Bohemian is undoubtedly the pioneer of fusion Bengali food in the city, and is a personal favourite of mine for more than half a decade now. Playing with simple staples of the Bengali kitchen, and mixing and moulding them to create something jaw-droppingly beautiful, is what Chef Joymalya Banerjee has been doing with unmatched elan for years now. Resultantly, there has never been a dearth of new ideas and unique combinations at Bohemian.
Recently the place has started Boho-Hours, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday, with a special menu of rather interesting cocktails and nibbles at a marked down price. The Boho Hours apart from it’s cocktails, offers 25 Appetizers, 4 alcoholic Ice-creams and 5 Desserts.
On an invitation last week, I tried out a number of the cocktails on offer during the Boho Hours. My absolute favourite was the Bengal Daab Sangria priced at 249/- INR with tender coconut, seasonal fruits and herbs. The Gondhoraj Martini at 149/- INR with homemade Gondhoraj Limoncello and vodka came a close second on my list. However for the more adventurous souls there’s The Kolkata Biryani Cocktail served with the quintessential biryani potatoes or the Soya Chilli – Chinatown style cocktail inspired from our good old Calcutta Chilli Chicken.
Coming to the food options during the Boho Hours, I particularly liked the Cottage Cheese & Burnt Tomato Mousse on Papri priced at 179/- INR. The unbelievably smooth and creamy cottage cheese mousse was an instant hit at the table. Many of the items in the menu are the street food favourites of phuchka and papri, filled or topped with various intriguing things. And it is perhaps these unorthodox food pairings that has always made the food at Bohemian so enticing for me. For example we had a Wax gourd Phuchka with spicy Honey- Lemon water. Despite being accustomed to both phuchka and potol er khosha, I can bet that no one in their wildest dreams has ever thought of combining the two before. And for those who are trying to imagine what it would taste like, let me give you a pointer, I found it to be brilliant!
I did not try the Smoked Eggplant Phuchka with spiced Nolen Gur water and will definitely visit again to have it. But what I did try was the Mushrooms with 3 ways Coriander and it was a delight for a mushroom loyalist like me. And though it had fresh coriander leaves, whole roasted coriander seeds and coriander powder too, the mushroom still remained the hero without being overpowered by the coriander. Finally, mention must be made of the Nolen Gur glazed Pork belly on Papri and it would be no exaggeration to say that not a single day has passed that I have not thought of it, since the time I met it.