Monday, November 18, 2013

Kolkata Food Blogger's Table : Tribute to Bengal with a modern twist


Cost - Approximately Rs1500 for 2. Alcohol is not served.

Address : 32/4, Old Ballygunge 1st Lane , Ballygunge, Kolkata

Cuisine : Contemporary and jazzy , a true tribute to traditional Bengali food jazzed up the modern way

It was for years that Calcuttans have had the delectable traditional Bengali fare served by a few restaurants in Calcutta be it Oh! Calcutta, Suruchi, 6, Ballygunge Place, Kasturi and a few other restaurants.                      

 While the city began to be filled with eateries in every nook and cranny Chef Joy suddenly forayed into the Calcutta gastronomical space with his beautifully unique  dishes in 2008. My first encounter was when someone had ordered in a couple of dishes from this joint and well , the meal was memorable even more so with the twist and turns.

So you see there were sandwiches with cumin and pizzas with nigella seeds and it was a beautiful innovation. So I present Chef Joy's delicacies. The consistency of quality and quantity over the years does deserve special mention, though in recent times he did switch his home fries with store bought potato crisps.

Now coming to 10th of November , 2013 , well the day was a bit different since it was my first group meeting with Kolkata Food Bloggers. The choice of restaurant had obviously but delighted me owing to my previous good experience. My dealings with the restaurant has mostly been in the department of home delivery but I did visit the restaurant somewhere in 2012.

Locating the restaurant is quite easy. If you are coming from the north of the city all you do is take Syed Amir Ali Avenue and then at the junction of Ballygunge Phari you take a left turn onto Bondel road and continue for another minute till you reach a small "kali mandir " basically a tree with a small deity and take a left turn yet again and you find the name Bohemian on the right side of the road. From the looks of it you realize it is an old house (well quite new compared to the heritage buildings of Calcutta but nevertheless a home and that itself gives  a very cozy feeling. The interiors is very youthful and jazzy. So there is rock n roll music with innovative pictures of Aerosmith and other Rock , Jazz and musical iconic idols attached with ropes on the big glass wall looking onto the street. The presentation is truly unique. The warm colour of the interiors is comforting as well. Now there aren't too many tables and quite frankly most of the tables are a size smaller for the number of occupants the tables are supposed to occupy. We did originally take a table for 6 but later moved onto a smaller table due to the number of diners being 4 and it being a Sunday. The table in my opinion was a bit too small for comfortable dining. The interiors does full justice to the name with the colourful settings.

The food is well in one word Bengali contemporary. So each dish has some spice which is a common ingredient of most Bengali kitchens but low and behold it is not your usual fare. So there is panch phoron flavoured chicken escallops, gondhoraj julep, Bacon wrapped chciken in aam kasundi sauce and so on so forth.

Chicken escallops flavoured with 'Panch Phoron' 
Gondhoraj Julep 


We decided on the panch phoron escallops and some refreshing drinks. I had ordered the gondhoraj julep which was delightful at first with the mild aroma and flavour of the beautiful lime and the sharp taste of coriander leaves but over the course of time found the sharp taste of coriander a bit too strong for my taste. Of course I have to mention here  my taste buds like subtle flavours. My fellow diner who had ordered the same drink liked it a lot. The pricing at Rs149 seemed reasonable as compared to the present scenario of dining outside.

The escallops were delightful with the subtle hint of well ground Bengali five spice , the exact amount of salt for my taste. It did not require any condiments due to the beautiful flavours lent by the five spice and when a fellow diner asked for some condiment the server politely informed the same. This one is a perfect start.

Now we did also order Vodka Soaked Prawns but since I am highly allergic to sea food I cannot write about it.

The bacon Wrapped chicken delight

For your main course everything here is A la carte. The crockery is also a tribute to the Bohemian theme , colourful , mismatched and beautiful. I opted for bacon wrapped chicken and my fellow diners had ordered spicy pork curry , Royal Bengal roast mutton and I do not remember the fourth choice. My Bacon wrapped chicken was truly a delight be it for the succulent and juicy chicken pieces and the perfectly baked bacon. The sauce is a beautiful amalgamation of mustard , mangoes and subtle hint of  spices . Along with the rice and tossed vegetables this alone is a sufficient meal. I could not finish off my entire meal and had to pack it but I do have a small appetite. Priced at Rs399 it seems very reasonable. I do clearly remember the distinct taste of my friend's Anglo-Indian Pork curry  and must say it was spicy indeed but delightful. I remember getting a  strong taste of black pepper which beatifies the dish even more.

Gondhoraj Souffle

We were all happily full and yet insisted on dessert and so finally settled for the Gondhoraj souffle which was shared among all 4 diners. While the taste was beautiful with the subtle hint of the zest from the lime and the perfect amount of sugar. It was more a mousse than souffle because it clearly had not been baked. The bill seemed quite reasonable.  The pricing of Rs219 seemed quite reasonable.

In all a delightful lunch with delightful company makes it a wonderful Sunday.

1 comment:

  1. I love Kolkata foods. Be it a street food or in a reputed restaurants. I just love all the flavors of Kolkata food.