked with golden gravy.
• Dal Raibahadur – Moong dal cooked with cauliflower and green peas, served with ghee.
• Rajthakurer Kasha Handi – mutton cooked with yogurt and whole spices.
• Polao Rajnandini – Pilaf cooked with cauliflower, green peas and ghee.
• Kheerer Malpoa – pancake stuffed with kheer and soaked in sugar syrup.
Address : The Peerless Inn 12, Jawaharlal Nehru Road. Kolkata –13
Phone : 2228 0301 Ext: 1127 / 98317 80403
Business Hours : Lunch – 1230 pm to 3.30 pm inner – 7.30 pm to 11.00 pm.
Sunday Brunch : 12:30pm to 4pm.
Seating capacity : 62
Cuisine : Authentic Bengali cuisine
Meal for two : A la carte – Rs 1600 + taxes
Thali : Non-veg – Rs 785 + taxes Veg – Rs 685 + taxes
Parking : Valet
Address: 18 Park Street Kolkata 700071
The Timings: 7.30 am - 10 pm
Lunch Served: 12:00 noon - 3.30 pm
Dinner Served:7.30 pm onwards