Mitra café (47, Jatindra Avenue, at Shobha Bazar Metro station crossing, Kolkata)


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.

Mitra cafe
Mitra cafe

YUMMRAJ says for Mitra Café  – OLD IS GOLD’.

Address & other details:  Mitra Café 

WebsiteMitra 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.

receipt at mitra cafe
receipt at mitra cafe

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.

signboard outside store
signboard outside store

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.

A view of dining hall from outside
A view of dining hall from outside

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.

the dining hall
the dining hall

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!!!!

Queue inside the dining hall in evenings
Queue inside the dining hall in evenings

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.

rate card & menu card on the wall
rate card & menu card on the wall

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.

interesting writing on the glass wall
interesting writing on the glass wall

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.

Egg bread toast
Egg bread toast

The waiting staff were nice enthusiastic bunch of people who were used to fast service.

Food was really nice.

English breakfast tea
English breakfast tea

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.

inside Mutton cutlet
inside Mutton cutlet

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

Mutton cutlet
Mutton cutlet

We then opted for Fish diamond fry – superb dish I must say. It had soft, flaky, juicy & excellent fish inside.

inside Fish diamond fry
inside Fish diamond fry

 

The outer cover was again slightly thicker than optimum but still the fry was very good. Rate it 4/5

Fish diamond fry
Fish diamond fry

Prawn cutlet – was so juicy inside that as I broke it for sharing, the juice just flowed out and fell into the plate.

Prawn cutlet
Prawn cutlet

Prawns were very soft and nice. Rate it 4/5. Wud hv rated it more if the outer cover was thinner.

inside Prawn cutlet
inside Prawn cutlet

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

Mutton Kasha
Mutton Kasha

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.

chicken kasha
chicken kasha

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

Pudding
Pudding

Overall rating of food at Mitra café averages out to 4.1/5. Look forward to revisiting to try out Kabiraji, Biryani etc.

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9 comments

  1. I found this shop by using google maps in Sep 2013. At that time, it was marked reasonably accurately on google maps.

    You went to Mitra cafe, reached there before it opened and you did not order the brain chop 😦 That is their signature dish. It is one awesome dish. That thing is only available when they open at around 4:30-5pm and gets over after the first round of orders. I have made lots of trips from south kolkata to mitra cafe for just the brain chop. Their kobiraji cutlets are also very good.

      1. Aah… That is sad 😦

        Did you also check out Niranjan Agar and Allen’s Kitchen nearby?

        I loved Niranjan Agar.. Tried fish fry, fish cutlet and mutton chop. All were good.

        Allen’s Kitchen was not so good.. Their prawn cutlet had hardly any prawns. Their fish fry was pretty good.

  2. Just browsed through the post as it is Mitra Cafe after all. Would like to come back and finish it. Enjoyed what I saw! Good pictures! Am a blogger too. I have this city blog called Kolkata Curry (URL given in my details here) where I do food blogging among other things.

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