As you walk inside Sonar Tori at the waiting area you will be greeted by the uniformed attendants. The waiting area with golden palm leaves on one side, plants painted on the walls and flowers thrown in with abundance in every nook and corner, is lit up by an opulent chandelier. On setting your foot inside the main dining room the ceiling made of 268 inverted spittoons, fitted with lights will catch your attention. From the typical old fashioned braided chairs with a faded off-white tone to them to a dalan-style seating area, with an open window, to a well-preserved ancient typewriter placed like a trophy every inch of Sonar Tori oozes royalty. The chequered floors in the verandah seating area with marble tabletop also a great option for outdoor eating during day time or winter. The main attraction was the bigger private dining room which has red velvet and brocade walls and upholstery, bell metal cutlery and tableware on a huge dining table and an installation made of old bedposts lighting up the table.
Before heading to starters had a couple of fusion mocktails inspired from the Bengali ingredients. Gur Ada Komola Lebu Mojito is an orange-based mocktail sweetened with palm jaggery and spiked with ginger. The drink is topped with soda and finished with a dried orange ring. Kacha Aamer Moshla Mojito is another green mango based mocktail mixed with Indian spices and finished with kaffir lime ring.
In appetizers, we started off with Pur Bhora Betki. Thin slices of bhetki (Asian Sea Bass or Baramundi) with fish stuffing are crispy fried with bread crumbs batter and served with kasundi (mustard sauce). Sorshe Narkol Chingri Bhapa is a steamed dish of shrimp covered with grated coconut and mustard paste and wrapped in banana leaves. Murgir Ghoti Kebab is about chicken chunks marinated and cooked inside the closed vessel but the twist in the tale was the subtle charcoal flavour makes it delectable. Mangshor Sutli Kebab is minced mutton wrapped around skewer and cooked inside a tandoor. The thread (sutli) prevents those tender minced meat to fall of the skewer.
In the main course, a classic Daab Chingri was presented on the table. Fresh succulent prawns cooked inside coconut shell with mustard, grated coconut and green chillies. Aloo Diye Posto Murgi is country chicken dish cooked in poppy seeds and potato chunks gravy. Mangshor Bhuna is a slow-cooked dry mutton dish, a delicacy from Dhaka. All these dishes were relished with Mochar Pulao, a pilaf cooked in short-grained rice and with banana flowers and spices.
Finally, once we reached towards desserts though we were already full still cannot let the epic dining feast to be incomplete without a sweet ending. Among Mihidana, Rabri and Bhapa Doi the show-stealer was the Daaber Sandesh. The sandesh was very low in sugar yet so delicious. It has a layer of daab or tender coconut malai steamed and topped with chena and coconut malai. Before walking out do not miss the Paan.
Bro Tip: Must try Pur Bhora Betki, Murgir Ghoti Kebab, Mangshor Bhuna, Mochar Pulao and Daaber Sandesh