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- 1910 approx. he guy in the shop did not know the exact year. On the signboard it mentioned 100 years.
In a nutshell:
Legendary 100 year old Kolkata sharbat shop that still serves some unique hand churned sherbets.
YUMMRAJ says for Kapila Ashram – ‘OLD IS GOLD’.
Address & other details: Kapila Ashram
Meal for 2: Rs. 100 onwards
Cuisine type : 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:
This shop is located in an approx 100 yr old building that once housed what it seems, a decent hotel. It is located in a place called Simla (yes, Simla in Kolkata) – same locality where Swami Vivekananda was born & he grew up.
The hotel is in ruins now & I cud see nothing but debris inside. The covered walkway of the house has 2 shops – a poorly stocked daily needs shop & the sharbat shop. The sharbat shop has two parts – one serves hand churned dahi based drinks & the other serves syrup & water based drinks.
Both the shops r manned by one person each. So if one of them go for a bio break, they close the shutter & go.
This shop that serves the dahi based drink is physically a ‘hole in the wall’. The customers cannot enter the shop. They have to take sharbats standing on the footpath (which is covered on the top). The shop is on a 2.5 ft slab & the guy sits atop it.
They serve 3 kinds of drink – kesar malai, rose malai & Abar Khai (meaning ‘I want to have it again’). The way the measurements r, the guy has to make 6 glasses at a time. So if 3 people go & ask for different drink, the guy says ‘ sorry, pls choose 1 drink – will serve it to all 3’.
The Curd that they use r made by them – do not buy from market. So the curd has a Slight fermented feel, like curd made at home.
The syrups r made from fruits by these people & then mixed with water or soda b4 serving. They had about 10 types of sharbats in this section.
Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:
We started with Kesar malai – a curd based, hand churned, water added drink. The sharbat was being mixed on a slab of ice kept in the base of a bucket (aluminium balti) so that one does not need to add ice to the drink but the drink still remains cold.
It was a medium density drink, had lots of froth on the top made manually by churning. It was perfect sweet, not too much, not too less. The guy was adding sme essence & syrups from small glass bottles & those he said were his secret ingredients.
People from UP , delhi and in general Cow belt will find this drink thin. For kolkata standards this is good. With no baggage / comparison with milk products in the Cow belt, this sharbat was good to taste as it is. Rate it 3/5.
Abar khai was the second drink we had – It was curd based again but this time with different flavors (quite unique also). Loved it again & rate it 3.5/5.
The last drink we tried was Raw mango pudina – It was Water based. The Concentrate was made by them. The drink had a natural feel to it. It was very good. Rate it 4/5
Overall rating of beverages at Kapila Ashram averages out to 3.5/5. I wud not go there from 30 km away but if I am around, I wud surely drop in.