Jaganmata bhojanalaya (Kailash Bose street, near Vivekananda road and bidhan sarani crossing, kolkata)

This is a part of the series of eating out at pice hotels in kolkata ( decades old, sometimes century old eateries that still serve authentic Bengali food).

This post was written in 2017

Adding an update in 2022. Scroll down to read the Original post-

We were pleasantly surprised to see the interiors re-done. there is still an option to sit on the floor & eat & also on table/chair.

Original post below-

In a NUtshell:
A 120 year old eatery that serves very tasty authentic Bengali food – if u can ignore the old not well maintained interiors, u will surely have a great memorable culinary experience garnished with loads of history that the place had to offer.

The entrance to the eatery thru a narrow lane in the compound of the building

Address & other details: jaganmata

Meal for 2: ₹100 onwards

Cuisine type : vegetarian and 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.

We spent ₹450 for all the food that we had. No bill. Payment by cash.

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:

The Bengali name on signboard reads jaganmata while in English it is written jagatmata. I chose the former.

It is a 120+ years old pice hotel (eatery) in north calcutta that is still run by the members of the founder’s family.
For the uninitiated, pice hotels used to thrive from about a century back to cater to numerous students, office workers who would stay in kolkata away from their homes and would look out for places to eat home like Bengali food everyday – cheap but not overtly spicy and hence easy to digest. The name Pice hotel seems to have come from the fact that everything served by them has a value e.g. They charge separately for everything from a slice of lemon to banana leaf to everything that comes to the plate. Those days one could hav lunch paying paise (pice). 

It’s situated in an old building as expected as they are in the same location since then. The building has features of typical buildings of those times – high ceiling, korikaath ceilings (wooden planks supporting the ceiling, which in Turn are supported by strong iron planks).

The entrance to this eatery is thru a small lane in the compound of the building. There is a board outside that has the name written on it.
They have two dining rooms – one has the same set up as it would have been at the time if launch. Sit in the floor on the mat and eat. The other room has basic tables and chairs where people share the table with strangers.

Seating on the floor, on mats

Maintenance of the inside of the eatery could have been surely better – does not cost much. Just a simple cheap lime wash once a year, which I have always seen happening at old small eateries of northern India. Just makes the feel of the place better.

Framed photographs of the founder and the next generation owners were hung on the wall near the cash counter.

Old ceiling fans hung and sprayed an air of nostalgia.

The place is a great social leveller – it is frequented by young students, middle aged office goers, taxi drivers, professors from nearby colleges, doctors and of course stray tourists like us.

They still serve in the traditional kansa (alloy metal) plates and they put a layer of banana leaf on top.

Water is served in bhaar (kulhad / earthen cup).

As we entered, we were shown a table by a middle aged gentleman who seems to be around since long.

Menu was written on a board in the wall but he still narrated the same. We chose whatever we found interesting, in discussion with the gentleman. He was a super host and made us feel at home. I saw him behave like family members to the students who come here regularly.

All food came at once, thus creating a good photo op.

Detailed description- in case u hv the time to njoy reading:

We started with jhurjhure aloo bhaja ( crisp potato matchstick fries). This was perfect and way better than the one at pice hotel Adarsha Hindu hotel, Gariahat. This was perfectly salted, almost perfect crispness and very good. Rate it 4.25/5

Dal here was very good – home like. Simple, no spices on the face, not too thin, not to thick, not hot. Enjoyed it with the aloo bhaja. Rate it 4.25/5

Mixed vegetable curry was super enjoyable – it had potatoes, gourds, daanta, brinjals etc. All veggies retained their texture yet mingled well with each other. Super loved it and rate it 4.5/5

We moved on to mourola machher tarkari. This was a dry curry made from a small fish named mourola (the whole fish is about an inch long, is eaten full with bones and head). Potatoes were cut like French fries. Fish was crisp fried and hence retained their shape. The overall curry was very good – ate some just like that and some with the rice. Rate if 4.25/5

Next dish was shol maacher tawk ( sour thin gravy of shol fish). The super thin gravy was soured with raw mangoes and tasted great. Flavours of Mango and fish both added to the intensity of the jhol ( gravy). The fish was hard fried like in most commercial establishments so that it does not break. Loved the gravy and the fish. Rate it 4.5/5

We then had Tangra fish. The fish was a tad over fried as compared to home. The jhol was a bit sweetish. Fish was super fresh and just too good. Rate it 4.25/5

We also ordered bhetki fish assuming it wil be a piece. However what came on the table was a full bhetki (about 15 cm in length). Like the other fishes, this one was also very fresh. The gravy was made with thick mustard gravy that had good levels of pungency. Rate it 4.5/5

After bhetki we thought of ordering kochi pathar jhol ( goat meat curry made from small goat). Super tasty jhol busting with flavours of mild spices and meat. The pieces were small and had more proportion of bone but whatever meat we got to eat was fab. Super soft and YUMM. Rate it 4.25/5

Raw mango chutney was good. The mango was sour and the jhol was sweet on their own. Together they made a good sweet n sour combo. Rate it 3.5/5

Overall rating of food at jaganmoyee averages out to 4.25/5

Would look forward to revisit for sure….

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