Kolkata Restaurants Review
Since Madhu and I fell in love with Kolkata’s street food we didn’t try too many restaurants in the city. However, we were keen on trying some typical Bengali food and some good tea and we found these in a couple of really nice restaurants/cafes around town.
Bhojohori MannaAddress: 18/1 Hindustan Road, Sarat Bose Road, Ballygunge Phone: +91 33 24663941
We found this restaurant listed in the guidebooks as a good place to try authentic Bengali food and so we promptly landed here for dinner on our 2nd night in the city. The restaurant is a chain with a couple of other locations, but the one on Hindustan Road is the closest to Elgin Road so we chose to come here twice!
Since Bengali cuisine is famous for its seafood Madhu tried a Crab dish one night while I ate a fabulously yummy (though thorny) Jumbo Ilish (or Hilsa in Hindi) in a traditional mustard curry. I loved it so much that I ate the same dish again the second time we visited the restaurant. Madhu also tried a mutton dish, which was good but not as good as the seafood. For dessert we tried a natural ice-cream topped with caramel and the world’s best Ras Malai – absolutely mouth-watering!
The ambience of the restaurant is casual and relaxed. The staff is a little slow and uninspired except for one particular server (couldn’t get his name) who was very helpful in offering suggestions on what to eat and how.
Dolly’s Tea ShopAddress: G62 Dakshinapan Shopping Complex, Gariahat Road South, Jodhpur Park Phone: +91 33 24237838
This tiny cafe, which is in South Kolkata, was a little hard to find as the cabbies in the Chowringhee area had no idea where Dakshinapan Shopping Complex was. One of them thought he knew where it was and dropped us off somewhere else but thankfully not far from where we should have been. So we had to hail another cab and this time the guy knew exactly where it was.
Tucked in a corner, amongst rows of handicrafts and textile stores, Dolly’s Tea Shop is a tiny caf © with just enough space to put 4 tables outside the caf © entrance and a couple of small, wicker chairs and coffee tables inside. It is nicely decorated with colorful walls and tea-related stuff.
The caf © offers an assortment of Darjeeling, Assam and English teas, perfectly brewed and presented, at very reasonable rates (Rs.25 to Rs.45 per cup). Madhu and I, who were both suffering from a little bit of cold, enjoyed the coziness of the caf © and the warmth of the tea, of which we drank 3 cups each. The caf © also serves a few snacks like sandwiches and quiches. The place is managed by a couple of ladies in crisp cotton, Bengali saris, giving it a nice, authentic vibe . All it was missing was some good music!
Cha Bar @ Oxford BookstoreAddress: Jawaharlal Nehru Road (Park Street), Kolkata Phone: +91 33 22297662
This bookstore is awesome with a fabulous collection of books and friendly staff. But what we liked best was their little caf © upstairs called ‘Cha Bar‘ (Tea Bar), which can be accessed via a flight of stairs at the back of the store.
The caf © has just about 4 or 5 tables placed in a gallery that overlooks the bookstore below. They have an extensive tea menu to choose from and a shorter food menu, which was perfect for a light lunch. We munched on sandwiches and quiches over several cups of yummy Assam tea and enjoyed the ambience thoroughly. This is a perfect spot to laze away a Sunday afternoon in the company of books!