Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Oh Calcutta!

Many people say that Kolkata was India’s Cultural Center and it is past. Let me tell you it is not true. We are still at the Cultural Center. May be our cultural practice is failing to bring enough success but believe me we are still on it. I used to believe the same too that we have lost the glory but a recent experience opened my eye wide.

The day I visited Koshe Kosha (mentioned in my previous blog), I had to wait for my friends at Golpark. Since those idiots (we are 5 idiots) were terribly late, I decided to take a walk toward Gariahat. There is a public toilet below the Gariahut Flyover at the Golpark end and the stretch between the toilet and the Gariahat Crossing is well maintained. With seating arrangements that particular area is pretty clean and railed on the both side with wide bars. It’s a place always crowded and obviously more people are on the rails than on the seatings. Such hangout place cannot go on without a tea shop and it is there and that too is really good. Coincidentally I was really feeling to have something hot down my throat.

The moment I sat with the cup of coffee in hand, I was amazed by the view on the side rail bar!! People returning from office, are playing chess in groups, sitting on the rail bars. 4 to 5 groups were there with 3-4 members in each group. I have seen people playing cards here and there but chess!! Never!!

This is something possible for Bengalis only. Playing cards is no big deal. There are simple games of card and people with minimum intelligence can play those. You’ll hardly find people playing Bridge but Chess is really not a matter of joke. Those who are not intelligent enough may know the game but will not enjoy the game. Those people were enjoying the game like anything and it was kind of Rapid Chess. I do not have much idea about chess but I saw a group completing 3 games with a short span of 30 mins.

This is something really appreciable. Those guys are not going to play a grand master but definitely giving a strong message to the citizens how people can carry a good culture. They were spending time but in a creative way. We can be physically lazy but what it takes to spend some time doing something creative.

Got some snaps of the place and the people! Find it here. Also for your information you can join them too. Just visit them and ask to let you play a game. They will not reject you. So test your skill someday!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mutton Kosha @ Koshe Kosha Golpark

Last weekend we had a treat from one our friend Kunal for his Birthday. Though the birthday was on 5th June, but we waited for more than 2 months to have all of us on the table!! Like me, Kunal too is a food lover and love to taste different flavors. If you can believe, we will be visiting Lucknow this winter to taste Tunday ke Kabab! Keeping our affection towards food, when I was asked to suggest a place for the treat, I said Koshe Kosha at Fern Road, Golpark.

Few days before the treat I tasted the Kosha Mangsho (Mutton Kosha) from Koshe Kosha in my office. One of friend brought it from the same place (other branch is at Hatibagan). two of my friend suggested any Chinese Cuisine but I had to reject as I see a Chinese dish very frequent on my table. Mughlai was not possible as were running short of time and all of us believe that Mughlai Dishes need time and patience. So all of us agreed to have something from our very own Bengali Cuisine.

Place was excellent in terms of ambiance. Perfect environment was created to have a perfect traditional Bengali feel. We ordered Prawn Cutlets for all of us as the starter. It costs Rs100/- per plate and obviously each plate contains a single piece of Cutlet. I must say the the Cutlet does not worth a Rs.100/-, that's all. In the main course we ordered the very obvious Kosha Mangsho (Mutton Kosha), with Pulao and Ghee Rice. The Mutton Kosha costs Rs.160/- a plate, Ghee Rice for Rs.60/- and the Pulao costs Rs.75/-. One of my friend order Bekti Paturi, costs Rs.150/- and contains two pieces of Paturi (Paturi is Fillet of fish, Bekti or Hilsha wrapped in Banana Leaf which we call Kola Pata in Bengali with spices like mustard and then fried or steamed in some cases; the name Paturi is originated from Pata). I was not feeling to have Fish at that moment, however I tasted from my friend and it was not bad.

The Pulao was ok and nothing to say about the Ghee Rice. It's almost plain rice with ghee and some kaju badam. Quantity was not that good but closely suffice one person. The Mutton Kosha was no doubt the best item we had. Very good, rich taste and we could feel that the dish is enriched with traditional bengali flavors (appreciating the tag line "Purano Sei Diner Kosha"). But again the quantity was not good. There were only 4 small pieces of mutton, that too with bones.

My final rating would be like 6 out of 10. It could be 8/10 but the high price and less quantity overall restricts me to give that good rating....But again loved the ambiance...


Friday, August 17, 2012

New Cathey, A Classic Restaurant in Esplanade

If quality, quantity and money matters, then I always choose New Cathey for dinning. The Bar & Restaurant is located at a very popular place, Esplanade. It's on the Grand Corridor.

The two tier restaurant is a very old place. Tier-1 is simply for hangout. Returning from office with friends, a plate of Fish Finger with smooth and buttery white sauce (can''t tell you how good the fish finger taste with this white sauce) and a mug full with chilled Haywards 5000 beer. Cheers!!

Tier-2 is Air Conditioned and you have to pay some extra taxes which is not required downstairs. Obviously with family or date it can be your choice but frankly I have always chosen Tier-1 as I found it comfortable too but yes a little noisy.

Chinese cuisine here is no doubt of good quality and quantity. Just make sure that you say "No Pork" when you order a mixed rice or mixed chowmein. I have tasted items like Chicken Clear Soup, Hot and sour Chicken Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup, Fish Finger, Crispy Fish, Chicken Drumsticks as starters and 2-3 varieties of chowmeins and  fried rices, Garlic Chicken, Chilli Chicken etc in  main course. I must say, all of them was good and huge in quantity. You must have a super huge appetite to have a full plate of Fried Rice of any variety and full plate of any chicken item. The Chicken items usually have 10-12 pcs of boneless chickens.

I often visit with my wife after shopping and always order a single plate of each Item for both of us. Cannot tell you the exact prices,inflation is more powerful than anybody else. However a few month back it was quite reasonable.

Lastly, not a place for luxury, so don't expect much. Service is good and they are helpful and honest about the food and it's taste. Do not hesitate to ask them if you have any doubt.

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