Bangaliyanar Sholoana at Aaheli – The Peerless InnApril 8, 2013
Last year, I along with my parents and brother visited Aaheli – The Peerless Inn for dinner during Bengali New Year’s Season. Basically we visited there because it was my dad’s official party for Bengali New Year. As we reached there and parked our car in the parking area, the ambience of the place simply amazed me. I went on gazing at the beautiful interior decoration of the lobby. Suddenly the warm and caring hospitality of one of the hotel staff distracted me as he guided us to Aaheli. It seemed that he knows us for long time.
As the gateway to Aaheli opened with a traditional Bengali welcome saying “Namaskar” in folded hands, we entered into a totally new world. Really it seemed like that. All the male staffs were dressed in typical Bengali fashion statement, Punjabi and dhoti with chappal (slippers). This dining hall is totally decorated in Bengali style, with Bengali hand fans made from palm tree leaves, lantern and teraccota designs. The dining table decoration also reflected a Bengali style. After we were comfortable in our seats, one of the waiters, dressed in Bengali attire, came to us and offered us four plates and glasses, all made from “Kasa”, a common and costly golden colored metal alloy used to made utensils in traditional Bengal. I was awe-struck to see this. As we were not there for normal dining, we did not require the menu card to decide our menu though we had it in our table. The first item (the appetizer) that decorated my shining Kasa plate was Rui Macher Patisapta. Unlike conventional patisapta, this patisapta (a conventional Bengali dessert) was totally stuffed with Rohu fish fillings. It was followed by a bowl of Bengali Pulao and Parser Jhal, Chanar Dalna, Posto Chingri, Chingrir Malaikari, Bhetkir Paturi, Bhapa Ilish and Dab Chingri. Finally the main course came to an end with one bowl of white rice along with Kochi Pathar Jhol. In the desserts also, everywhere there is an authentic touch of Bengali culinary art. Chanar Payesh followed by Rasogolla, Chanar Sandesh and Rabri were all we had in desserts. It was one of the memorable dining experiences in my lifetime, not only for the superb and heavenly preparations but also for the hospitality and ambience.
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