Hilsa is the talk of the town at the moment and its a must try during this monsoon season , as many restaurant’s have spread out their special preparation’s for one to have a enjoyable and relishing time feasting the Queen of fish .I have tried out many restaurant’s this year especially during this Hilsa season and i have been eating the best dishes and happily loved the culinary specialities every single restaurant has to offer this year. Although i am not so fantasized about fish in general but there is something that Hilsa has which in a way invite’s you to indulge in it .Considering the number of bones it has ,still it is everyone’s favourite on taste and royalty for sure making this one top of the game in the food business scene.
Recently I was invited at Aaheli at Axis mall 4th floor which is a restaurant operated under the label of Peerless inn for the Hilsa festival happening here for the entire month of August 2016 . Aaheli is a bengali authentic restaurant and it specialises in that for over years now . It is very popular and is a must visit restaurant if you come to Kolkata any time. Speaking about visiting this place well there isn’t any better time than coming here during this Hilsa festival season as Aaheli has lined up a full spread of their delicious culinary magic . For a true Bengali this is a moment they will not dare leave without indulging in some great Hilsa , however i differ a bit and would like to include the non Bengalis too in the list as they have joined the brigade for the love of Hilsa as well cause its considered a food of status and highness .One doesn’t eat Hilsa casually everyday,as its eaten on season special times and occasion’s of richness.So as i said Aaheli is on with its Hilsa festival, the food that is in the menu this year has a lot of options to try from but before that it is important to know the feel of this place and the hospitality that you get once you reach here .
The look from outside of Aaheli is very classy in the sense of a modern era meets the traditional old time sense. Outside you will see blue translucent designer glass as the exterior of this restaurant giving a good look from the out view . Once you step in right in the front you will see a very well furnished in house bar placed to greet you . I know many would love that view for most obvious reason’s ,then moving further on your right there is a section to eat with nice seating arrangements and on your left you actually hit the main place of the restaurant where the huge section to dine happen’s .The whole area is spread with a decent space gaping among tables and chairs which gives ease to walk and you don’t feel congested or cramped up inside.
The interior works here are mostly done in a very artistic way with a lot of drawings and photo frames hung up in the walls and roofs. The main idea of the interior highlighted a scene of a heritage traditional and olden day Bengali culture ,which was very interesting to hold an eye on them .On the center of the restaurant there was a well decorated two large size pigeons and some parrots taking the whole attraction of the place to another level .Moving on i liked the lightening and walls colour’s done up as they were very bright,nice and gave a calm lit like atmosphere. The signature colour used in walls were red and creme and it had complimented the colour’s of the tables and chairs as well.
So after the look prospective of Aaheli now let discuss the service and hospitality part of Aaheli ,and i must admit they have been very kind and courteous in every single step they have taken to host the HILSA FESTIVAL .The staff here are very helpful and do things at a beck of a call which is a very great gesture of a well named restaurant . Thanks to the management for being very cool and showering us incredible warm hospitality in that note .
Ok now to the reason why i was there lets see what the AAHELI TE ILISH -E GURI FESTIVAL has in their menu and also the experience of the dishes that i tried from the selected ones they offered :
1)Kancha Eilish er Jhhal (Poached Eilish with black Cumin)
2)Eilish er Ullash (Hilsa in onion gravy)
3)Eilish maach er Tenga (Hilsa in tamarind gravy)
4)Aanarasi Eilish (Hilsa with pineapple)
5)Eilish begun er talmil (Hilsa with brinjal and black cumin)
6)Doodh Eilish (Hilsa in milk and yogurt)
7)Aam Tel Eilish, Narkel Eilish ( Coconut Eilish)
8)Eilish Khichuri-r Talmil (THALI) (Fried Hilsa with Khichuri and ghee).
9) Ilish Thalir Sanjog (THALI) (Complete platter)
And the one which we had indulged in was – ILISH THALIR SANJOG only which had Eilish Dim er bora, Bhaja Eilish, Eilish matha diye dal, Pui saag a Eilish matha, Shorshe Eilish, rice,papad and Mishti Doi as a dessert. On taste and the presentation let me give a small take on every HILSA item here below :
A) EILISH DIM ER BORA– This was a great starter dish of the day which was made of Hilsa fish eggs deep fried with special ingredients and loaded with smashed onions and on taste was very delicious and big on size to get the course of meal going .
B) SHORSHE EILISH – The Mustard enriched flavour of Eilish is something which can’t be missed and it really is a tasty affair to have it over here. Nice piece of Hilsa fish is cooked with a special marinated gravy made with mustard and in house ingredients . On taste this one was very light and not strong enough to feel the mustard flavour with the rice .But not bad at all so a good dish to try .
C) BHAJA EILISH ER MOJA – A fried way of cooking Hilsa along with yummy licking flavours. On taste this one did full justice as i completed the whole piece in a jiffy .I loved the size of the piece they give here and its cooked very well not giving you an extra oily fear .
D) PUI SAAG A EILISH MATHA – I love Pui Saag as it is a very tasty vegetable ,and when a Hilsa dish is made out of it it actually doubles the joy of trying it . I loved the combination of the saag cooked along with a nice mixed ingredient gravy base having fish pieces of Hilsa . On taste this one surely had the power to make you want more of it .
E) EILISH MATHA DIYE DAL – The dal was not any ordinary dal but a special dal made with flavoured Hilsa fish cooked along . On taste this was a lovely affair to have ,as it was steaming hot and nice in thickness and an very demanding dish of number of refills .
Apart from these ones another special dish i had tried which was a sweet version of EILISH PATISAPTA . On taste it was nice and was another great idea of using Hilsa in a sweeter form . However it should be more sweet and it would then add a difference to the taste which went salty intially.
With that last item i must also mention that the sweet curd was amazing and also the mango welcome drink which is a must try item here,so go for it after you complete your course of meal. Finally I must thank the management for this opportunity to feast on this lovely food and also for the efforts that they are taking to give Kolkata the Queen of fish HILSA more interesting eating ways with “aaheli teh Eilshe guri” festival . What are you waiting for ? Now you know where to go ,reach out to the one and only AAHELI at axis mall 4th floor .