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Celebrating The Dragon Boat Festival at Yauatcha

Rukshana Kapadia

Perhaps because Kolkata has such an age old connect with the Chinese thanks to the colonial trade and also boasts of the only Chinatown in India our love for this delicious cuisine runs deep. I am a regular at Yauatcha, Kolkata and I love the food there, I was therefore extremely happy to be invited to partake of the special Dragon Boat Festive Menu by the Management.

Photo Credit: Suneha Saha

The Dragon Boat or Duanwu Festival is said to commemorate the death of Qu Yuan, a nobleman hailed as the inventor of verse poetry in China. Duanwu commemorates Qu Yuan’s sacrifice on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar. The festival is celebrated with Dragon Boat Races, drinking Realgar Wine and eating Zongzi – sticky rice dumplings wrapped in lotus leaf.

Zongzi is the most traditional Dragon Boat Festival food. They are a kind of sticky rice dumpling made of glutinous rice filled with meats, beans, and other fillings, wrapped in triangle or rectangle shapes in lotus leaves. Yauatcha has four varieties on offer – Chicken & Prawn, Minced Lamb, Pork Belly and Vegetarian. We were spoilt for choice and I enjoyed them all but I would be slightly more inclined to the Pork Belly variant if I was forced to make a choice , my advice however would be go ahead and sample them all because they were absolutely delicious.

Photo Credit: Suneha Saha

The festive menu also has four very tasty Wok Dishes to pair with your choice of Zongzi - Stir fry French beans with shiitake mushrooms, Wild prawn curry with almond and water chestnuts, Braised chicken claypot with mushroom and last but not least the Stir fry lamb in black pepper sauce. The Wild Prawn Curry is an old favorite and much loved as is the Braised Chicken but the absolute star of the evening was the sensational Stir Fried Lamb with Black Pepper Sauce …. tender, juicy slices of lamb tossed in a delightful pepper sauce with just the right punch, for us it was poetry on a plate and we could not get enough of it.

Photo Credit: Suneha Saha

This delightful repast ended with the (as always) stunningly plated Mango and wine soaked water chestnut cake with Sauvignon Sorbet. The best part about dessert in Yauatcha is that it tastes as good as it looks, the balance of textures and play of flavors is always spot on. The Sauvignon Sorbet and lovely diced fresh mango was in perfect harmony with the Water chestnut cake and the plates were wiped clean in record time. Our dinner was accompanied by a stellar collection of green teas with the Champagne & Strawberry Flavored one being rather popular on our table with my co-diners.

Add to the evening the elegant but contemporary ambiance of Yauatcha and some great company and it was truly a delightful celebration of food and friends – exactly what The Dragon Boat Festival should be all about.

Duration: May 27- Till 26th June 2017

Address: 5th Floor, Quest Mall, Syed Amir Ali Avenue, Park Circus, Beck Bagan, Ballygunge, Kolkata - 700017. Ph: 092222 22800. Timing: 12 noon to 1130 pm.

Yauatcha is fully equipped to cater to guests with restricted mobility.

Rukshana Kapadia is the Founder of https://theculinarycommentator.com/ and for the unabridged version of the above visit her website.