On whirlwind trip to Kolkatta and Jamshedpur we decided to see how many food highlights we could cover in just under two hours in each city. Here’s what we managed.
1. Sakchi Misthan Bhandar: On a picturesque drive to Telco is Sakchi, enter a narrow winding lane and there you see Sakchi Misthan Bhandar. As early as 8:00 am on a cold Sunday morning the benches of this tiny place are filled with people wolfing down kachoris, samosas and jalebis. This sweet shop opened its doors in 1952, founded by someone from Mathura who had probably come for work at the Steel Plant and then decided that this place desperately needed a good sweetmeat store. We tried the Rasagolla in date jaggery, Kachori with aloo ki subzi and Jalebi. Hot jalebis right out of the pan, yummy crispy goodness. The Kachoris were stuffed with peas and every bite was crisp with the ghee that makes these kachoris incredible. The biggest surprise: the aloo sabji, light full of flavour and surprisingly bereft of garlic or onion.
2.. Litti choka: Litti Choka is the national dish of Bihar and Jharkand and is especially favored during the winters. Litti are a little similar to puff pastry and are filled with Sattu, a special flour made from a mix of different pulses, a specialty of Bihar and Jharkhand. The hot littis are grilled on charcoal which adds a lovely smokey flavor and is served with choka. The choka is usually mashed potatoes flavored with onions, and green chilis. Asha Gangadharan, someone that has lived in Jamshedpur, recommends the Litti Choka next to Bishtupur
1. Mocambo: Located at Park Street, this place transports you back to an era where ladies were always dressed well and men opened doors for them. It has a loyal following and people still dress well to come to Mocambo. The menu is vast and expansive and filled with interesting tidbits like “ There is no love greater than the love of eating”. With names such as Fish a la Diana and and dishes marked as heritage , you could spend hours poring over the menu. We ordered Spinach and Cheese Pillows, Steak Sizzler and Chicken Oriental A La Mocambo. The Spinach and Cheese Pillows were soft, melt in your mouth delicious. Chicken Oriental A La Mocambo was a full meal of rice, vegetables and chicken in a very unique sauce, slightly sweet, with a wonderful taste that lingers on. And they have Baked Alaska on the dessert menu! The sizzler was a bit of a disappointment with very few vegetables, one large cutlet and well, thats about it. But for charm, good food and a slice of vintage Calcutta, head to Mocambo.
Mocambo, 25-B Park Street, Calcutta, (91-33) 2229-0095 or 2265-4300.
2. Flury: Park Street is the food capital of Kolkatta. A landmark destination, Flury lures one in with its pink shop sign with a definite vintage feel and also with the huge glass window enticingly displaying everything from Almond Crumble to a huge wedding cake. Flurys started as a tea room by Mr & Mrs Flury over a 100 years ago and probably served the best pastry then. Flury is now managed by Park Hotel but still retains its timeless charm. On Sundays, the queue for brunch is unbelievable. The servers at the counter recommend the Almond Crumble to those looking to pick just one sweet treat. Visit Flury for a deliciously old fashioned tea with scones served with lashings of butter or whipped cream.
Flury, 18 Park Street, Middletown Row, Kolkata, Phone: 033 4000 7453
3. Mukh Misti: As you walk down Rash Behari road in Kolkata you will see an array of sweet shops. We walked into Muk Mishti at the corner of the road. A small unglamorous shop, we are told it’s over a 100 years old. They serve the usual array of Bengali sweets such as Sandesh, Mishti Doi and more. The Nolen Gurer Sandesh, a winter specialty made using fresh jaggery, was just perfect. As we bit into the Sandesh, it was fresh, sweet and melted in your mouth, oozing delicious jaggery.