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The festival of Dia des los Muertos and its Sugar Skulls have long fascinated me and I was excited and intrigued when I received a call from Bodega inviting me to a bloggers meet to celebrate Dia Des Los Muertos − The Day of the Dead for the first time in Kolkata with Gusto, Bacardi & Jameson as their alcohol partners. We were promised a grand Mexican experience with games, music and lots more, paired with amazing alcohol and great food with a special customized menu exclusively for the festival as well as the regular a-la-carte one.

Photo Credit: Suneha Saha
Photo Credit: Suneha Saha

On offer were eight new cocktails such as Calabera Hombre, Marigold Martini, Frozen Avocado Margarita and Corpse Reviver along with twenty new dishes such as Chicken Mole, Andalusian Marinated Olives, Champiñones Al Ajilo, Pista Machengo and Chickpea ‘n’ Spinach to name a few and four desserts such as Churros, Dolcé Delicé, Crème Catalana, and Chilli Chocolade Mousse.

To get down to business the cocktails were brilliant. They were beautifully presented and perfectly balanced by Bodega’s expert mixologist Uttam Singh who was mixing up a storm behind Bodega’s bar. I ordered Calabera Hombre which had citrus flavors which I am partial to and it was fantastically presented in a beautiful skull shaped cocktail glass. The other bloggers ordered various other drinks so I got to taste the Corpse Reviver which was a killer cocktail and I loved the syringe full of alcohol that was sent with the glass with a further serving of alcohol to push into your drink or have as a shot! The Ultimate Sangria was delicious as well. I did not sample the other cocktails personally but my fellow diners seem to be in “high spirits” over them so they must be spot on.

Photo Credit: Suneha Saha

Chef Sagar Chandra cooked up a plethora of amazing food for us. The Sticky Pork Belly Bao was to die for and the bao itself was simply perfect pillowy soft and delicious. The Pescado Fritter was my other favorite the texture of the dish was beautiful … a perfect batter with flaky fresh fish. It was really good with the dip that it was served with. Next were various tacos. I found the Lal Maas Taco rather spicy but for those of you who like spicy food I am sure this dish will be a winner. The Crispy Fish Taco and Pork Pibil Taco were both really delicious and went very well with our cocktails. The Mushroom Fonduta was a treat for mushroom lovers and a must order dish for them. The Tortilla Chips with assorted dips was a great munch and I really liked the dips they served us. The highlight for me was Muertos Rancheros a rather simple rustic dish of a flatbread with beans, salsa and eggs on top but the eggs were skull shaped and everyone flipped for the presentation.

Photo Credit: Suneha Saha

The main course followed and though we were stuffed we all tasted most of the dishes which were served up as a one bowl meal …. Nasi Goreng, Lamb Tagine, Chicken Mole, Chorizo Fried Rice all of which I had exactly one bite of as I was too stuffed by then, All the dishes were good but the two that stood out were the Lamb Tagine with Cous Cous which was lovely as well as the Chorizo Fried Rice which we all really liked. The simple fried rice was perfectly pared with the smoky intense flavor of the chorizo and the richness of the egg yolk of the egg on top. All mixed together it was absolutely delicious.

Photo Credit: Suneha Saha

Dessert followed and tough we were in food coma we all shared the two lovely desserts. A Chili Chocolade Mousse that was rich and dense with the gentle teasing warmth of chili that one got. I would have loved some more of the raspberry sauce on the plate because I feel it would have created a lovely bouquet of flavors sweet, salty and citrus. The other dessert was from their regular menu and one of their signature desserts. It’s called Sunday Movie Night and is so innovatively plated that it seems almost a shame to dig in but the lure of chocolate is too much for most of us so dig in we did. Chocolate, Popcorn, Caramel, Peanut Butter … it was a total blockbuster in every sense.

To Urvika Kanoi and Team Bodega …. Please take a bow. We had an absolutely wonderful evening and look forward to coming back often.

Address: Ground Floor, Park Center, 24, Park Street, Kolkata – 700016. Hours:  12 pm - 12 am.  Ph: 033 4005 2919. Rukshana Kapadia is the Founder of https://theculinarycommentator.com and for the unabridged version of the above visit her website.