In a nutshell:
A Bengali food restaurant chain with basic decor, non professional service and average food. My culinary experience at the pice hotels of Kolkata on one end and oh Calcutta on the other end have been way better than this.
Address & other details: bhojohori manna
Meal for 2: ₹500 onwards
Cuisine type : vegetarian & non vegetarian
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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
We knew about this chain but have never been there in so many years. So decided to visit it when someone asked me about how I think the place is. Travelled 27 km each side to eat here!!
The name bhojohori manna comes from a song by the famous singer manna Dey. In the song a person by the name of bhojohori manna is a great cook who has travelled the world from Istanbul to Japan to Kabul and more, and learnt about their varied cuisines.
The restaurant has a wooden wall as one stands on the main road. The painted signage has worn off and no one has bothered to get it right.
There is an open dining area followed by a air conditioned dining room.
The tables had traditional Kantha stitch table cloth.
Small detailing on the interiors made the look interesting.
The guys in the restaurant were not professional. Lack of a manager showed. Constant casual chat was happening between the guys. Most of them seemed to be just doing a job. We found something to be bad and did not eat it. The guy just came and picked the plate – no questions on why we did not eat etc etc.
The person serving us was very nice though. He took interest and constantly kept coming back. He helped us take a decision on the menu.
The menu card was a 2 pager. Menu card mentioned that many items might not be available.
We have been exploring the pice hotels of Kolkata since the last 2-3 years. Those cheap old eateries beat this restaurant hands down any day. On the other hand, there is oh Calcutta etc. on the higher price end and that is also far better than bhojohori. So this mid priced restaurant was inferior in food from both the cheaper ones and the expensive ones!!!! I did not understand it’s USP…..
Since this is a chain and running restaurants across the country I guess it makes money which means people eat here regularly. So am interested to know if this was an aberration and whether the Kolkata restaurant is better.
Detailed description- in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
Vegetable chop – thin crumb , not as crisp as the ones on the roadside in Kolkata. The vegetables inside were too finely chopped and hence the texture of the classic chop was missing. Infact the veggies were feeling a bit slimy. Seasoning was good. Rate it 2/5.
Fish rongpuri turned out to be a crumb fried fillet of Bhetki. The fish was fresh , juicy and flaky and excellent. The crumb was compromised. It was not as crisp as it shud hv been. Rate it 3.5/5
Mutton cutlet – the meat itself had turned bad and soured maybe because of heat and moisture. So we let it be after a bite. Strangely no one asked why we were returning it. Rate it 0/5.
We moved on to maxi thali. It had shukto, 1 veggie curry, daal, jhuri aloo bhaja, chutney, pulao, rice , payesh, mishti doi.
Shukto was very good. It had the right balance of bitter, sweet and salt. The veggies retained their texture, yet mingled well with each other. Rate it 4.25/5
For veggie curry we chose echor (raw jackfruit). The gravy was an excellent North Indian curd based gravy , the types u find in Haldiram’s / bikanerwala. Nothing remotely Bengali about it. The echor flavours were totally lost and the pieces ended up becoming ‘just hanging around – aimless loitering’. The pieces seemed to b boiled and plonked into the curry !!!! Rate it 2/5.
The daal was perfectly seasoned flavourless textureless liquid, to b consumed as a stomach filler with rice / mandatory source of protein. Made with absolutely no care. Rate it 2/5.
Jhuri alu bhaja was suboptimally salted and inspite of having perfect texture, it was not a ‘dil maangey more’. Rate it 2.5/5
Pulao was an oasis in the desert. It was outstanding- from good flavours of ghee to the right kind of rice, to the lovely flavours and sweetness in taste. Rate it 4.5/5
Tomato and date Chutney was good. A dash of lemon made it better. Rate it 3.5/5
Payesh was nowhere close to the rich milky creamy payesh served in Bengali homes. It did not have the intense feel of a nice payesh. It was surely better than the watery delhi kheer. Rate it 3/5
Mishti doi was very good. Rate it 4/5
We also ordered parshey jhal, parshey jhol, kosha mangsho on the side.
Both the fishes had been over deep fried in high heat like in most commercial places. Hence they had lost their texture. Flavours of the fish were good and taste very good.
Loved the jhol and it’s flavour and taste. Rate it 4.25/5
Loved the shorshay jhal. Rate it 4.25/5
The kosha mangsho gravy was excellent – intense, rustic, a tinge of sweetness, spices socialised well with each other and with the flavours of the meat. Taste of the meat was good but texture was far from soft and nice kosha mangsho. Ended up like rubbery ‘well done’ western steak. Gravy 4.75/5, meat 2.75/5. Average rating 3.75/5
What we loved the most was aam pora shorbot. It was tangy, robust, bursting out with flavours and just too good. Rate it 4.5/5
Overall rating of food at bhojohori manna averages out to 3.2/5
I wud not hv the courage to go bk there. Am intrigued at this experience and will drop in to the Kolkata original shop in my next visit to find out if this is an aberration or this is how the chain is, in general.