In a nutshell:
A new restaurant with some seemingly good intent, good ideas but bad execution. Left in the hands of few employees this place needs major supervision on food if they have intentions to carry on business in this cut throat Gurgaon food landscape.
Address & other details: Kolkata Kiosk
Go to the 3rd floor end (on top of Mc Donalds) in the newly opened Omaxe City Center (not Omaxe Mall). Do not expect security guards of the mall to help u if u r lost – they have no clue.
Meal for 2: Rs. 600 onwards
Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Bengali food is usually associated with fish, meats & everything non vegetarian. However there r some extraordinary vegetarian food items made from leaves, stems, flowers, roots etc that cost minimal but taste YUMM e.g. Mocha (banana flower), thor (the pith of the banana stem), oal (root), bok Phool (flower), kumro Phool (pumpkin flower), kochu pata (leaf), kochu (root), lau shak (leaf) etc. These have unique tastes & flavours and most of these r different from the mainstream usually available Indian vegetarian food.
Bengali cuisine of today also has many Mughal influences like Kolkata Biryani etc. British influence shows up in the form of batter fried fish, orly, crumb fried chops, cutlets, fries , kabiraji (coverage), dimer devil (devilled egg) etc.
Bengali food also interestingly has influence from other unexpected Countries. E.g. Dolma came with the Armenians to Kolkata in early 1800s!!!!The Portuguese introduced Cottage cheese to Bengalis in 1600s& that is what gave birth to the famous chhena based Bengali sweets!!!!
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
My experience at this place reminded me of a term that we used to study in history books at School – absentee landlordism. Yes, u got it right – left in the hands of employees the landlords (Zamindars) used to leave the village & stay in large cities to enjoy Modern life.
I have seen the Owners of regional cuisine restaurants like Ki Hangla, Biryani Blues struggle to keep up to the mark inspite of their full time non-stop involvement in the restaurant affairs. So a new restaurant like this left in the ‘not so able’ hands of few employees shocked me……………………… I do not know what goes back behind the scenes & how this place is run but this is a perception that I got from the events that were unfolding.
The planning / ideation here has been very nice, right from the logo, to the choice of colors to the planning of the interiors. Execution has been an issue for sure. The Standee outside the restaurant looks cheap & the chairs r a disaster.
The chairs reminded us of seats of those numerous aluminium sheet colored private buses (actually apologies for a bus) that used to be a part of the usual sight in Kolkata. Infact even the plastic chairs in roadside dhabas r more comfortable to sit in, as compared to the ones at Kolkata kiosk.
The restaurant sells bangla music CDs, DVDs, magazines & ‘pujo shonkha’ as well. On the Dining tables, there r few magazines to read as well – as one waits for the food to b served.
Food is served in plastic take-away bowls & placed on a tray – I guess to avoid service tax. Same funda as dominos. Finger bowl is given at the end of the meal not with hot water but water at room temperature.
The menu card was nicely designed – It has a black & white pic of facets of Kolkata in the background & it had the items written in both bangla & its description in English.
The guy serving us was excellent – He had good knowledge of products, was prompt, very well behaved, very well spoken – In short he was a young Bhadralok. If I wud ever go back to this restaurant after such a bad culinary experience, it wud be only for this little guy who reminded me of a kid in our neighbourhood.
The taste of some of the food reminded me of the food cooked by ‘thakurs’ (traditional ‘biyebari/shaadi’ Cooks usually from Orissa who were expert Bengali cuisine cooks) who are on the path to extinction after ‘Marriage Caterers’ have found their way into the Bengali ceremonies. This style is different from how it is cooked at most households.
The authenticity factor in terms of the ‘thakur’ style was also missing & the taste of some of the dishes were just not right. Infact I was surprised that someone actually served us that dish.
They also serve biryani & this was the first Bong food shop I came across that does not serve mutton biryani!!!!!
Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:
We started our meal with Fish Kobiraji. For the uninitiated, Kabiraji is the Bengalification of the English word ‘Coverage’ since the fish / chicken is deep fried after covering it with whipped eggs. Usually the fish fillet is marinated, dipped in whipped eggs & then deep fried. That leads to an interesting layer outside a thick fillet of fish & the outer part looks like something completely different than an egg. Refer to picture below.
What was served at Kolkata Kiosk was an abuse in the name of Kobiraji – It was a torture to eat it. Instead of doing what I described above, the guys actually made a proper crumb fried fish cutlet & then batter fried that with egg. The thickness of fish same as outer layer of cutlet style cover – we discovered after breaking into it.
Where did that come from? Coverage was totally screwed up and it ended up as an oily omelet attached to a pathetic fish cutlet. The fish was soaked in a sea of vinegar. Result : the cutlet was as sour as tamarind chutney in which someone has forgotten to add sugar !!! I give this dish a 0/5 due to murder of the concept as well as for drowning it into vinegar, thus making it inedible.
The second dish that came was ‘Bangladeshi Burhani’. It was a very nice drink on its own – thick, creamy curd based, with finely chopped green chillies & a hint of salt. This drink is usually had with / after meat curries & Biryani.
The burhani served here was a combo of tok – jhal – mishti (sour, sweet, salt). The authenticity was however low as I have never had this sweet version anywhere in Bangladesh – be it in Dhaka , Rajshahi, Sylhet or Khulna. R they talking about some other part of Bangladesh? Well I cud not guess it. I give this a 3/5 for being just another tasty drink.
The next item that we had was macher dim bhaja – fried fish roe (Rohu eggs). This one was good. The fish roe was mixed with masalas, onions, garlic & ginger, made into large patties & deep fried till crispy.
The outer layer had a very enjoyable texture , the inside had a pretty masaledar fish roe taste. The absolute center of the tikka had a problem – it was undercooked & soggy. I wud have given the fish roe 4.25/5 but for the center issue, I give it a 4/5.
We moved on to ‘Ilish bhape’. Ilish / Hilsa is a fish that one can either love or hate but very difficult to be indifferent to. Good hilsa has layers of fat in it & when fried, doubles up the oil in the kadhai. ‘Bhape’ as a dish is essentially ‘steaming the hilsa (marinated in mustard paste) in a banana leaf. Usually Thakurs deep fry the banana leaf packet containing the fish. It can also be baked in an oven.
The bhape at Kolkata Kiosk had a decent fish – not the ones with amazing layers of fat but not bad ones either. The mustard paste had some ‘packing’ in it to make it thick & that is what screwed up the fun of the mustard!!!! Bad.
I rate the fish 3/5 & the dry mustard gravy a 2/5, thus making the rating of this dish as 2.5/5.
The final dish that we had was kosha mangsho. Loved it. Soft well cooked pieces of mutton & masaledaar, oily, slightly sweet gravy of mutton that tasted just too good. I wud give this a 4.5/5.
Water is not served in glass. One gets small kinley bottles.
Overall rating of food at this restaurant averages out to 2.8/5.
Needless to say I wud never again turn up here. Wud u?