Chitto Babur Dokan (3,Esplanade East ( Dacres Lane), Near Pearless Bhawan, Esplanade, Kolkata 700069)

In a nutshell: A 60 year old eatery in Kolkata’s food street Dacres Lane that serves some great food. Address & other details:  Chitto Babur Dokan Meal for 2: 200 onwards Cuisine type :  vegetarian & nonvegetarian 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 / … Continue reading Chitto Babur Dokan (3,Esplanade East ( Dacres Lane), Near Pearless Bhawan, Esplanade, Kolkata 700069)

Windamere (Observatory Hill, Darjeeling, West Bengal)

In a nutshell: A century old Hotel in Darjeeling where staying is an experience in itself, all meals served inhouse – YUMM & memorable. Address & other details:  Windamere Meal for 2: part of stay package Cuisine type :  vegetarian & nonvegetarian 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 … Continue reading Windamere (Observatory Hill, Darjeeling, West Bengal)

Oh Calcutta (9, Ground Floor, Cyber Hub, Opposite Gateway Towers, DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon)

This post is on a limited period Anglo Indian food festival held at Oh Calcutta, Gurgaon during February 2015. Apologize to my foodie friends for posting it 2 months later – u cant just go to Oh Calcutta & order it now if u find the post interesting. Hope they re-do the event & u can try it out next time. For general review of Oh Calcutta … Continue reading Oh Calcutta (9, Ground Floor, Cyber Hub, Opposite Gateway Towers, DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon)

Anadi cabin (on SN Bannerjee Road, JL Nehru road crossing. 9A, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Esplanade, 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- Early 1900s. My father used to go with his friends when in high school.It was a big thing then. In a nutshell: Legendary 60+ year old … Continue reading Anadi cabin (on SN Bannerjee Road, JL Nehru road crossing. 9A, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Esplanade, Kolkata)

Cafe’ The’ (ICCR, Indian Council of Cultural relations, 9A Ho Chi Minh Sarani, near USIS Kolkata)

In a nutshell:

A cafe that is perfect for getting together & enjoying a adda amidst a very good ambience & some excellent food

Inside the cafe

Address & other details: Cafe’ The’

Meal for 2: Rs. 250 onwards

Cuisine type: Vegetarian & non vegetarian

Background:

The Bengali’s love affair with tea started in the 1800s when the British started mass producing it in India. Tea stalls sprung up over time all over & so did the ‘cabins’. Famous among many were Anandi Cabin, Basanta cabin etc which wud typically serve tea with Anglo Bengali snacks. For a good section of the middle income group, these cabins were equivalent to fine dining places that they wud visit on occasions.

Fish Kabiraji @Cafe’ The’

Bengali cuisine of today has many British influences like batter fried fish, orly, chops, cutlets, fries , kabiraji, dimer devil etc. By the way, Kabiraji is the Bengalification of the English word ‘Coverage’ since the fish / chicken is deep fried after covering it with whipped egg. ‘Dimer Devil’ is the Bengali version of ‘Devilled Egg.’ It is called ‘Devilled’ coz the original yolk of the egg is replaced by minced meat / potato filling.

Dimer devil

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

Cafe’ The’ menu card describes it as ‘the favourite place to meet & eat for artists & poets, musicians & singers, writers , thinkers, lovers, young & not so young’. It is also mentioned that the ‘cha & chop’ (beverage & snack) menu is inspired by the Cabins that dotted North Calcutta.

The very well illustrated menu card @Cafe’ The’

Apart from that there r ‘not too many restaurants serve this in Kolkata’ items like Welsh rarebit, Escalope of Chicken Milanese, fish pie, eggs Benedict etc.

The place is ideal for adda (a Bengali word for nonstop chat on a vast range of unrelated topics) & get togethers with friends & family. The ambience is very good & colourful without being jarring.

The waiting staff are attentive, warm, knowledgeable but not intrusive.

