Kolkata dons a whole new avatar during the most cherished festival of the year—Durga Puja—and festivities are in the air weeks before the holiday period begins. From pandal hopping to the sound of dhak to indulging in festive specialities in restaurants, city-goers immerse themselves in the merriment and feasting with joyous gusto. Late night outings and family gatherings bring great opportunities for restaurants to showcase their best food for those who aren't satisfied with just the offerings of their kitchens and streets. We did some sniffing around and hand-picked this list of restaurants offering Durga Pujo specials.
Where: 49B, Purna Das Road, Hindustan Park
Lowdown: Saptapadi is known for Bengali fusion cuisine. Their Durga Puja celebrations, which are already in full swing, include a live goddess taking care of guests' dining needs with a special "petpujo thali". Specials such as til lanka murgi and golmorich pudina vetki are dishes to look out for.
Where: 62, Ballygunge Gardens, -700019, Near Golpark Post Office, Golpark
Lowdown: Koshe Kosha serves authentic Bengali cuisine and is known for popularizing the classic kosha mangsho. They have created a special menu for the festive period, with interesting items such kasundi aam elish and malai chingrir biryani. available across eight outlets in the city. The special menu will be available from 6 October onwards.
Where: 124B, Dr. Meghnad Saha Sarani, Southern Avenue
Lowdown: Bijoli Grill, a legendary outlet popular for its fish fry and wedding catering, brings the "biye baari" (wedding house) style of dining to their outlet this Durga Puja. Diners will be wowed with a lavish spread and unlimited thali. The feast happens from 8-10 October.
Gupta Brothers Sweets
Where: Block J, 198, New Alipore, Kolkata Near Triangular Park, New Alipore
Lowdown: This sweet shop is greeting the festival enthusiastically, and have provisioned for four live counters during Puja serving kulfi, softies, chilla and variants of Maggi. They've extended hours till 2am to serve hungry pandal hoppers. Have a taste between 7 and 11 October.
Where: The Majestic Suites, Star Residency, 3, Chotopol, Raigachi, Rajarhat, Kolkata, Rajarhat New Town
Lowdown: Expect a fine-dine twist to Pujo specials at the buffet here, which will be beckoning diners from 7-11 October. Perfect for a relaxing sit-down meal after frantic pandal-hopping.
Where: The Stadel, Gate 3, Salt Lake Stadium, Sector 3, Salt Lake
Lowdown: First Innings at Stadel hotel is offering a special Durga Puja buffet from 8-11 October. The lavish spread will have you wishing you hadn't eaten so much for breakfast; the array of mishtis are worth saving some space for.
Where: 380, Near Honda Showroom, Prince Anwar Shah Road,
Lowdown: This small cosy joint located opposite South City Mall is known for its chicken kasha and biryani. This Durga Puja, it is putting up stalls from 7-11 October at Naktala Udyan Sangha and Youth Club Naktala. They are serving their popular delicacies along with a special moti biryani.
Where: 533, Jodhpur Park
Lowdown: Lokahaar is introducing not one but several special menus that will change every day during the Pujas. Their special items will differ from Saptamai to Dussehra. Asthami promises to be delicious, as it comprises a special Durga Puja bhog. The specials will be available from 6-11 Oct.
Where: Novotel, CF 11, Action Area, 1C, New Town, Rajarhat New Town
Lowdown: The Square is the coffee shop at Novotel Kolkata, a five-star property. With a Bengali Food Festival running from 4-14 October, a Bengali buffet spread (as grand as the ambience) will be available for both lunch and dinner. They also promise to offer a big spread of desserts.
Where: RAA 43/2, Hotel Celesta, Raghunathpur North, Baguihati
Lowdown: Adveih is offering a Durga Puja special buffet from 8-11 October. Finish off the meal with a wide choice of desserts and paan. This outlet is situated in Baguihati close to the airport.