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

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