This is a part of YUMMRAJ’s series called TIMELESS KOLKATA EATOUTS – reviews of Heritage Kolkata restaurants. Each restaurant has been rated as ‘Old is Gold’ or ‘Old is no more Gold’ based on the experience.
Year/decade of opening- 1920 as per cmpany website, banner outside shop says 100 years……maybe they rounded off.
In a nutshell:
Legendary Kolkata 100 yr old restaurant with a typical Cafe look & feel & very good food.
YUMMRAJ says for Mitra Café – OLD IS GOLD’.
Address & other details: Mitra Café
Website – Mitra cafe
Meal for 2: Rs. 200 onwards
Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian (predominantly non vegetarian)
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.
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
Heard about this restaurant for long. Did not end up being there. So travelled 25 km this month to reach Mitra café for lunch. Was seeking help from Google maps & they pointed to a different place in the same locality. Used Indian google – ‘Dada where is Mitra café‘ & it worked like magic.
As we reached the right location we realized that it was closed. Got to know that they r open for breakfast 7 am to 10.30 am & again from 4.30 pm onwards.
So we settled for some other restaurant that day & came back next morning travelling the same distance. As we started reading the menu we realized there was one more faux paus. In the morning they do not serve full menu. They just serve boiled egg, omelet, bread & egg toast (dim pauruti), toasted bread & butter (topped with sugar) & tea. Oops. 25 km for this was too much again.
Came back third time, in the evening. Look at the enthu & the desperation!!!!! That day the shop opened at 5pm. We reached at 4.45. There were 10 people waiting outside already. Sharp at 5 pm (British punctuality) the door opened & within seconds people jumped in & occupied all the seats & in another 15 seconds there was a queue of at least 10 more people!!!!
The signboard above the said – more than 100 years. That’s a big feat for a café I must say.
The ceiling of the Dining Hall had the old wood & metal beam system (kori kaath) but the restaurant had covered it up during the renovation it seems.
Menu is written on a board hung in a corner. Prices of the items were supposed to b written in chalk but those were lying vacant.
On one wall there was a TV in which press coverage of Mitra café was being played in a loop.
The size of the Dining Room I guess was about 100 sq ft. It had 4 tables with 4 chairs each & 2 short tables with 2 chairs each. There was an A/C ‘family room’ inside. Stags (Single) not allowed in Ac room inside.
We were quite amused to see the above picture. It took us some time to understand what the above picture meant. It basically tries to stop people from ordering chops (low priced item) & sitting in the A/C room while others wait outside.
The waiting staff were nice enthusiastic bunch of people who were used to fast service.
Food was really nice.
Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:
We ordered lamb Brain chop but it was not available during pujo time. I was amazed to see that in the 30 minutes that we spent in the cafe at least 8 -10 people came & asked for the brain chop.
We then ordered for Mutton cutlet. It had an amazing filling – intense, robust, great fusion of meat and spices, juicy inside.
Outside bread crumb & masala layer was thicker than optimum but that cud not affect much as the filling was outstanding. Rate the cutlet 4.25/5
We then opted for Fish diamond fry – superb dish I must say. It had soft, flaky, juicy & excellent fish inside.
The outer cover was again slightly thicker than optimum but still the fry was very good. Rate it 4/5
Prawn cutlet – was so juicy inside that as I broke it for sharing, the juice just flowed out and fell into the plate.
Prawns were very soft and nice. Rate it 4/5. Wud hv rated it more if the outer cover was thinner.
We then ordered 2 gravy dishes. Mutton Kasha was very nice gravy and it had moderately soft mutton. Not succulent melt in the mouth. The gravy had a mild sweetish tinge and was spicy but not hot. Rate it 4.25/5
Chicken do pyaza is what we ordered but what we were served was chicken kasha. We understood it as we bit into the food & found that the the base gravy tasted quite similar with the difference that in the chicken was garnished with a bundle of brown fried onions. The chicken was very soft and fresh, including the breast piece etc. The fried onions that were used as a garnish on top made a massive difference.Rate it 4.25/5.
Surprisingly no Indian Bread was being served with the curries. So we were offered pao (1/4 pound) roti toasted. We went for it.
For dessert there was only one offering – Pudding. Its body was similar in texture to chhana based sweet kachagolla but different as well. It had two layers in 2 colors. It was soft, grainy & flavorful. It had a chocolate sauce topping. Rate it 4/5
Overall rating of food at Mitra café averages out to 4.1/5. Look forward to revisiting to try out Kabiraji, Biryani etc.