We loved this place so much that we walked in for a second time in a span of two days. We were lucky to eat the food served here during a Bangladeshi food festival named ‘Festive Platter from the Kitchens of Erstwhile Nawabs of Dhaka’. Also tried the regular fare. Super liked the food.

Bangladeshi food festival @Cafe’ The’

Detailed Description – In case u have the time to njoy Reading:

Continue reading “Cafe’ The’ (ICCR, Indian Council of Cultural relations, 9A Ho Chi Minh Sarani, near USIS Kolkata)”

Apanjan (Sadananda Road, near Rashbehari Crossing, Kolkata)

In a nutshell: A mid-sized Hole in the wall eatery that serves super YUMM Anglo Bengali cuisine. Address & other details: Enter Sadananda Road from Rashbehari more side & walk towards Hazra. The shop is on the left side. Meal for 2: Rs. 150 onwards Cuisine type: Vegetarian & non vegetarian Background: Bengali cuisine of today has many British influences like batter fried fish, orly, … Continue reading Apanjan (Sadananda Road, near Rashbehari Crossing, Kolkata)

Peter Cat (Park Street, beside Music World, Kolkata)

This is a late add to 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- Around Independence.

YUMMRAJ Demystifies the Legend of Peter Cat & maintains OLD IS GOLD

In a nutshell:

A retro restaurant (not by design but coz they never changed with time) with a great ambience, old school staff, good food for the prices that they charge but nowhere as good compared to the ’real thing’- be it European or Persian.

peter cat – the facade

Address & other details: Peter Cat

Meal for 2: Rs. 300 onwards

Legendary Chelo Kababs at Peter Cat

Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

Peter Cat has been around for decades & that speaks a lot – Restaurants open very often & close down almost as often. The ones who survive the test of time surely have something good / unique to offer.

The décor as I mentioned above is retro in today’s context – red sofas facing each other & nice lamp shades above each table. The lighting is dim overall but the lamps on each table illuminate the table good enough to see each other, have a good chat & enjoy some good food. There are two floors & the way to top floor is as grand as it can get.

The dining Hall at Peter Cat & the Waiting staff in the background

Waiting staff look Grand as well, with their sherwani suits, flamboyant headgear & pointed shoes. Most of them are however quite Old School – smooth talking, knowledgeable, not overtly attentive but attentive as well, not quite warm, talks with an air of authority interspersed with some rare smiles & I guess quite bored of doing the same job for donkey’s years…… & that shows on their face. U will enjoy the evening if u think this to b a part of the package – dining at a retro restaurant & being served by people who r enacting the past:)

The food is good in general & at the prices that the food is offered, I wud say some are excellent. However, if u compare the non- Indian dishes to the original dishes the way they r, then u might b quite disappointed.

Continue reading “Peter Cat (Park Street, beside Music World, Kolkata)”

Food aboard AC 1st Class Duronto Train – & the travel story

Read YUMMRAJ’s latest review of AC 1st class rajdhani here: rajdhani

In a nutshell:

My first time travel in AC 1 of Duronto – turned out to b a series of Pleasant surprises. Pretty Good food, very good service & an amazing experience in a coupe of a new coach.

The story:

Duronto , like the Rajdhani trains, r full AC trains with meals included in the ticket price. Unlike Rajdhani, Duronto is a ‘no stop’ train – so it straight away stops at the final destination. We decided to travel by this train for a holiday from Delhi to Kolkata & chose AC1.

inside Duronto AC1 coupe

What is strange about AC1 is that even if u book way in advance, the seats / cabins r not allocated till the day of journey. We were thrilled to see us being allotted to a coupe (only two people in a cabin instead of four).

As I entered the coupe , I was pleasantly surprised. It did not quite look like Indian Railways. New coach, spic & span, pristine white walls & ceiling, a huge 4ft X 3ft mirror, a tiny mirror etc. I cud sense the room freshner as well. At times it felt like we were sitting in a mid-range hotel (of course ignoring the size of the cabin).

