Sienna's story goes far deeper than a quaint cafe and a charming craft store. It's one that has strong ties to Bengal's heritage.
Sienna's story goes far deeper than a quaint cafe and a charming craft store. It's one that has strong ties to Bengal's heritage.Sienna

Sienna Kolkata's Culinary & Craft Creations Are A Celebration Of Bengali Heritage

In January of this year, while visiting Kolkata, my friends took me to a charming indie cafe they deemed to be a "Kolkata classic." The inviting storefront, doubling as a small store, immediately piqued my interest. To my surprise, I learned it also functioned as a restaurant.

After a warm conversation with friends over hazelnut lattes in the cafe's open area, I decided to browse the store for souvenirs. Selecting adorable utensil-shaped fridge magnets, notebooks, and postcards, I felt a surge of satisfaction. This purchase, as my receipt informed me, directly supported the talented craftspeople of Bengal. This double dose of happiness – buying gifts for loved ones and supporting a community dedicated to their craft - was truly fulfilling.

But Sienna's story goes far deeper than a quaint cafe and a charming craft store. It's one that has strong ties to Bengal's heritage. Named after the earthy red soil, 'Rangamat', of Santiniketan, Sienna embodies an appreciation for the region's most time-honoured crafts and cuisine.

Born in November 2015, Sienna began its journey as a family-run haven tucked away in the picturesque bylanes of Hindustan Park. Shanta Aunty's delectable creations – eclectic salads, hearty sandwiches, and quintessential telebhajas – quickly established Sienna as a local favorite.

The story takes a delicious turn with the arrival of Chef Avinandan Kundu and Chef Koyel Roy Nandi. Their expertise and creativity transformed Sienna from a cozy cafe into a restaurant. Their culinary vision takes diners on a delectable journey through the bustling bazaars of Bengal, showcasing the region's diverse culinary history that extends far beyond the typical bhapa and kosha dishes.

Fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from local markets form the backbone of Sienna's cuisine. Every visit unveils new surprises, echoing stories whispered in the alleys of the bazaars or cherished memories of dishes prepared by beloved grandmothers. This connection to local flavors and traditions is the heart and soul of the culinary experience offered by Sienna .

Their core mission has always been to bring the essence of Bengal to the table, allowing others to experience its beauty firsthand.

Sienna's creative and craft hub lies in the lush environs of Daronda village, around 200 kilometers from Kolkata. Since 1993, this space has been a haven for skilled artisans who spend their days lovingly crafting exquisite earthenware. Fueled by a deep passion to preserve and revitalize these ancient crafts, Sienna's endeavours have expanded to include a textile printing studio. Here, a dedicated team utilizes traditional techniques like batik, tie-dye, and block printing to create stunning handloom textiles.

Through collaborations with skilled weavers and craftspeople across Bengal, Sienna's designs pay homage to the region's artistic diversity. Their reach extends from Nadia and Medinipur to Bardhaman, Malda, and Murshidabad, encompassing the artistic essence of Birbhum, Hooghly, and Howrah.

So, if you're ever in Kolkata, or fortunate enough to catch a Sienna pop-up event, be sure to step inside. 

You can follow Sienna here.

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