What: Mango Festival
Where: Advieh – the Multicuisine Restaurant, at Celesta, the boutique Hotel
When: 15th June – 15th July
Indians are a passionate lot of people. Our madness is fuelled by various things to which we are inherently entwined with, like cricket, lavish weddings, or the king of fruits – the glorious mangoes. No summer weekend is complete without the luscious, golden beauty. But the Celesta Hotel has taken this love for mangoes a step further and have curated an entire menu, using them in uniquely diverse ways. Celesta, the boutique Hotel, located 3 kms from the Dum Dum Airport, boasts of 3 in-house restaurant options, namely the High Street Bar, the Senate and the Advieh.
I was invited to their Mango Festival last week, for a hearty Sunday lunch. The hotel looks exquisite, with the pristine white drapes and upholstery, the glass walls, the elaborate ikebana and the grand chandeliers giving a royal yet serene feel to the place.
The Welcome Drink, the Kaffir Lime Colada was perhaps the only thing on the menu devoid of any mango, but was immensely refreshing. The Mango Lettuce Salad with Ranch Dressing was an expected entity on the menu, and certainly met my expectations.
The Starters: Aam wali Mahi Tikka and the Mango Spring Roll, both notched up the deliciousness quotient of the afternoon. The juicy chunks of fish, marinated in mango and cooked on a tandoor, had the subtle sweet-sour hint of the semi-ripe fruit, without being too obvious. Mention must be made of the array of dips and sauces of mango, which complemented the starters amazingly.
Of the mains, the Pan Seared Fish stole my heart, tasting as good as it looked. Then came the desserts, the Mango Crepe Suzette. The thin crepes had a sticky mango filling, were drizzled with mango sauce, and were served with a scoop of good, old vanilla ice-cream. It satisfied my sweet tooth without putting me on a sugar coma, and made for a dessert of my dreams.
Though the entire string of dishes featured mango – raw or ripe – nowhere did the flavours feel repetitive. Also, the omnipresent mango, though showcased beautifully, at no point felt over-powering. So in all, it was an immensely satisfying lunch, and certainly made my Sunday a very happy one.