We were lucky to have the pantry car just next to our coach. It had transparent glass window & I peeped into it – looked as good as an open kitchen restaurant. Within I guess 10 minutes after the train started, an IRCTC representative came & welcomed us & gave us a rose & a facial wet wipe.

welcome rose & face wipe aboard Duronto

Within minutes of this, the pantry boy appeared with two menu cards – printed & laminated like the ones in low to mid end Restaurants. One menu card was veg Indian & nonveg Indian. The other was Veg continental & non-veg continental.

We started to read the Indian non-veg & were surprised to see ‘veg au gratin’ written in it. We were told that ‘the starters r common for Indian & continental but the main course is different’.

Detailed Description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:

Service started within 30 minutes of the start of journey. The server came in & pulled out two foldable tables from one corner of our cabin & set them up.

Foldable dinner tables aboard Duronto

He served freshly made thick vegetable soup. Good to taste by Restaurant standard & awesome to taste by ‘Indian Railways standard’. Soup sticks were also given along with this – those turned out to be sub optimally crunchy. We njoyed our soup with dollops of Amul butter. Halfway thru the soup I decided to season it with black pepper – that is what turned out to b a bad decision. The pepper provided was as fine as dust & it was quite weird. Spoilt the Soup to some extent.

vegetable thick soup aboard Duronto

After a gap of almost 20 minutes, we were served starters – 2 pieces of Fish Orly & a lump of vegetable au gratin, in addition to one apple.

Vegetable au gratin turned out to b a catastrophe. It was a lump of sweet potato with cheese popping up at different spots, funny texture & really bad by Restaurant, someone’ home or train or any standard.

The fish orly was awesome to the power 10. It was deep batter fried fish that had a thin outer batter layer & a superbly juicy, soft, flaky fish fillet inside. Outstanding flavors of the fish & also the spices ……………….. Good by all standards – Restaurant, train, aeroplane, someone’s house etc.

fish orly aboard Duronto

Continue reading “Food aboard AC 1st Class Duronto Train – & the travel story”

Bengal Hotel – fowl o mutton (No. 14 Bus stop, Behala, Kolkata)

In a nutshell:

My childhood favourite – Re-visited after many years & Loved the simple menu , some good & some great food at prices that surprise.

Bengal Hotel – Moton o fowl

Address & other details: Bengal Hotel

Meal for 2: Rs. 200 onwards

fish fry at Bengal Hotel

Cuisine Type: A bit of Vegetarian & predominantly Nonvegetarian

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

As kids we used to go to this super tiny restaurant to have fish cutlets. The ambience did not matter then coz we were not aware of ‘ambience’ in an eatery & now it does not matter to me as long as the food is superb. We used to drool over the food then & this time around I found it very good, if not as good as before.

mutton cutlet at Bengal Hotel

The owner sits right at the entrance – He handles cash & remote manages the place. There is one guy who I have seen as the manager for many years now – order taking from customers & coordinating. Food is served by ‘chhotus’.

Fish roll at Bengal Hotel Behala

The most interesting thing at this restaurant is the rate chart. The menu is printed on a board on the wall – permanent (I think it was same when I was a kid). The price of the dish is written with chalk everyday besides the description. All items r made in limited quantities & as soon as an item is sold out, the manager runs to the board & rubs off the price. Popularity still soars & by 6.30 pm onwards one by one the items start getting sold out. The shop opens at around 3.30 pm & shuts by approx. 8.00 pm.

The ‘interesting’ rate chart at Bengal Hotel, Behala

They also pack ‘fry & eat’ chops & cutlets. I have heard that NRIs carry these back home. I carry these back to Gurgaon at times.

‘fry & eat’ chops & cutlets in case u want to pack it for home

The food is Anglo Indian – Chops & cutlets that have become Bengali now & mutton & chicken curries that have a wide following in Britain these days. We tried the mutton cutlet, fish roll, fish fry & also mutton kosha. Liked the mutton cutlet, liked very much the fish roll & fish fry & super loved the mutton kosha.

Detailed Description – In case u have the time to njoy readin:

Continue reading “Bengal Hotel – fowl o mutton (No. 14 Bus stop, Behala, Kolkata)”