Pre-Tasting of Christmas Feast @ Nest – Howard Johnson, Kolkata ☺

Food Event: Christmas Feast

Available During: Dinner on 24 Dec 2017 (7:30 pm -11:30 pm) and Lunch on 25 Dec 2017 (12:30 pm – 3:30 pm)

Situated beside Spencers, New Town, the recently opened Howard Johnson is a part of the US-based Wyndham Hotel Group and the second in line of the chain of hotels that they plan to open in India. The first one is in Bangalore.

Nest, their all day dining and as of now solo restaurant will be providing lavish Christmas Feast buffets for Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas lunch.

A special Christmas menu comprising a heady mix of both veg and non veg options has been curated for this purpose. It contains around 35 distinct dishes.

I was invited for a pre-tasting of the vegetarian options of the Christmas Feast.

The Christmas menu items along with a couple of Nest’s signature dishes from the usual menu, presented to me for tasting, in neat white colored crockery were –

– Amuse-bouche: A big deep basined spoon filled with in-house made Nachos was served with separate bowls of Coriander and Chunky Tomato Salsa.

The Nachos were crisp, uniformly fried and thankfully devoid of extra salt and other seasonings. Both the Salsas were fresh, slightly spicy and apt for the bland Nachos. The dish tasted nice.

– Soup –

– Velvety Broccoli & Almond Soup: It was a slightly thick soup hued in a beautiful shade of light green and garnished with fine almond slivers.

It was hot and creamy and helped in washing off all the tangy flavors of the preceeding dish. Some crisp Garlic Breads were also served alongside. The Soup tasted very nice. The Breads were average.

– Salad –

– Tropical Island Salad: Chosen as a signature dish from their usual menu, the Salad comprised of uniformly cut cubes of dragon fruit, papaya, pineapple, orange, watermelon and musk melon, presented in the deep basin of a wide rimmed dish. A big spoonful of sweet and sour dressing was also served alongside.

With the backdrop of dragon fruit peel and kaffir lime leaves, the Salad looked beautiful and tasted excellent. All the fruits were succulent and of good quality.

– Mediterranean Cous Cous Salad With Crumbled Feta & Olives: In a similar dish as described above, a light and airy preparation of Cous Cous Salad was served. It was garnished with big chunks of feta cheese and thickly sliced olive roundels. Multi color salad leaves were placed on the rim of the plate for visual appeal.

The Salad was healthy and tasted very nice.

– Appetizer –

– Mediterranean Vegetable Cigar With Harissa Aioli: Six Cigars topped with a sprig of decorative rocket leaves were served on an oval plate along with a big spoon of Harissa Aioli i.e. mayonnaise seasoned with garlic and infused with the hot paste of chilli peppers, paprika and olive oil.

The Cigars were crisp and well cooked. The Dip was creamy and spicy. The dish tasted nice.

– Tulsi Paneer Tikka: A boat shaped dish came laden with 6 pieces of pesto marinated and char grilled Paneer Tikkas arranged in a line with thin slices of onion/tomato/capsicum in between.

The accompaniments placed on the same plate comprised of – a rolled Papad, a bowl of uniformly cut in mediocre sized strips Salad doused in a mustard centric dip, a concoction of cream and thin Onion roundels and raw thin Onion roundels spiked with Gondhoraaj Lime. A separate bowl of Green Chutney was also served alongside.

Needless to say, the dish looked grand and tasted good. Gondhoraaj Lime spiked onions were a revelation.

– Mushrooms Zinghung: On an oval plate, marinated, fried and dry tossed mushrooms were presented in an edible rimmed bowl made of a fried cereal, like Papdi or Nachos. A side Salad of thin threads of green and purple cabbages was placed alongside. It was topped with a carrot shaped lika a long flower.

The dish tasted chewy, nice and sans any extra oil.

– Main Course –

– Winter Broccoli & Cauliflower Mornay: A deep basined wide rimmed circular dish came laden with a grilled preparation of broccoli, cauliflower, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese and the likes.

It was well seasoned, creamy, filling and tasted good.

– Exotic Vegetables In Thai Panang Curry: Panang Curry is a type of red Thai curry that is thick, salty and sweet, with a nutty peanut flavor. Infused with elements like – zucchini, broccoli, coconut milk, kaffir lime etc., the Curry was presented in a boat shaped bowl along with a low height but wide mouthed pot of Steamed Rice.

Infused with the beautiful flavor of Kaffir lime and creamy taste of good quality coconut milk, the dish tasted excellent.

– Phad Thai Noodles: A big bowl came laden with well cooked Phad Thai Noodles tossed and garnished with an interesting mix of – long striped colored bell peppers, unevenly broken peanuts, coriander leaves, thinly sliced wedges of lime and finely chopped spring onions. Some decorative Salad shaped like long leaves and flower was also inserted at one side.

– Dessert –

– Kalakand Cheesecake: It was an apt case of ‘Desi babu vilayati chal’, meaning to say that, local and popular desserts were given a western style presentation!

Placed on a thin Cheesecake base, a thick cube of Kalakand was presented on an almost equal sized bed of Mihidana. It was garnished on top with some Mihidana, powdered pistachios and a small basil leaf. The dish was presented on a slightly oval shaped plate, decored with an artistic plating of strawberry sauce on the side.

The dish was apt in quantity for a single person. It tasted excellent.

Price per plate: Rs. 1,099/-


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