Exactly after a year we are back in the literature city of India and the first capital of British Raj- Kolkata.
While we have already dedicated a post that concentrates on the beautiful places to visit while in Kolkata, Kolkata people love their food and it is only just that we dedicate a post exclusively to their culinary delight. This city has some brilliant places to provide different burst of flavors and savor them forever.
Park street in Kolkata is the perfect blend of high end resto bars and pocket friendly eat outs. This sprawling lane is full of life. Cafe Au Bon Pain is an excellent hang out that serves very unique bread bowl with soup and we were way too excited to try this for the first time and it was amazing. The cafe sells a wide variety of confectioneries and serves donuts and burritos. Their natural juices, ice tea and regular doze of coffee are simply heavenly and the sinful pastries are too tough to resist. The perfect cafe ambience adds a lot of charm to your perfect evening and their excellent service makes it a must visit place to unwind after a long day. Their pricing is also pretty decent.
For dining in, Quality restaurant at park street would be a perfect place. Though they have a very limited menu their food quality, quantity and flavors are exceptionally good. Do ask for the day's special menu and they also serve alcohol. The ambience of the restaurant is brilliant and service too good. A meal for two would cost anywhere between Rs.500 to 600.
If you are a big fan of Kathi rolls, 'Kusum Rolls & Kebabs' serves delicious varieties of Kathi rolls. They are finger licking good with the right amount of tanginess and tender chicken pieces and spices. The rolls are pretty big and can keep you full for a long time. Right around this joint is an unnamed grill sandwich shop, this small little eat out is a fine example of the saying "Great things come in small package." We had to wait for some time to place order and dig into our sandwich.
We ended the flawless day with the trademark 'Kolkata sweet pan.'
Tasting Bengali sweets while in Kolkata is a must. We headed to Balaram Mullick and tried their baked rasagulla and kesar sandesh. Needless to say both were awesome. Tiwari sweets on AJC Bose road is another excellent place to try Bengali sweets.
If you have seen enough of Park street an ideal alternative for street food would be R.N. Mukherjee road there are abundant eat outs catering a variety of cuisine- biryani, Chinese, desi ghee parata, meals, fruits, chaat, south Indian, maggie, different styles of eggs and momos.
If you are a foodie and enjoy non veg do head to 'Arsalan' restaurant this place is famous for their biryani. However, as blasphemous as it may sound we did not try the biryani and instead ordered their signature Arsalan kebab and chicken Lahori which complimented really well with their sinful and soft butter naan. A lavish and heavy meal for two would cost Rs.600. Keep in mind that you would have to wait for a table for sometime here especially on weekends.
If you crave for south India food look no further than 'Anand' veg restaurant in CR avenue very close to Chandini Chowk metro station. They serve yummy masala dosa laced with butter and ultra soft poori with spicy and flavorful korma that makes you lick your fingers. Like a typical south Indian we finished our meal with a piping hot cup of filter coffee. Their ambience is far better than most of the fine dine places and a lavish meal for two would cost Rs.400 to 500. If you have a sweet tooth do go for their dessert 'tutty fruity special' which is a blast of flavors and filled with cut fruits, bunch of nuts, milk and two scoops of ice cream topped with wafer and cherry.
No trip to Bengal can be complete without tasting Bengali food and to get a taste of authentic Bengali food we visited Aaheli restaurant in Peerless Inn at new market. We tried their Bengali Thali- Rajbhoj and Lucha Puri. The food was exceptionally good and the most amazing dish was Elchi fish in banana leaf. The fish was perfect and melted in our mouth, a perfect taste of mustard oil and the flavorful spices. Their sweets and desserts were delicious and their service was phenomenally good but be prepared this place could burn a hole in your pocket.
After popular recommendations we visited Deckers/ Darcee's lane with great expectations and were utterly disappointed. It is a shady lane with just 4 to 5 eat outs. If you are out with your family you might return red faced looking at the dance bars in the lane displaying the dark underbelly of Kolkata. The food was also not great. For chaat we recommend AC market in Howrah & Park lane in Kolkata.
We checked into Hotel Casa Fortuna this place literally costs you a fortune. The hotel has a fabulous veg restaurant which serves amazing food. Their deserts are mouthwatering and even 2 chocolate mud pies were not enough to satisfy our sweet tooth cravings. The hotel offers WiFi. It is a little over priced as the rooms are extremely small and there is no parking facility. You either park your vehicle on the road or in the adjacent building. The location is a pro as well as con. It is located on AJC Bose Road and if you get a room facing the main road it is way too noisy. Also, the people at the front desk are not very welcoming.