In a nutshell:
One of my all time favorite traditional as well as fusion Bengali food restaurant chains, where we started with a bumpy ride but ended up on a sweet note…..
Address & other details: Oh Calcutta
Meal for 2: Rs. 1500 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 everyWe & thing & 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.
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
Well, while the city after which this restaurant is named has been renamed, the restaurant has refused to change name.
This restaurant chain has had many visits from me in Delhi & Kolkata over the years. I love some of their signature dishes so much that on many occassions when not in a mood to experiment, we rattle out the order without even looking at the menu card – mochar chop (deep batter fried banana flower), chhana dalna (bengali version of paneer curry), boneless ilish bhape (steamed hilsa boneless), gondhoraaj bhetki (boneless Bhetki fish with flavor of aromatic citrus fruit named gondhoraj), kakra chingri bhape (prawn & crab meat steamed), bhapa sondesh (steamed sondesh dessert), nolen gurer ice cream (jaggery flavored ice cream) & so on.
On one occasion when we were treating our vegetarian friend at Oh Calcutta we realized that they serve quite a few excellent veggie dishes as well.
The only risk is that if u r a regular here & get bored of existing menu, there is very little new choice.
The food in general is not exactly how it is made at bengali homes but is in essence true blue Bengali in terms of flavors, taste etc.At times the food here is more sophisticated & is short of rusticness of certain dishes. Textures, ways of preparation etc r at times borrowed from other cuisines, thus giving it a fusion edge. Whatever b the case, it is a joy to eat at this eatery named after the City of Joy.
So in one of our earlier visits to Cyber Hub when we saw the signage of Oh Calcutta, we were elated. It was under construction. We went to Cyber Hub several times after that & every time made it a point to peep in to see the progress till this weekend when we saw it was open.
The restaurant has some nice pics of Kolkata, a large painting of a hand drawn rickshaw. At the end of the Hall there was a buffet laid down. The walls were interspersed with false wooden doors that looked grand. The entrance to the restaurant was full glass & had the signature Oh Calcutta Graphic on it.
Sofas in the center row were lush & nice. The side rows had 4 chairs around each table.
The staff members were very polite, knowledgeable & warm. The gentleman in suit attending to us was so nice that he made us feel that we were guests at his house.
Beverages that were served in the beginning spoilt our mood initially but the food that was served subsequently quickly made up for that.
Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:
We wanted to order Mocha chop & gondhoraj bhetki. The former was not available while the latter was not listed in the menu card!!!!
For beverage, we ordered GondhoraJ shorbot. It surprisingly had no flavor of gondhoraj, had a balanced but super mild taste. Too plain for an Indian dish/beverage. Infact, pati Lebu(normal lemon) shorbot served at Bengali homes is much stronger. Rate it 2/5. The gondhoraJ shorbot at Bohemian, Kolkata was way way better.
We also ordered Aam pora shorbot. This item on the menu gave rise to a lot of interest & hope of a great cool refreshing drink. Traditionally this drink is made from the pulp of burnt raw mango. What was served instead was a bottled drink like Druk Aam panna!!!!! Felt awesomely fooled by this gesture & this spoilt our mood for quite some time. Firstly what was served was not aam pora & secondy one does not expect such cheesy behaviour from such a restaurant of repute. Rate it 1/5 not due to the taste but out of sheer disgust.
As we sat, we were served deep fried papad & deep fried bori (lentil based dumpling). This was served with a nice dahi based dip.
Kakra Chingri bhape, as the name suggests, is steamed prawn & crab meat. It is steamed with mustard paste, in a banana leaf & served that way. The main steak (if I may call it that), was soft & flavorful.
This dish was a long time favorite of mine & this was the first occasion that I liked it a tad less than always. Natural Sweetness from crab was less & the flavor was pretty subdued as well. The prawn flavor & taste was overpowering. Mustard paste had its share of pungency. I have a feelng that the crab was not the hard shell sweet meat ones that r found in riverbanks of Bengal but the softer shell, not so sweet, variety that is found in coastal regions. Wud have rated the original version 4.75/5 but end up rating this version 4.25/5.
After Kakra Chingri bhape, we went for Roshun bhape maach. It was nice fillets of fish with strong flavours of garlic pickle. I wud say quite spicy as a dish & very enjoyable. The fish was soft & still a bit juicy & flaky. The pickle overpowered the flavors of the fish to a large extent. I rate it 3.75/5
Post this we moved on to Luchi &Kosha mangsho which turned out to b the highest point of that lunch. The mutton dish called kosha mangsho had thick, mildly sweet & hot gravy. Sweetness was purely from the adequacy of onions. The meat being cooked alongwith the gravy ensured that it was super-soft, melt in the mouth. Gravy was beyond perfect – had the optimum balance of sweet, salt & hotness. Rate it 4.75/5.
Last dish in main course was Daab chingri. Served inside a raw coconut shell, this was a very exotic looking dish. It had a strong flavor of coconut milk. The gravy was thick & totally white in color, with flavors of prawn as well. The prawns were soft & tasty. Loved this dish very much & rate it 4.5/5
For dessert we ordered Bhapa sondesh. It is actually better than / equal to the best bhapa sondesh in Kolkata. Loved the less sweet but impactful sweet. Left a lasting impression. Rate it 4.75/5
We also ordered Nolen gurer ice cream. It was very good as well. A tinge of salt gave a great twist to this sweet dessert. Nolen gur used was very good. Rate it 4.5/5
Malpua. Much better than the unidirectionally sweet malpuas that r served in the likes of Bikanervala, OM sweets etc. This one had burnt edges and was much more intense. Infact due to the high density of the mix, the sugar did not penetrate much inside. While these were the nicer points, I surely missed the lumpiness and non evenness in the malpua batter that is used at Bengali homes. Reason – I guess the batter at the restaurant was machine made & not hand mixed. The malpua was good & I rate it 3/5
Overall ranking of beverages at Oh Calcutta averages out to 1.5/5
Overall ranking of food at Oh Calcutta on the review date averages out to 4.2/5
Overall ranking of Oh Calcutta Gurgaon averages out to 3.6/5.
I really loved the food & wud keep going there again & again toNJOY the food but wud avoid the beverages till the time someone I trust tells me that they have improved.