Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Foodies, winter and open-air restaurants

Brijesh Damani, P K Banerjee

The weather has changed in Kolkata. With the onset of winter almost all the 5 Star hotel properties in the city have laid down open-air barbecue adjacent to the restaurants or food corners. The Taj Bengal and The Oberoi Grand every year start their poolside restaurant during winters. The Taj Bengal has a special spread and this time the theme is Oriental i.e., Thai food, Korean and south-east Asian food etc.
I did go there to have dinner and tried with the starters, but despite my best efforts, I found it to be too much for me and my hunger got the better of the ambiance and I had to go back to the coffee shop and to my strict good old Indian vegetarian food.
The Oberoi Grand poolside has always been my favourite and I think the 15-20 days of this time of the year in the only time that I go to the Oberoi Grand for dinner. It comes close to my idea and preference for having food outside in a hilly weather. The Oberoi Grand's open-air restaurant is one of my favourites in Kolkata especially because it serves Indian cuisine.
This year, my everyday destination, ITC Sonar Bangla, has also started the open-air restaurant. The water bodies and the lilly ponds, without doubt, provides the best open-air ambience in Kolkata. But in ITC Sonar Bangla, somehow, the quality and the taste of the food, whether it is Indian or Italian, has come down somewhat. Sometimes, I find that the food, except for the famed Peshawari, tastes rather vapid these days.
Before going for dinner at The Taj Bengal, I attended the felicitation function of Brijesh Damani (picture) that was organised by a Hindi daily. Brijesh has made us all proud by winning the silver medal in men's team snooker at the Asiad along with Yasin Merchant and Aditya Kumar.
I also met P K Banerjee and Dolon Banerjee (picture), both of them are accomplished sports persons of India. P K Banerjee, in his speech, observed that Brijesh would not win a gold medal until and unless he gets proper training and for this there was a need to spend money on proper training facilities. PK spoke aloud the unpleasant fact as is evident and reflected by the huge gap in the economic status of cricketers and other sports persons in India.
It is indeed a fact that in our country hardly much is done to promote sports other than cricket?
ess bee

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