The Glenburn Penthouse and Shaun Kenworthy partnership is just the sort of collaboration Kolkata’s fine-dining scene needs
The Glenburn Penthouse, which occupies the top floors of Kanak Towers on Russell Street and is run to very high standards of service, has redefined exclusivity in Kolkata. It’s quite possibly Kolkata’s finest boutique property, not least for the enviable view of the Victoria Memorial.
Food has always been an important focus at the Penthouse, under proprietor Husna-Tara Prakash’s attentive gaze, and it’s known for its multi-course meals with enticing themes like ‘Imperial Calcutta’, ‘Bengali Bhadralok’, ‘Nawabi Biryani’ and ‘English Pub Food’. Since the Prakashes own the Glenburn Tea Estate in Darjeeling, besides sprawling tea gardens in Assam, how can there not be a high tea experience? And they do have a delectable one.
Now, the Glenburn Penthouse is taking the fine-dining experience up another notch with a collaboration with celebrity chef Shaun Kenworthy. Chef Kenworthy began his career in London, found his way to India and eventually ended up in Kolkata, which is now home. He brings decades of culinary experience and experimentation and a playful, almost mischievous, vibe to his eight-course tasting menu at the Glenburn Penthouse, on offer from September 1 to 8.
A tasting menu of this calibre is unique in Kolkata.
A rose white G’n’Tea is offered on arrival. There are veg and non veg options but both kick off with a edamame ‘papri chaat’ with gondhoraj foam.
As the meal gently chugs along, the non vegetarians will be treated to salmon served with tomato compote and spice zucchini, avocado and truffle mousse-filled pastry puff balls, a pulled-duck singhara (samosa), a slow double-cooked lamb and Himalayan yak cheese with homemade piccalilli.
The vegetarians get spiced spinach and cottage cheese sausage, avocado and truffle mousse-filled pastry puff ball, homemade mock meat singhara, a porcini risotto which uses Gobindobhog rice and smokey Bandel cheese, and the Himalayan yak cheese with homemade piccalilli.
In between there’s a refreshing Glenburn Second Flush tea granita and, for dessert, poached spiced guava, mishti doi ice cream and fennel caramel (you can’t ignore Kolkata’s sweet tooth).
The menu can be paired with five half glasses of wine at an additional charge. Some of the dishes might reappear in a three-course lunch option.
The menu is amazingly glocal, local ingredients finding novel use in contemporary dishes. The meat dishes are certainly interesting and the vegetarians get a stab at mock meat too. The Glenburn Penthouse likes to think of itself as a chef’s playground and it’s certainly letting Shaun Kenworthy play.
Since the Penthouse’s collaboration with Chef Kenworthy will continue for several months, we can be sure more culinary gems are in store.