Food review: Una Fiesta by Spanish Chef Marcos Sierra Sahun at The Westin Kolkata
Did you know that apart from tomatoes and potatoes, a typical Spaniard also loves rice and fish, just as a Bengali does? Though Kolkata has a lot of restaurants serving authentic Mexican nachos and tortillas, there are hardly any Spanish joints of reckon.
To give the city an authentic taste of Spanish cuisine, The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat is holding a Spanish food festival, Una Fiesta. For this, they have specially flown down Chef Marcos Sierra Sahun, chef de cuisine at Arts Hotel Barcelona.
Chef Marcos has curated the menu, which is eclectic and covers the length and breadth of Spain. “History has greatly influenced the local Spanish culture and cuisine. The cooking methods and ingredients that constitute Spanish cuisine are derived from a complex history, where invasions and conquests of Spain have played a major role. Spanish cuisine blends old and new traditions together, and it’s is this beautiful confluence that we want to display. We also want to showcase the robust flavours and aromas,” says the exuberant and warm chef.
Honestly, we were taken aback at the variety on display. The chef served us with Spanish Pintxos, which was an assortment of various toppings on bread pieces, and they were awesome finger foods. Asparagus with romesco sauce followed and we loved it, too, for its crunchy yet juicy taste. The Patata Bravas, roasted potatoes, were cooked to perfection, which we had with Spanish potato frittata and tomato bread. The frittata was a delicacy in its inexplicable anodyne way.
Then arrived three different paellas for our main course – the traditional paella, Iberian paella and the vegetable paella. The traditional paella made of squids, sea bass and shrimps was delicate and balanced in taste. The vegetarian version with zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, green and white asparagus, beans and peas was neat. But the Iberian paella was the best. Cooked to perfection with chicken, porcini mushrooms, green asparagus, alioli and parsley, the play of spices was subtle yet distinct.
For desserts, there was Cream Catalana and one has to taste it to feel it. Trust us, it was heavenly and a must try at this festival.
Marcos, who hails from a small town, Monzon, in north of Spain, tells us that like Bengalis, the Spanish, too, love their share of fish including sea bass, shrimps, snapper and wood sardines. In winter, they love hot stews made of chicken, lamb, beef or fish and during summer gazpachos, or cold soups made with tomato are the popular choice. “Salmorejo is a kind of gazpacho made of tomato and bread and is lip smacking,” mentions Marcos.
The other delicacies available include, Albóndigas Con Sepia (meatballs with cuttlefish in almond sauce), Pollo Al Chilindrón (traditional chicken stewed with bell peppers), Gambas Al Ajillo (spicy garlic shrimps), Pil Pil Hake Cocochas (Suckling lamb, Parmesan and dates). There will be traditional sangrias and tapas to complement the experience.
Ahead of the Spanish National Day, Una Fiesta is worth a try.
What: Una Fiesta, Spanish Food Festival
Where: Seasonal Tastes, The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat,
Plot No. CBD / 2, Action Area - II, New Town, Kolkata – 700 156
When: September 20-30, dinner- 7.30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Prices: Rs 1,399 plus taxes + unlimited wine sangria at Rs 599 AI
For Reservations: 033 4037 1234