In a nutshell:
My childhood favourite – Re-visited after many years & Loved the simple menu , some good & some great food at prices that surprise.
Address & other details: Bengal Hotel
Meal for 2: Rs. 200 onwards
Cuisine Type: A bit of Vegetarian & predominantly Nonvegetarian
Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:
As kids we used to go to this super tiny restaurant to have fish cutlets. The ambience did not matter then coz we were not aware of ‘ambience’ in an eatery & now it does not matter to me as long as the food is superb. We used to drool over the food then & this time around I found it very good, if not as good as before.
The owner sits right at the entrance – He handles cash & remote manages the place. There is one guy who I have seen as the manager for many years now – order taking from customers & coordinating. Food is served by ‘chhotus’.
The most interesting thing at this restaurant is the rate chart. The menu is printed on a board on the wall – permanent (I think it was same when I was a kid). The price of the dish is written with chalk everyday besides the description. All items r made in limited quantities & as soon as an item is sold out, the manager runs to the board & rubs off the price. Popularity still soars & by 6.30 pm onwards one by one the items start getting sold out. The shop opens at around 3.30 pm & shuts by approx. 8.00 pm.
They also pack ‘fry & eat’ chops & cutlets. I have heard that NRIs carry these back home. I carry these back to Gurgaon at times.
The food is Anglo Indian – Chops & cutlets that have become Bengali now & mutton & chicken curries that have a wide following in Britain these days. We tried the mutton cutlet, fish roll, fish fry & also mutton kosha. Liked the mutton cutlet, liked very much the fish roll & fish fry & super loved the mutton kosha.
Detailed Description – In case u have the time to njoy readin:
The fish cutlet was very good but was short of being great. Reason – the fish was superb. So was the marination. The flavour of ginger in the marination was just perfect. The fish was fresh, flaky, soft & juicy. But the outer cover of the cutlet was thicker than enjoyable levels (almost 1.5mm vs. an optimum of say 0.7mm). This one thing pulled down the overall score of the cutlet from a potential 4.5 to a 3.75/5.
The fish roll was very interesting – It was a fillet of fish made into a hollow cylinder, filled with minced fish, spices, roasted peanuts & other ingredients. This whole cylindrical cutlet was then crumb fried. The flavours were very good, the roasted peanuts made their presence felt, the spices did not scream out but were just optimum & the crust was thinner than the fish cutlet – don’t ask me if that was by design or by accident. I wud give this dish 4/5.
The mutton cutlet was good but the let-down was the xtra thick crumb coating. The mutton mince was great to taste & had good flavours as well. Overall I wud say 3.5/5.
The star of the evening was mutton kosha. The gravy was awesome – spicy, slightly hot, had a mild sweet flavour from onions. The meat pieces were almost excellent – I wud say penultimate. I wud say 4.5/5.
They also serve some good vegetable chops, prawn chops, prawn cutlets, fried rice, chicken roast, chicken curry, mutton liver curry, mutton keema curry, mutton stew, mutton korma, batter fish, fish pakora, prawn pakora etc. Look forward to covering these in my next visits.
I will revisit this place inspite of the little let-downs & the predominantly good food. How about u?