In a nutshell:
Superb subtle & unique taste of food from Bengal – traditional with a twist.
Address & other details : Oh Calcutta
Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
Meal for 2: Rs. 700 onwards
Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:
Both veg & non veg food is good. Starters like mochar chop (pakora of banana flower), Gondhoraj Bhetki, Smoked Hilsa, Kaankra Chingri Bhape are unique & drooling good. Daab Chingri, Potoler Dolma, Chhanar dalna, Jhingey Posto, Chingri macher malay curry, Kosha Mangsho, Rezala are some brilliant dishes available here as well. Kolkata Biryani is good but few notches less than Arsalan Park Street Kolkata. Bhapa Sondesh, Nolen Gurer ice cream are very unique desserts served here as well. Overall – Need several visits to taste the variety available – strongly recommended by ur Bong Foodie friend YUMMRAJ
Detailed Description – In case u have the time to enjoy reading this + if u have not understood the bong names of dishes mentioned above:)
We have been going to this place for years now & have never got bored. Being a Bong myself & having eaten Bong food all my life at home, this place still attracts me.
Every time we go to this place & sit with the menu card, we feel like a kid in a candy shop – too many choices & excellent ones. Bengali food is usually subtle in taste & is a fusion of various cuisines – portuguese (Cottage cheese / chhena based sweets), British (fish cutlets etc + many foods from the days of the raj), Mughal & other islamic rulers (Kolkata Biryani, Moghlai parota, introduced mainly after Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was deported from Lucknow to Calcutta by the British) and of course the local foods that have existed over centuries.
We usually start with mochar chop – A mildly flavored crumb fried chop made with banana flowers. It is served with Kasundi (fermented mustard paste). I prefer to have the chop just as it is – the smell of the spices, the sweet & salty taste of the banana flowers is excellent.
Gondhoraj Bhetki is an amazing creation – A fillet of bhetki I guess baked, with flavors of Gondhoraj ( A variety of aromatic lemon). So is Kakra Chingri bhape – crab meat & prawns along with freshly made mustard paste, wrapped in banana leaves & steamed. I am seeing hyperactivity of my salivatory glands even as I write this. Another great option is Smoked Hilsa. Hilsa (In bengali it is called ilish) is a fish which has more bones than the strands of hair that I have:). This fish is usually found in the confluence of the Ganges / Padma & the Bay of Bengal. Also found in rivers in this area…… One of those fishes for which people can fight for!!!! Also called the queen of fishes. In case u cannot handle the bones, u may try this dish which is boneless & is a creation during the days of the Raj.
Last month we tried Boneless ilish bhape – Boneless hilsa steamed with mustard paste. This was a huge dissappointment. The mustard used by Oh Calcutta is usually strong & straight hits the sinuses. This time it was very mellowed down. The fish was also very lean & the layers of fat that make the fish tasty were absent, thus making the otherwise ‘melt in the mouth’ fish chewy. Overall it gave a watery feel – No where near to what can be expected from Oh Calcutta.
We also tried a coriander ilish which is an innovation & it was excellent. Currently there is a hilsa promotion happening – so there are lot more interesting options on offer, like aam kasundi ilish, sorshey ilish, ilisher jhol , deep fried ilish etc. – we cud not try them.
Potoler dolma is gourd (parwal) stuffed with mutton mince or paneer mince – One of the best places to have that is here. Very difficult to perfect it at home.
Daab chingri is prawns cooked in coconut milk & inside a grren coconut & served that way too. Too good to resist.
We also tried Mutton Biryani for the first time yesterday. One of the best Kolkata mutton biryanis available in this part of India but still few notches less than Arsalan Park street Kolkata. Kolkata mutton biryani is an adaptation of Lucknow dum biryani where the rice & meat is slow cooked together. It is served with one egg & a half potato.)The meat used here is lean & hence a bit stiffer than Arsalan but soft as it is. The rice used is excellent & aromatic but maybe the difference arises coz Arsalan uses vegetable fat like dalda & these guys wud have used ghee.
The mutton kosha & mutton rezala r two other recommended dishes.
I once went with a vegetarian friend & was pleasantly surprised to find excellent vegetarian food – do not remember the names though.
Two desserts r unique & surely worth the try …. bhapa sandesh – A baked mildly sweet made with mashed cottage cheese and nolen gur icecream (Jaggery extracted from date palms).
Like always we overate & just managed to roll out of the restaurant….. will keep going…….Long live the eatery:)