The art of Awadh
The true 16th century “period dining” experience comes alive at this eatery which boasts of recreating the look and feel of a bygone era coupled with an ambience evoking the romance of Shaam –E– Awadh. ‘Oudh 1590’, the high-end fine dining outlet offering the rich cuisine of Oudh (Lucknow as it is known today) transports the diners to a period of history where time is captured within the tale of a forgotten culture. The brand’s objective was aimed at creating a reflection of the royal banquets of Awadh which was famous for its high standards of gastronomical etiquette.
Reflecting Nawab style banquets
The interior decor of the theme restaurant speaks of the language of prosperous culture and the luxurious life-style of Nawabs like Asafud-Daulah and Wajid Ali Shah— the gourmet kings of Indian history. Spread over an area of 1000 sq.ft., the 55 seater eatery is conveniently located at 23B Deshapriya Park West, beside Carmel Primary School, just at the heart of South Kolkata.
The front architectural facade of ‘Oudh 1590’ has heavy wooden motifs with elaborate colourful patterns inlaid all over with courteous greetings of the royal guards and dressed in traditional attire of Lucknow welcoming foodies to experience the unrivalled repertory of Awadhi delicacies. The period costume for the service team has been designed by Mir Badshah, who is a well known ‘karigar’ and works with veteran fashion designers from Kolkata. Once inside, the diners get a feel of time travel, thanks to various elements -- the Mughal-era paintings drawn by the veteran artists of Government Art College-Kolkata, the delicately crafted wooden wall panels, chandeliers made of stained-glass paintings imported from Lucknow hanging from the ceilings with wooden parapets, tailor-made bronze plated crockery, cutlery placed on every table top, hand crafted mirrors, huge chest boxes and the skilfully designed metal vases as props placed on the wall arches. Ghazals of Farida Khanum or Begum Akhtar playing in the background add to the whole experience, and all these surely make this first period restaurant of Kolkata an unforgettable delight for the food lovers of the ‘City of Joy’.
Creating an authentic experience
Oudh 1590 is truly an ode to the Awadh culture and all that it stood for. Backed by extensive research and a combination of authentic cuisine and exquisite aesthetics, it is a successful example of recreating a period experience. “We have been researching on this culture and cuisine for the past five years and are totally in love with the Awadhi delicacies. Rakabdars (master cooks), Khansamas or Bawarchis working extensively at TUNDE WALI GALI at Lucknow have been roped in for this initiative as it is believed that only a handful of chefs with imperial lineage know the secret ingredients and who still follow the conventional method of cooking, handed over to them by their ancestors. In terms of the décor, the place is a culmination of all that was best in art, culture and science of that Nawabi period. The theme was conceptualized by our in-house team. The execution work, superbly been handled by the interior designer Rajlaxmi Mukherjee and famous Art Director Nitish Roy’s craftsman team ensured this dream concept’s transformation into reality within five months. We have been very lucky to get hold of this 90 year old property having a very rich architectural beauty and age old tradition which suited our requirement of a period fine dining eatery catering to the high-end customers. Our aim is to serve and aware people about the true gourmet of nawabs like Wajid Ali Shah whose ‘Khansamas’ brought with them the taste of Lucknow to Calcutta such as Nehari, Magaj (brain) Masala, Handi Biryani, Keema Kaleji and so on,” shares Shiladitya Chaudhury, one of the owners of ‘Oudh 1590’ who has teamed up with his brother Debaditya Chaudhury to gift Kolkata-the city of Gourmet a one of its kind PERIOD DINING experience. The brand will soon open two more similar themed outlets in North Kolkata and Salt Lake followed by more in the two tier II cities of West Bengal namely Durgapur and Siliguri. After consolidating these five restaurants in this state, the concept of ‘Oudh 1590’ would be replicated in other cities of the country charting a pan India expansion plan
Nabamita Chatterjee Pics: Madhumita Chatterjee