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15 food joints in Kolkata that will make you fall in love with the city yet again


Watering Holes–Monkey bar

New in town

From iconic eateries to hipster cafes, Kolkata has much to offer to city dwellers on a lookout for flavours old and new. Here’s a curated list of the best joints in the town.

Not many well-known chains choose to open an outlet in Kolkata. But when they do, the city’s residents give it a warm welcome. At Manu Chandra’s Monkey Bar, small things make a big difference. Barely a year old, this gastro pub’s large windows provide a fantastic view of the city; there is something magical about watching the sun washing over Victoria Memorial that puts you in a happy mood. But even minus the view, Avantika Saraogi, 24, local partner, is confident that Monkey Bar would have drawn in people’s attention. “Our USP is that we give equal importance to food and drinks-both are equally good here,” she says. The brand’s already established reputation has made it quite the go-to-destination. Popular picks here include Chilli Cheese Dragons and Butter Chicken Khichdi, and their signature drink Copper Monkey is a sureshot winner. At Monkey Bar, 901A 9th Floor, Camac Street; Meal for two Rs 1,500; Tel 30990381

The Grid

New in town

Tucked away in a rather offbeat location of Topsia, The Grid’s industrial look and feel with a 32 feet Lego bar is no longer just a novelty factor in getting crowds. So much so that the place is often buzzing on weekday afternoons. The microbrewery got their liquor license only a couple of months ago but are already doing brisk business. Must tries here include Osborn, the Indian Pale Ale, Piedmont (American Blonde) and Estuary (Berry Witbier). Cocktail lovers must try the Smoky Tenessee, a cinnamon smoked Tennessee whisky based drink. If you like your beer with kebabs, do try their Bhidndibazar Chicken Tikka and keema pao. At Haute Street Corporate park, 86 A Topsia Road Meal for two Rs 1,800 Tel 8444000888.

Someplace Else

Old favourite

Jazz musician Louis Banks once said, “there ain’t no place else like Someplace Else”. Quotable quotes aside, Someplace Else has split the party people of Kolkata into two groups- those who like trying different places and those who like their favourite pub almost exactly like it used to be. The popular British style pub that turns 23 this August is to nightlife what comfort food is to a hungover person. You can turn up any day and expect a mix of retro classics by DJ Austin. Make the best of your Saturday evening by attending a live gig by the Saturday Night Blues band. If you are a true SPE fan, you will know it’s imperative that you take your table before 8 p.m. and settle down with a pitcher of draught beer before they run out of your favourite brew. At Someplace Else, The Park, 17 Park Street Tel 40004900 Meal for two Rs 2,400

Into the night–Phoenix

New in town

Launched this April, Phoenix has risen from the ashes of the popular lounge Plush. Phoenix replaces the old white-on-white decor with brick and wood interiors and a stunning light installation of 330 LED tubes that change colours. Antique iron grills and wood make up the 32 feet bar which in addition to regular beverages serves cocktails in 1.2 litre buckets. Go for the new-age starters like Pulled Mutton Phulka Tacos while you’re here. At The Astor Hotel, 15 Shakespeare Sarani Meal for two Rs 1,800 Tel 9051303633

Shisha – Bar Stock Exchange

Old favourite

What started out as a small hookah lounge in 2003, has since transformed into an interactive pub. Shisha-Bar Stock Exchange works on the nifty concept of the Bar Stock Exchange in Mumbai. You take your table and download the restaurant app which acts as your menu. The price changes with demand and you can lock down the price of your drink at the the bottom of the curve, and spend the rest of the time chasing other options. At Shisha Bar Exchange, Fifth Floor, Block D, 22 Camac Street Meal for two Rs 1,500 Tel 22811313

Dine In Style–Vintage Asia

JW Marriott’s Vintage Asia is a bona fide paradise for gourmets who have a palate for offbeat Asian food. As you enter the restaurant, you cannot help but admire the expansive dining space that has a contemporary and cosmopolitan look. With two separate interactive kitchens, the restaurant offers an experience that’s a step above the garden variety Oriental experience. Start your meal with a chef’s special amusebouche paired with fragrant jasmine tea poured from kettles with impossibly long spouts. The Pork Xiao Long Bao (soup filled dimsums) isn’t just another dumpling as it is filled with a savoury umami broth that explodes with flavour in your mouth. Don’t miss the double cooked Spiced Caramelised Pork Belly which requires more than two days of preparation. Marinated and then slow cooked, it’s pressed down with a weight to make it dense in texture and then cut in portion sizes. The second and final step of cooking involves tossing it in a chilli caramel sauce. At JW Marriott, 4A JBS Haldane Avenue; Meal for two Rs 2,500; Tel 66330000

