With Black & White Beatnik-like images on the walls, with a name that speaks volumes about Calcutta culture, this place is filled with Bengalis out for a taste of home of an evening.
Absolutely unassuming decor, tiny tables to optimise the space, the personality of the place comes from its patrons, walls and most of all, its food.
‘How wonderfully Bengali to use the syrup of their most ubiquitous dessert dish to sweeten another preparation. Stunning and utterly charming.’
It was a hot day when we walked in to Calcutta Club for lunch and we needed to cool off before our Bengali feast. Aam Pora, a cool summer drink made from raw mangos, hit the spot. It was bright, spiced, sweet and sour, flavored with roasted cumin powder, jaljeera and deliciously sweetened with something we couldn’t quite figure out. Our server, who was quite knowledgeable about the menu, told us the Aam Pora was sweetened with Rasgulla ka Ras. Wow. How wonderfully Bengali to use the syrup of their most ubiquitous dessert dish to sweeten another preparation. Stunning and utterly charming.
Our meal was made up of classics in Bengali cooking. Begun Bhaja, thick slices of eggplant, rubbed with turmeric and salt and fried in fragrant mustard oil, these can be eaten on their own but are beautiful accompaniments to the meal. Simple ingredients, incredible flavor.
The Bengali Chana Daal, also called Cholar daal, in my personal opinion, is the most delicious variation of chana daal in all of India. The Chana Daal at Calcutta Club is a lovely representation of it, with a hint of sweetness before your mouth fills with a warm mellow spiciness and a kick of heat in the back of your throat.
The Kausha Mangsho, a mutton curry with a rich, thick gravy is perfect for eating with rice or for dipping crispy pieces of luchi. The mutton is cooked beautifully, richly flavored and falling of the bone.
We also chose a fish dish, Papda Macher Jhol. A light wholesome almost broth like curry, it was slightly under salted this time but still flavorful. There was a welcome lightness in the gravy and there were bursts of flavor from the Nigella seeds in the dish. This fishy fish is an acquired taste and not too meaty, but it is flaky and absolutely tender, melt-in-your-mouth.
We ordered fluffy, flaky luchis to scoop up the Chana Daal and to soak up the mutton curry and some rice to go with the fish. The luchis are little discs of indulgent crispness and the kind of delicious flavor that comes from refined flour which is really really worth it sometimes.
We ended with a Kheer Patishapta which is a small rolled pancake stuffed with coconut, mawa and suji. The pancake is barely sweetened and all the sweetness in this dessert comes from the delicious pool of rabdi-like, caramalised and slightly thickened milk the pancake is served. A departure from the better known Bengali sweets, the Kheer Patishapta was a fun discovery.
A generous meal for 3 will set you back Rs. 1100.
22 Link Plaza, Near Police Station, Oshiwara, Mumbai, Phone no: 022 65013733