Legend has it that no one knows whether 'Golbarir mangsho' (a beautiful meat curry from Golbari) created the traffic jam at the crossing point of Shyambazaar or vice-versa but whatever it is the meat curry is this unique oily curry which is good enough to halt traffic.
Now one of the phrases I personally absolutely despise is 'the taste is not what it used to be' or the classic 'it has become very bad' from so and so year without further explanation as to what would be the taste from a by-gone era or why it has become bad. I shall tell you exactly why, this is a common trait of superiority. It is as if the person concerned wants you to consciously feel that you are missing out on a taste which this other person has had the privilege of tasting. of course I would take such opinions seriously if there is a logic with the statement. I agree with a dear friend of mine who is much older than me hence her having tasted it over a greater number of years than I have who had pointed out that she has on certain occasions been disappointed with tough meat from this legendary joint of Calcutta. I myself have had soft succulent tender meat and tough chewy and horrible meat from the eatery in question.
Now I am going to share m y experience not from the past but from the present , which is today 5th March 2014 and I have to say these classic places should always be given the benefit of the doubt.
I usually am not required to go to that part of town much often and so with a visit to Burrabazar I decided this would be the ideal day to explore the favourite part of my city, the classic old Calcutta. My usual exploring of this area means walking around and so walk I did and then when I was tired I decided I needed the much famed and infamous 'Golbarir Kosha Mangsho' Located right at the junction of Shyambazar crossing the eatery is very easy to locate and is housed in the 'New Punjabi Hotel' . To be clear the name of the restaurant is 'New Punjabi Hotel' , it is called golbari because it literally translates to 'round house' and that coems form the structure if you look at it from the opposite side of the road.
Now there are a few items in this shop but the legendary dish is the 'Kosha mangshi' 'Bhuna Gohst' It is a delicious meat curry which is curried to a point where it appears black in colour, the curry itself is spicy yet hot in a way where the average joe does not have steam blowing out from his ears and these succulant pieces of meat. Now I personally would not advise people to sit down and have a meal at this joint because it is cramped , small and extremely hot. So I packed the 'kosha mangsho' along with a chicken cutlet. Now usually people have this curried meat with 'paranthas' shallow fried flat-bread but the oily curry and shallow fried flatbread is not best friends with my stomach and I much prefer the handmade chapati because it balances out on oiliness since it is soft , moist and the curry is oily, robust and delicious. I did get it packed and the chapatis were not bought from this eatery.
Now I started with the cutlet which was every bit delicious. I shall state that the amount of spices used was perfect for my taste buds since I did not have tears rolling down due to excessive usage of chilis and I could taste the flavours of ginger garlic , chili and coriander leaves. The amount of mince chicken was generous and the coating was thin making it an absolute delight. They had not packed the usual condiment that is served with these snacks, the 'kasundi' a mustard sauce from bengal with a punch and I did try and use my homemade mustard sauce but then I realized when the flavours, the saltiness, spices etc are so well balanced for my taste buds I wouldn't want some condiment to drown the original taste of the cutlet which is superb.
Truth be told I was a bit skeptical about the curried meat since I myself have had the experience of chewy meat from the place but with one bite I was completely satisfied. You get 4 pieces of succulent meat which is soft enough to be torn with two fingers and that with the soft chapatis is a roller coaster ride through tasty-land. The curry is spicy and oily and a sheer delight. I used both chapati and rice because rice soaks up the oil much better and for my taste buds the mellowed down oiliness due to the mixing with rice works beautifully. So I suggest using chapatis for 2 pieces and rice for the rest . However I must admit that while I received three succulent, soft juicy and tender pieces of meat there was this 1 piece which was horribly chewy, disgustingly dry but then again when 75% of the meat was soft , tender and perfect for my taste buds I see no reason to slam this legendary eatery.
I would say this eatery shall keep halting traffic for years to come.