travelmemoirsofswaati text

I am an intrepid traveller. Travelling has been my passion since school days. Hailing from the steel city of Rourkela in Odisha, I always had an opportunity to plan out my holidays with my family to exotic destinations that are rich in history and heritage in India. Looking back, I have also taken up trekking in Chauragarh hills of Pachmarhi, Shatrunjaya Hills of Palitana, Vaishno Devi or the Muktinath temple in Mustang Valley in Nepal and Lalang Waterfall in rainforests of Tioman Island in Malaysia. I have penned down the Odisha destinations in Pick2Move-India Travel planner brought out by Sampan Media Limited, New Delhi. I have compiled a travelogue themed- “Journeys across India” published by Best Books, Kolkata. I generally take up travel to pen down travelogues, know the art and craft of the faraway lands and of course, I do travel reporting for leading English dailies of India.

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Saturday 4 September 2021

Culinary wonders of Japan at Nori


Nori brings authentic Japanese dining experience

The culinary world of Teppanyaki, Sushi and Sashimi with a fusion of South-East Asian delights beckons gourmet lovers at Nori. 

The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat has gifted the “City of Joy” with the newest Pan-Asian, fine-dining food outlet, best known as Nori.  During pre-pandemic times, I had a chance to embark upon a delectable culinary journey of Japan and South-East Asia at Nori, the 62-seater restaurant sprawling over 2,275 sq. ft area on the 31st floor of the luxury property. The cheery new outlet threw opened its doors sometime in June, 2019 and has on offer a blend of Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Malay and Singapore cuisine. This is incidentally the first-of-a-kind outlet in Kolkata and in the eastern region to have live Teppanyaki and Sushi counters and the sinful Japanese and Thai delights have been brilliantly churned out by culinary veteran and expat Chef Franquilino Padua- hailing from Philippines and armed with two decades of experience.  

Live Sushi counter at the outlet

Bamboo-walled interiors recreate the ambience of the Far East Asia and there is the traditional Japanese seating or the Private Dining Room well-known as Tatami.

Tatami or Private Dining Area

 I had a glance into the Teppanyaki counter with separate vegetarian and non-vegetarian sections. The live Sushi counter displays imported sea food stuff including Salmon, Tuna, Eel, Ika and Hamachi.  Moreover, the outlet provides an expansive 360 ยบ panorama of New Town area. 

 A view of New Town from the outlet

I began with Tokyo Mule that is a good start to a lunch day outing. I was served Cream Cheese Maki (a Japanese roll), a kind of vegetarian Sushi best savoured with soya sauce and Wasabi sauce. 


Cream Cheese Maki

Soon I moved on to relish some delightful Thai treats in order to satiate my taste buds including Crunchy Lotus Fritters and Tod Man Khao Pod- a preparation of corn kernel with Thai herbs and cheese that is savoured with sweet chilly sauce.

 Crunchy Lotus Fritters and Tod Man Khao Pod



 Satsumaimo Roll

 There was Satsumaimo roll comprising sweet potatoes with Kabayaki sauce. The main course had Burnt Garlic Edamame Fried Rice with Stir Fried Asian Green and the Chinese dish- Spicy Mapo Tofu was another delight.

  Chinese dish - Mapo Tofu  

Franquilino Padua, Japanese Head Chef, Nori, The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat said, “All non-vegetarian and sea food items are imported.  The top picks of our outlet are Crunchy Lotus Fritters and Kung Pao Chicken.”


Japanese Head Chef- Franquilino Padua

 One should not leave the outlet without gorging on sweet bites like Tub Tim Krob, a Thai delight made of chilled jellied water chestnut and sweet coconut cream and the Matcha Cheese Cake of Japan deserves mention.


 Matcha Cheese Cake

The fine-dining outlet is opened from 12 PM to 3 PM and 7 PM to 11.30 PM.

Address: Nori,

                The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat,

                Plot No. CBD/2, Action Area-II,

                New Town, Rajarhat.

                Kolkata- 700156

Phone:   (033) 4037 1234


 Food for two: Rs 3,000 exclusive of taxes for a la carte menu and Rs 3,000-plus for Teppanyaki cuisine. Alcohol is on offer on demand.





Thursday 12 March 2020

Mynt, Vivanta

Culinary pleasures from other side of the border                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

It was at the onset of Makar Shankranti that I received a chance to sample the culinary delights at Mynt, the all-day dining food outlet of Vivanta Kolkata EM Bypass. The upscale business property is looked after by the Taj Group and has been opened for visitors sometime on August 15, 2019. The outlet rests on the ground floor of the hotel with an area spread over 3,500 sq. ft and emphasizes on a fine balance of regional and global platter that have been rustled up by culinary professionals of the hospitality group.

A view of Mynt

The 110-seater outlet has an invigorating interiors with the face of Goddess Kali done up on metal ware at the entrance of the outlet. 

Goddess Kali at the entrance

There are impressions of mint leaves on the interior walls, not to mention the gold-painted bamboos adorning the walls. The essence of the outlet is to offer a major push on the heritage journey of Kolkata and Bengal.  The outlet has walls adorned with metal carvings on wood highlighting the remarkable structures and culture of Kolkata and Bengal including Howrah Bridge, Victoria Memorial Hall, tramcars, drum beats and paddy fields.

Impressions of mint leaves

A metal carving on wood of Howrah Bridge

An interactive live kitchen churning out Asian and Western dishes with the presence of Italian pizza oven are the distinguishing features of the outlet.  As I settled down for lunch, I was taken aback to find that the chef had cooked up a veritable delight on the lunch table with Bangladeshi thali meal, Italian dish and Bengali desserts.  I began with hand-made Ravioli, an Italian platter made from zero and semolina flowers and stuffed with generous fillings of spinach, mushroom and ricotta.


 Thereafter, I moved on to the Bangladeshi thali to savour Chhaach that was garnished with king of lemon. I had my pick of Mochar Chop or plantain flower cutlet and Poori with Saag Chochori, a green leafy vegetable preparation. There were a number of non-vegetarian items including Lamb Biryani, Shorshe Ilish, fish cutlet, Kosha Mangsho and Parshe fry (Mullet fish) but I could ease my taste buds with the sweet delights including Khajoor Chutney and Chushir Paayesh or rice pudding.

Finally there were sinful treats including the traditional sweets of Bangladesh like Sandesh and Kolkata like Malpua, Rasgulla, Chhanar Jalebi or Paneer Jalebi and Gulab Jamun that were quite tempting.

A platter of Sandesh

Address: Mynt

                Vivanta Kolkata EM Bypass

                1930, Rajdanga Main Road,

                Kolkata -700107

Phone: (033) 66660000


Food for two:  Rs 1,200 exclusive of taxes. Alcohol is served on demand.