In a nutshell:
Wow way to start a day – outstanding, refreshing & authentic homemade Chinese food at unbelievably low prices.
How to reach there: Take a left (if u r facing Girish park) after crossing Central Metro station (bowbazar) crossing & ask for tiretti bazar.
Meal for 2 – Rs. 60 onwards (breakfast available only)
Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:
As u walk into this sleepy place in the morning (6.30 am to 8.30 am), u come across lines of mini trucks on both sides of the road & groups of street dwellers taking bath at the roadside taps.
A little beyond u see a glimpse of a market – flowers, vegetables, women’s purses!!! etc & then suddenly large aluminum vessels that stand out oddly amidst these. As u walk towards those vessels, u realize that the people manning those look very different from everyone u see around. Yes, they r Chinese immigrants who have been stayin in Kolkata for decades. They sell home-made food in this market in the morning & do odd jobs during the day. They speak Mandarin, Hindi, Bengali & very good English!!!!
To get the maximum choice in terms of menu, u have 2 reach as early as possible coz 7.30 onwards the good items start getting sold out. As compared to the other days, on Sundays u get the best variety.
Outstanding dimsums – pork, chicken, fish, bao buns with pork filling/ chicken fillings , unique & superb fish, chicken & pork balls in soup (clarification – these r balls made out of minced meat – in case u r frowning on the kind of organs that people feed on these days)………………….. these r so good that ur hand starts automatically going towards ur mouth without specific instruction from the brain!!!!……………….result – u r overfed in the morning itself
Some people sell normal momos as well. Some sell home-made sausages that u need to go home & cook. Chinese raw veggies r also sold here – including pokchoy, Chinese spinach etc. Chinese prawn papads etc are also sold here.
Detailed Description – In case u have the time to enjoy reading:
Our first stop to this market is usually the stall of a lady in her late forties who we think gets the best stuff in the market. She hardly smiles & reminds u of a strict English teacher.
This time we went, the lady was not there – I guess the gentleman at the stall was her husband – He smiled a lot though
The fish dimsums that she sells, r large – little less than the size of a cricket ball !!!!! The dimsums have a thin wrap on the outside & lots of filling within. Superb in taste @ Rs. 10 per piece only. The dimsums r served with a chilli sauce – I never dip my dimsums in the Chilli sauce coz the dimsums r so good as it is.
The chicken & pork dimsums are as excellent as well.
The stall next to this is usually the one who sells momos. These r more maida & less filling – For Rs. 10 for 4 momos, better avoided.
In the corner of the street there is a garden umbrella attached to a tiny round table. On top of that there r tiny baskets with lots of cutlery (including wooden chopsticks !!!!). Few bottles of sauces r also kept there. This setup is for the fish ball soup. Thin, clear, very tasty & refreshing hot piping soup garnished with herbs & solid hand pounded meatballs in the soup – fish / chicken / pork. Very very tasty. Hand-pounding ensures that they are un-uniform & have a interesting texture.
U can find people selling prawn papads & things like that which u can take home, fry & have. Some people sell home-made sausages.
Unlike some of the other food that I recommend, this food is low fat & hence u do not need to go for that extra cardio the next week.
The number of Chinese vendors is reducing over the years as their kids seem to be taking up other professions. So, go, get a taste of this unique food before it vanishes from the streets of Kolkata.