Chef Jayanta Banerjee’s diner 37 Relish Route serves great food at a reasonable price
I F YOU PASSIONATELY follow something, the rest follows to make your endeavour a success. Chef Jayanta Banerjee’s story is no different. After gaining a rich experience of over 26 years in the world of gastronomy with stints in five-star hotels including Hyatt Regency, The Lalit Great Eastern Kolkata, ITC Fortune, Holiday Inn and The Park among others, the humble chef has come out on his own and that too in the most difficult of times. Three months ago, when the world was thinking of whether to step out, the chef took the plunge to launch 37 Relish Route, a cosy 24-seater diner tucked away in one of the sequestered alleys on Kabir Road off Southern Avenue.
Offering Continental and Bengali cuisine, this eatery ticks all the right boxes when it comes to food, especially now when experiential dining supercedes what you are served. The dimly lit diner glows with the warmth of the staff, who eagerly help you navigate through the almost exhaustive menu that’s sure to put you in a dilemma if you are a small eater. “ I have been dealing with Continental fare for most of my career, but being a Bengali, I am indeed partial to Bengali cuisine. Hence including Bengali dishes into the menu was an obvious decision,” says Chef Jayanta, who’s known for whipping up authentic artisanal sauces to go with popular European dishes.
We tasted the crispy and unusual Bengali starter platter comprising Daal Dhonepatar Phuluri, Peyaj Postor Bora, Chanar Cutlet, Murgi Peyajer Phuluri, Kucho Chingrir Bora and Dimer Chop and were overwhelmed by the variety. Besides the appetising Kucho Chingri Bora and Chanar Cutlet, we found the Dimer Chop to be very different from the typical egg devilled, with the egg being mashed in with potato and spices. With the COVID situation still discouraging a great many to step outside, the diner has its own fleet of delivery personnel ready to bring your food to the doorstep, besides being available on major food aggregator apps.
So, how differently does the chef plan to position his property, given that he’s serving cuisines that are commonly available in the city, we ask. “Well, in Bengali cuisine, there are several dishes made with indigenous seasonal produce that are hard to replicate at home thanks to our busy lives. We are planning to bring back those rare dishes in their authentic avatars, cooked with stone-pestled local spices. For example, there will be Pui Metuli Chorchori ( a local saag), Kathal Bichir Torkari (Jackfruit seeds), pumpkin flower fritters, and a veggie preparation made with Shapla flowers besides other such exotic items,” shares the chef. And we were indeed impressed with the Shiley Bata Chingri, a stone-pestled spicy prawn paste — a very popular ‘Bangal’ item that was served with steaming white rice.
From the main course, you can choose from a wide variety of options on the menu. We settled for the immortal Basanti Pulao with Kalo Bhuna Mangsho and Chanar Moihima. The pulao was balanced in its sweetness and wasn’t overdone, a difficult job for any chef and full marks for the mutton for softness and the right notes of spice.
The continental fare too was irresistible comprising chicken, prawn and bekti grills accompanied by in-house sauces. For those who like a little fusion in their dessert, the Nolen Gurer Soufflé, a combination of Nolen Gurer sandesh and fresh cream is a must-try. The Nikuti Cheesecake, a fusion of authentic cheesecake with a layer of mini gulab jamun will also leave you craving for more.
Price for two: `999 plus taxes.