Three Sixty Three

An already famous spot on the culinary map of Kolkata, this swanky restaurant’s menu boasts of exciting new dishes with a traditional twist. Their all-day dining concept has already attracted many walk-ins for its scrumptious buffet that includes sundry desserts and salads. Favourites from the a la carte menu include the Chilean Sea Bass and a Wild Mushroom Agnelotti with Truffle cream that will convert even the most ardent meat lover. If you prefer cocktails to hard liquor, do try the gin- based Southside. Spare some time for the All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet that is available every weekday. At Threesixtythree, The Oberoi Grand, 15 Jawahar Lal Nehru Road Meal for two Rs 3,500 Tel 22492323


Cobbled floors and mud walls bring together an Indian fine dining experience that remains a favourite with city gourmands. Dal Sonargaon, their take on the traditional Punjabi Maa Ki Daal is simmered for hours, resulting in a smooth textured perfectly seasoned dal. Macchli gandharaj, another popular item pays a homage to two of the city’s favourites-the Kolkata bekti and the Bengal lime. A must-go to for the lovers of authentic fare. At Sonargaon, Taj Bengal Meal for two Rs 3,700 Tel 66123939

Cafe of Cool

Dolly’s,The Tea Shop

Owned by Dolly Roy, the first woman tea taster and tea auctioneer in India, this tea boutique existed much before the cafe and hangout culture. In 1987, there weren’t many places where one could enjoy a nicely brewed cuppa. With a cover of barely ten, there isn’t much room or time to linger as Dakshinapan, the shopping destination it’s housed in, is always buzzing. Without the commanding presence of Dolly herself, the buzz has changed a little but the teas remain as refreshing and as pocket friendly as ever. If you don’t know your first flush Darjeeling from your Assam orthodox, wait your turn to speak to one of the older members of the staff and ask for a suggestion. You might just learn a lot about teas after a visit here. At Shop No. G-62, Ground Floor, 2, Gariahat Road South Meal for two Rs 350 Tel 03324236445

Blue Mug

Snaking lines around newly opened restaurants are a common sight during Kolkata’s puja season. But Blue Mug is bucking the trend even on an average weekday evening with youngsters waiting to get in even in sweltering madness of May heat. Run by sisters Sweta and Neha Ghosh, the 52-seater cafe with a cosy outdoor seating area already has coveted spots among regulars (an outdoor swing with a table). The beverage menu has a variety of teas and coffees which can be ordered by the pot or the cup, a concept that is a hit with the adda loving, prone to linger Kolkata foodie. At Blue Mug, 1/121 J odhpur Park Meal for two Rs 700 Tel 30990171


Old favourite

Flurys is to cafes and tea rooms what the Big Bang was to the universe. Before any cafe, bistro or bakery, the city had Flurys-a legendary spot on the fashionable Park Street that is known for its European traditional confections. No tour of the city is complete without a stop here for the place has been providing delectably sweet experiences since 1927. Started by a Swiss expatriate couple, this iconic eatery was taken over by the Apeejay Surrendra group in the 60s. You’ll still find old favourites such as shortbread pastry, rum balls and baba pastry on the menu. At Flurys, 18 Park Street Meal for two Rs 1,350 Tel 40007453

Baker’s Dozen

Kookie Jar

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? Well, if it was one from Kookie Jar, then the suspects could be many, for this shop, which opened back in 1985 had awestruck school children lining up outside their Rawdon Street outlet to watch sandwiches with exotic fillings being put together right in front of their eyes. To their credit, Academy Award winning filmmaker Satyajit Ray himself wrote a letter of appreciation for an outstanding birthday cake they crafted for him. Even after so many years in business, owner Lovey Kapur promises “a taste that will take you back to Paris, like no one else in the city can”. With three outlets and one restaurant to their merit, they haven’t been as aggressive as some of the new brands that have popped up in the city since. However, they have retained their faith in one fact-those who prefer quality will always turn to Kookie Jar. The must tries here are the lemon tart and chocolate boat. At Kookie Jar outlets in Alipore, Rawdon Street; Meal for two Rs 350; Tel 22816589

Paris Cafe

The fifth outlet of Paris Cafe in Kolkata could not have asked for a tougher competitor in the neighbourhood than the famous Kookie Jar’s Alipore store, but as far as Sneha Singhi, 24-year-old owner of Paris Cafe is concerned, there is more than enough room for all kinds of bakeries in this town.”Our menu is more American-inspired in terms of desserts. Also, we have more fresh fruit and berry based desserts such as strawberry, blackberry, blueberries and more,” she says. And it holds true for it’s their American selection that is more popular with the who’s who of Kolkata such as the rainbow cheesecake and the red velvet cupcake. In fact, the red velvet cheesecake has found a fan in actor Varun Dhawan, who demanded a slice of cake while promoting his movie Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya, having tried it on a previous trip while promoting Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya. Meal for two Rs 1,000; At Paris Cafe, Alipore; Tel 8229920380

Source:  India Today

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