Buffet meal are always fun. You can find a range of flavours to suit yourself. But festive day’s buffet are even more elaborate. The kitchen staff goes bonkers and doles out their whole bag of tricks. The New Year eve’s menu at The Square, Novotel Hotel & Residences is testimony to the same. At INR 1800++ taxes, it was one meal that was full of flavours and textures. But what stands out is the plethora of cooking skills on display.

Read my review of Novotel Hotel & Residences, Kolkata.

What always irks me about a buffet is that I can never get my fill of the Chef’s repertoire. But Executive Sous Chef Neelabh Sahay is a true maverick who compresses a whole menu into a single dish. Let me stack up the dish from bottoms up.

What is the dish?

The dish starts with a pumpkin mash. The sweet pumpkin is given another layer of complexity by locally sourced lithchi flavoured honey. There is a layer of roasted vegetables on top of that. There is a beautiful melange of turnips and sweet potatoes which gives it a characteristic earthy taste.

One of prominent stars of the dish is next. The medium rare tenderloin steak takes its royal position in this cornucopia. Juicy, tasty meat right from the ports of Metiabruz in Bengal. But it’s the next layer which defines the dish for me. Two dollops of Chicken liver pate which give it a taste that you’ll not find anywhere.

He layers it on top with a poached egg yolk. We break the egg to create a wonderful sauce. Some clarified butter and the remaining jus adds a plethora of layers to the dish. Some Shimeji mushrooms from Japan adds some more earthiness to it.

The best thing about this dish is that any of the components with anything and you’ll find a new explosion of flavours. Chef Sahay calls it The Expendables. Every part of it is a superhero. I totally second him.

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