If you are keen to express your gratitude or love towards someone or just want to share a token of appreciation with someone then give yourself an excuse to indulge in the scrumptious lunch spread awaiting you on a weekend here at Aura, Sonnet. We all are aware of the fact that we Calcuttans may not be having a real horse in the race but we never do miss out on an opportunity to celebrate and dine-in at the finest of spots spread across the city! And yes definitely Aura is one such place where you will try to get the share of your favorite dishes drenched in the classiest of ambiances.
I had thought Aura as a hub of late night enthusiasts that make it one of the most visited restaurants during midnight. But apart from that it is known for its specialties served during the breakfast, lunch or dinner as well. Basically it is an all day dining destination that you can rely upon round the clock, with your best buddies, esteemed clients or fellow office colleagues.
It has got a relaxed ambiance and spaced out seating arrangements knitted with calm and contemporary elements overlooking a lawn that brings in some soothing quotient in the entire dining episode, especially if you are seated along the glass wall separating you from the lawn outside. The background music is soothing to say the least and with proper acoustics done in the room you will feel the music to be only pleasant. Also we being on a food tasting session received the warmest of welcomes possible, my seat was tagged with a card reading my name; that was really so thoughtful and personalized approach to say ‘hello’ without saying a word. The property (Sonnet) is anyway very pleasant, with unperturbed silence and Aura is just the perfect restaurant that this hotel can have. The classy wooden chairs with sofas, etc make your stay here pretty comfortable. Also when you are checking out the surroundings, then couple of massive cylindrical chandeliers should attract you, together all the elements look great!
Now coming to the kind of food that you’ll be served at this place – here you will get all the awesome cuisines starting from Luncknowi, Bengali, Hyderabadi, South East Asian, Italian, Lebanese, etc. Also the place serves dinner buffet apart from lunch buffets. All the dietary requirements are catered for at this place and guests are free to request special dishes or usual classic favorites. The place also serves breakfast buffet with choice of fruit juices, cereals, tropical fruits, cereals, stewed fruits, yoghurts, freshly baked breads, muffins, pastries, grilled sausages, sautéed mushrooms, fluffy pancakes, baked beans, scrambled eggs, etc.
At this food tasting event, where I was invited along with other Panchphoron members we were served a plethora of fabulous dishes which only left us overwhelmed and fascinated! So let us start discussing about those awesome dishes and about their ingredients –
—- (MOCKTAILS) —-
All the mocktails served were truly remarkable. They were exceptionally refreshing and helped us to get along with the unmatched marathon of devouring the food items which were being served one after the other. We tried the mocktails like Cucumber Rocks, Pineapple smoothie, Chilli Guava, Ginger Rock Salt Delight. The Chilli guava mocktail will be remembered for a long time for its subtle pinch of heat coming from the chilies hitting after a certain amount of time. While I found the Ginger Rock Salt Delight and Cucumber Rocks mocktails to be extremely refreshing and something that you’ll always hate to share even with your loved ones.
—- (STARTERS) —-
• Stuffed Fish Goujons – These amazing looking dish made great impressions with its presentation which were basically the fish fingers stuffed with obviously fresh fish and mint chutney, and coated with roasted papad. This was served with homemade tartar sauce. Really a lovely start to the food fest!
• Gai Sai Takrai – This is a Thai dish and from the name it is evident that it is a chicken based dish. These were crisp chicken pieces tossed with Thai herbs and fragrant lemongrass. I am tad too critical about Thai dishes and this was okayish according to me.
• Paneer Aamras ki kebab – This was one star dish in terms of flavor and innovation according to me! Full marks from my side. The jugalbandi of paneer or cottage cheese along with mango is truly unique and that renders a flavor that should really be cherished for a long time. The paneer cubes were marinated with the mango pulp and later cooked in tandoor, so the mango juices sipped deep into the paneer making it extremely soft and juicy! Must try!
• Badshahi Kumbh – A heavenly dish for mushroom lovers or in that case for the vegetarians. These are the mushrooms stuffed with cheese and nuts cooked in an intense heat of tandoor. And in the end it tasted great!
