This is a review of a pop up ‘Firinghee thala’ by food historian & culinary artist Pritha sen, at Ekdalia rd restaurant by Surojit rout, a Finance professional who worked as Solution Architect in Global IT firm who left his job in America to open this restaurant in kolkata
In a NUtshell:
A pop up that laid out dishes that showcase (with huge success), global influences on Bengali food – unmissable stories of every dish, sheer brilliance on the plate.
Address & other details: Firinghee thala
Meal for 2: ₹1600
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 got to know of this festival from the social media & were thinking ‘wud b good if this was to b in mumbai’. However all of a sudden a plan to kolkata popped up out of the blue & we were at Ekdalia Road on the second last day of the festival.
The restaurant is a year old & they tied up with Pritha sen to do something unique on Bengali New Year’s Day, in a European restaurant!!! Great idea, fab dishes & super execution.
This time we had 4 more people with us in addition to the two of us. We had a fab time. While the two of us judged everything from the blog’s point of view, our co-diners had a fantastic time (included people who are not foodies & eat only to fulfill their biological needs)!!
The restaurant is an old building. So it’s feel is different. It’s cozy & nice. People used to stay here before – was never meant to be for commercial purpose.
Liked the decor of the place. Specially remember the wall with framed photographs of great chefs from around the world.
Loved the food. Memorable
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
We loved the Welcome drink with Darjeeling tea as a base. Refreshing. Different. It was called Bengal lancer’s punch.
Muchlee fry was supposed to be Topshe fry but on the we went it was bhetki fry due non availability of Topshe. It was crumb fried fish. Rate it 4/5
Armenian khichuri – khichdi (lentils & rice cooked together) inspired by the armenians. Armenian khichuri had the obvious rice & lentils and the surprise element was the use of dry fruits in the khichri that gave a super interesting texture play. Extremely insanely delicious. Cud not just stop eating this. Absolute comfort food, yet different from the usual khichuri. Flavor of ghee was enjoyable. Rate it 4.75/5
Dal churchuree was masoor daal somewhat similar to what we have eaten at Bengali households, yet differentiated by addition of apples to sour – a British influence. Familiar yet different. The daal had good amount of garlic in it. Not common in many daily home moong daal eaten in Bengali homes. Rate it 4.5/5
Cabbage keema dolma was a take on the Armenian dolma which is essentially meat wrapped in vine leaves. Here cabbage leaf was used a substitute to vine leaf & inside was keema and rice. The dolmas were then dunked into a gravy. The gravy was outstanding. The dish overall was very interesting & delicious. Different from the commonly served ‘potoler dolma’. Rate it 4.5/5
Glazed carrot & beans salad was good to munch on. Perfectly seasoned. Very good to taste. This acted as a pleasant break.
Prawn gravy cutlet curry was prawn cutlets in a gravy. Loved the coated fresh prawns & the taste of the curry separately. Did not quite appreciate them together. However separately they were so good that I Rate the dish 4/5
Murg makallah (yehudi / Jewish murgi roast) – the gravy was simple yet stunning. Just loved the taste. Chicken pieces were super tender. Rate this dish 4.75/5
Mutton jhal frezie – the story is that originally this was made by the khansamas for their own consumption, from the leftover roasted meats. Pritha’s recipe is the best version of jhal frezie that we have ever eaten – we had earlier had this at mustard mumbai where she has curated the Bengali menu. Loved the aromas of spices & also the flavors of meat which did not get overpowered by that of the spices. The meat was soft & nice but the final dish from an execution point of view (from sane recipe) was better in mustard as the meat pieces we got were softer & better. Rate it 4.5/5
Col skinner’s chutney had loads of ginger that hit you as soon as the food lands on the tastebuds!!! The Chutney also had garlic but the flavor of garlic cud not overpower that of ginger. Very interesting taste & flavor – departure from the usual raw mango sweet & sour chutney. Rate it 4.5/5
Tipsy pudding was supposed to be tipsy but the one here did not have alcohol in it. Loved it anyway. Rate it 4/5
Mango fool was made from raw mango- tangy, refreshing & consistency like a thick payasam!!! Loved it. Rate it 4.5/5
We also ordered a la Carte Portuguese sausage curry. This was made from outstanding juicy, robust flavoured, super tasty custom hand made pork sausages from a shop called calcutta deli in kolkata. The sausages were made into a lip smacking , marvellous curry – rate the dish 4.95/5
Lobster Chinay kabab Aldi we ordered a la carte. It is a calcutta version of lobster Thermidor. It was good but we liked the pork way better. The lobster itself was super fresh & good. We have probably got used to super simple non intrusive fresh seafood dishes ever since we started living near Sassoon dock that had the freshest dishes & seafood in mumbai. So the cream etc seemed to intrude our senses – however everyone else in our table super enjoyed it. Rate it 4/5
Overall rating of Firinghee thala averages out to 4.4/5
Look forward to the next pop up by Pritha