Being in Kolkata, you get to taste many varieties of sea food preparations. Right from the roadside deep fried fish chops to a gourmet seafood platter at a renowned fine dining restaurant, you get to try it all. But with the influence of Oriental flavors in North East region of India, you also get to savour authentic and region-customised Chinese, Thai and Japanese cuisines alike. Novotel Kolkata too proudly exhibits their oriental skills with a stand-alone restaurant called ‘Studio Pan-Asian’ that excels in Oriental menu. Bringing flavors from different parts of East Asia, Studio offers platters from Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan and Singapore under one roof!
My recent visit to Kolkata gave me a chance to dine in at Studio by Novotel Kolkata, where the Chef presented me an array of Oriental courses to try on. Looking back at my experience there and virtually re-visiting the dining experience for you let me share with you the items from the menu that I tried.
For Appetizers, I was served Satey Kai from Thailand, which was basically marinated succulent grilled chicken in a skewer, served with peanut sauce. The combination of grilled chicken skewer with peanut sauce was simply spot on!
Ebi No Tenpura from Japan
Following this, we had Ebi No Tenpura from Japan, which was Prawn ‘Tempura’, served with freshly grated ginger & radish and came with a side of Tempura Sauce. We were served Juicy Tiger prawns, fried to perfection with very little room for leftover grease.
From Malaysian region we tried Ikan Panggang, the Indonesian take on char grilled fish on a banana leaf. The flavors of the fish were well preserved; the earthy flavor of the banana leaf well coated the fish that was partially crispy on the outside and absolutely moist and soft from the inside.
Chicken and Glass Noddle Spring Roll
My favorite appetizer stood out to be the Chicken and Glass Noddle Spring Roll topped with ‘Studio Dressing’. Crispy Chicken rolls loaded with cheesy dressing and topped with finely chopped veggies made this delicacy from China be finished in no time!
Oriental dining experience is incomplete without a portion of Japanese Sushi. Presenting to us two variant varieties of Sushi, the chef prepared Futomaki which was cucumber, carrot and pickled radish roll (vegetarian) and Uramaki which was Crabstick and Avocado Californian Roll. Both sushi preparations were authentic with select gourmet ingredients which highlighted the subtle yet impact full flavors of the Japanese cuisine.
Dim Sums are quite famous in the northern region of India, with a desi tadka twist ‘Momos’ available locally on the streets of Delhi to the staple diet food of North East India with basic ingredients and flavors.
Water Chestnut Delights
The Chinese starter with its gourmet presentation comes in a variety of fillings at Studio with options in both vegetables and meat; for the customers. We indulged in some Water Chestnut Delights, with the chestnut being an unusual main ingredient for our Indian palette (the dim sums still stood out as a classic combination). In vegetarian dim sums, we also tried Shandong which was an Asparagus and Shitake Dumplings combination.
Eagerly waiting for the dim sums, I sipped on Studio’s version of Pina Colada which had hints of mint and was a custom mix of Novotel Kolkata’s and Kolkata’s first women bartender’. The drink was quite refreshing and stood out as one of the finest Pina Colada mixes I’ve had in my life till now.
Char Sui – Chicken Baoji
The next set of dumplings consisted of Har Gow, steamed crystal shrimp dumplings with juicy minced shrimps prepared with basic flavor enhancers; Ji Rou Shao Mai which was open top chicken dim sum wrapped in wonton skin and the tradition Char Sui – Chicken Baoji which was super soft and full of moist chicken filling.
After having so many finger licking appetisers, we had no diet left to try out their soups, although Studio happens to offer a variety of soup styles from Thailand, China, Japan and Vietnam. Jumping directly to the Mains, we wanted to try a strong platter of fish based dish.
Pla Nueng Manao
The chef prepared Thailand style Pla Nueng Manao, that was steamed betki fish topped with spicy lemon garlic and coriander sauce. You can have this with rice or just like that, as the flavours of the betki prepared were underlined and tasted much better without the need of any rice or noodles on the side.
Gaeng Kiew Warn Kai
Because of my love for the Thai Green Curry, I had to try Studio’s version of the Gaeng Kiew Warn Kai; which was Thai Green Curry Vegetables. Given the gourmet ingredients that Studio sources for the preparation of authentic Oriental menu this Thai Curry tasted rich and had a distinct flavor coming from the Lemon Grass, Star Anise and other Asian vegetables being added to the curry.
On the sides, we had Khao Hom Mali, the Thai steamed rice to avoid overpowering of the staple base over both the betki fish and Thai Green curry.
Now generally, Oriental menu lacks a dessert section, because that’s the tradition. But Studio knows that we Indians cannot do without a dose of something sinfully sweet. Which is why, they have introduced an array of desserts inspired by the flavours of Oriental fruits and veggies. From Coconut Crunch Fried Ice Cream, Galangal pached pear, Wasabi and Lemon Grass Wasabi to the traditional Tab Tim Samsee; Studio has outdone it all!
I tried out their version of Chocolate Mousse which was presented with an assortment of nutty sponge cake and raspberry compote on the side. The chocolate mousse was just divine, with rich Belgian style chocolatey flavor for the happy soul!
Salted Caramel Kaffir Lime Tart
The chef also presented us the Salted Caramel Kaffir Lime Tart which had rich hints of being a Tiramisu and Cheese Cake hybrid with an essence of salted caramel and a zesty base flavor of lime. Studio by Novotel Kolkata is a great experience to try out Oriental cuisines under one roof. The restaurant is situated pool side, away from the chaos of the main lobby or The Square family restaurant. Residents of Kolkata and travellers can visit Square with their loved ones for a more intimate dining experience.
Studio by Novotel Kolkata also offers a set ‘Chef Designed’ menu which consists of two appetisers, two sets of dim sums, 2 styles of sushi, 2 varieties of soup, 7 options from Main course and 1 selection of dessert from an option of 3.
Book your appointments at:
STUDIO – THE PAN-ASIAN GALERIE
Novotel Kolkata Hotel and Residences
CF 11 Action Area 1C New Town Rajarhat