• Chilly Cheese Cigars – The dish was again a medium to get yourself teleported to a wonderland! Mozzarella cheese sticks stuffed with garlic and jalapeno, crumb fried and served with spicy BBQ sauce.
—- (MAINS) —-
• Chelo kebab – Calcuttans are not unfamiliar with this dish that somewhat defines legends like Peter Cat, but Chelo Kebab here is quite different from that of Peter cat. So if you are madly in love with Peter cat Chelo, then you won’t enjoy this dish here. The dish here is more glued to the roots with elements separated out from the string giving you the freedom to get them into a right proportion before tasting the final product. The platter looks humongous and is sufficient for 3 persons maybe.
This picture perfect platter contains Persian ground meat kebabs, grilled tomatoes, buttered rice and poached egg placed in an onion ring. The platter was served with several condiments and hummus to go with it.
• Spinach Cheese Timbale (with tangy BBQ sauce) – This was a plate of nicely presented spinach and ricotta steak, which is grilled to perfection and later served with BBQ sauce.
• Basa with sizzled garlic, ginger and tomatoes – This was the oriental side that we were served. The fish in there was fresh and there were exotic veggies like zucchini, broccoli, Chinese cabbage leaves, etc. The overall presentation was appetizing and went well with the noodles.
• Stir Fried Noodles with Coriander Pesto – Though the dish looked awesome with those overall greenish noodles grinning from there but actually I didn’t find the noodles too promising. It was pretty dry and demanded a side with every morsel. The veggies used were top notch, no doubt about that but finally it ended up to be tad disappointing.
• Kalo Bhuna Mangsho – These were the living (or rather dead!) specimens of extremely well-done marination and slow cooking! The small bowl of so called ‘kosha mangsho’ stole my heart away! This was a traditional Bangladeshi preparation where slow cooking on mild flame brings the dark color to the mutton and extracts all the trapped juices in the meat. This is cooked with brown onions and celery seeds to give that yum finishing touch that it deserves and finally it is topped with sliced green chilies. Goes great with soft Indian breads which are served in a bread basket on the table. Must try!
• Makhmali Moti Mahal – These were the soft juicy balls of Malai Kofta cooked in amazingly flavorful rich cashew gravy. The kofta balls were tad smaller than the normal but anyway they tasted great with some roti. Worth a try!
• Bhatti Nu Dal – The black lentils were cooked in right proportion of ingredients, tomatoes and white butter glazing the top of the dish. The taste was tad subtle unlike the dhabas selling the similar dishes.
—- (DESSERTS) —-
• Cream caramel with waffle jalebi – Well, this was the best looking dessert for sure. It was cream caramel topped with whipped cream and crunchy waffle jalebi. Tasted awesome as well, so the looks were not that deceiving 🙂
• Kiwi marquis – These were for the cheese lovers. These are the kiwi flavored cheesy delights served in generous blocks (topped with a slice of kiwi), enough for our tasting purpose. The solid brown layer of thin base was holding the dish together taste-wise. The overall taste was good, if not great.
• Melting Chocolate Mud Pie – Some awesome dish to end our epic food tasting session here at Aura! These were the rich pie stuffed with hot molten chocolate and served with a dollop of vanilla icecream. The molten chocolate oozed out of the otherwise dry pie and when it is mixed with some vanilla ice cream the magic cast by the chef comes to the forefront.
Thus we concluded savoring the delectable spread offered to us here at Aura. It was truly a memorable Sunday afternoon along with the other fellow bloggers. About the service, there were no faults or goof-ups to be very frank, and I was mighty pleased with the servers and their in-depth knowledge about each and every dish which was commendable. The head chef was extremely polite and came to us explaining the dishes, their ingredients and about their origins.
Watch the busy city traffic through the partially frosted glass walls while enjoying the very best of the dishes prepared with utmost care defines your dining experience at Aura. The classy ambiance along with attentive and warm service makes your experience a memorable one for sure. Bring in your family, colleagues and loved ones for a meal that will stay in your memories for years to come. I will give this place close to 80% positive feedback. And I wish the team very best and hopefully they will continue to impress us in the years to come.