West Bengal archive

Chung wah and 4 other old give testament to the food cosmopolitanism in Kolkata

Five classic restaurants In Kolkata

A perfect taste of the City of Joy can be found on a plate of Biriyani, or in the traditional rice and fish curry of Bengal. Like the French, food is a passion for the people of Kolkata. Cooking is compared with creating an art, with the presence of various spices, used in most diligent ways. Kolkata is assumed to be originally created by an English gentleman named Jobas Charnock. In its 300 years old history, the city has seen the British rule, the arrival of Muslim rulers from the Mughal Sultanate along with the arrivals of Jews, Chinese, Portuguese and many more foreign immigrants. Each phase of history has created an impact on the cuisine of the city.
The native cuisine of the Kolkata city is the Bengali cuisine. Similarly, the Chinese and Mughlai are also considered as incepted in this city for their unique taste.
Let’s savor the gastronomy of City of Joy through some of the classic restaurants of Kolkata, The unique taste of Chinese The city of Kolkata has given birth to a unique cuisine that is called Chinese cuisine. The taste of Chinese of Kolkata is different than any other parts of the world.
Apart from the large Chinese Community based on here, the city also houses many old and classic Chinese restaurants in various parts of the city,

Chung wah

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Situated in the busiest part of the city, Chung Wah has almost 125 years of history behind it. Chung wah is one of the oldest bars of located at the Central Avenue. The Central Avenue is stretched from Beadon Street to Esplanade, connecting the Northern Part of Central Kolkata. The main attraction of this restaurant is the age old charm, maintained with the traditional reddish interior.
Like the other young college students, Chung Wah was my favorite alcohol joint during my college days. The main attraction of this cabin is definitely the secluded cabin, which gives complete privacy to romance over a glass of antiquity blue. Even these days, we often visit Chung Wah for the nostalgic feelings of romance around the same ambiance.

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The old charm, cheap alcohol and the budgeted mouthwatering foods, that’s what the attraction of this age-old restaurant. The interior and the foods are intact as it was earlier. The roasted chilli pork, Dry chilli Chicken are the must try dishes of this restaurant. Normally a decent meal for two is most likely to cost INR 800 along with one or two pegs of alcohol.


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Waldorf is located in the best part of the city, in the happening street named Park Street. Waldorf was the first Chinese restaurant which had moved out the traditional China town and it was used to be one of the landmarks of the Park Street. This was one of the restaurants which had given birth to the famous Indo-Chinese cuisine. Over the years, this place had to relocate for the legal issues. Yet, the traditional Indo-Chinese foods taste the same.
Waldorf is one of those rarest restaurants which are loved by both my parents and me. From my childhood, Waldorf is favored for a family dinner. As winter is the time for family, I took my parents for a traditional family dinner recently at Waldorf. Although the food habit had changed over years, my parents haven’t. So I had to start the meal with Sweet Corn Soup, endure the torture of eating Mix gravy noodles with Garlic chicken, ending the dinner with iconic Tutti-frutti.
The only difference I could make was to pay the bill in the place of my father. The main popularity of the restaurant Waldorf had come from its excellent Indo-Chinese cuisine. The interior of the restaurant has a touch of the Chinese architecture. The signature dishes of this restaurant are definitely the duck and lamb dishes. Apart from that, the Kung Pao chicken, Garlic Chicken, Special Cantonese Noodles are also mouthwatering. The meal for two with two bottles of beer is most likely to cost around INR 1200.
The Mughlai of the city The people of Kolkata have a unique taste in Mughlai cuisine. Like, they cannot imagine Biriyani without a boiled Potato. So undoubtedly the Mughlai food of the city has a flavor of its own,


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Aminia is definitely one of the most famous makers of Haleem in Kolkata, a traditional Arabian-Persian dish eaten in the holy Ramadan month. The goodwill of the place doesn’t end with Haleem, the pocket pinch Biriyani is also a great attraction of the place. The oldest establishment of Aminia is located on Zakaria Street, very close to New Market and Esplanade area of Kolkata. The décor of the place is very old school, with rot iron chair and a huge open place for sitting.
After a heavy dose of shopping, a taste of traditional Chicken Biriyani of Aminia was heavenly during my last shopping trip. During this year’s Ramadan month, I couldn’t get through the crowd for Haleem. Thus, I wanted to compensate the grief with a dose of Special Chicken Biriyani of Aminia. The special trip to Aminia had completed with the mouthwatering Firni of this place.
The main attractions of Aminia are definitely the various Biriyani dishes which are also very pocket-friendly. The beef items are also very famous in this place. The most iconic items of Aminia are Special Beef Biriyani and the Haleem dishes. Here, the meal for two is most likely to cost INR 600. The Classy Continental The fine dining experience is also a very big part of Legendary Kolkata. Among the traditional restaurants of Fine Dining, some of them are based on Park Street. Located in the central part of the city, this place is famous for hosting some of the classic restaurants.


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Located in the mouth of the famous Park Hotel, this old restaurant is mostly related to the music by its owners. The Trincas is known as the birthplaces of Bengali bands. The classy décor of this restaurant is not completed without the live music performances which are always playing in the background.
On a rainy Sunday, I had visited Trincas along with an old friend. The place was crowded, yet the music had taken over the buzz of the conversations. The atmosphere was perfect for catching up with an old friend over a glass of wine. This amazing restaurant is said to be the creator of the stars like Usha Uthhop. This traditional restaurant always introduces fresh talents in music to maintain a fresh vibe of this place. Among all the traditional Indian, Chinese and continental dishes, the Fish Florentine, Shredded Lamb, Pan fried Chilly chicken is most preferred. Along with the alcohol, small bites of foods are most likely to cost around INR 1600 for two.

Peter Cat The famous restaurant from the 1970’s is one of the restaurants which are known for one of its famous dishes, Chello Kebab. This restaurant, decorated in soft red light and red leather seats—is perfect for a fine dining experience.

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One my latest visit, I have a client of mine from Europe. Along with the white wine, we have ordered the traditional Chello Kebab along with Chicken Tandoori. Although a bit rich for European taste, he enjoyed the authentic flavor of the Indian cuisine. The main attraction of Peter cat lies in the combination of Indian and Continental foods and drinks served in the beautiful settings. Along with the iconic Chello Kebabs, the other Kebabs and Tandoori dishes are also good. The continental lovers must try the Grilled fish and authentic Sizzlers of this restaurant. A trip to Peter Cat along with a friend is most likely to cost INR 1800 along with a dose of Cocktail or wine.

Native Bengali Cuisine

The list of classic restaurants of Kolkata cannot be completed without the native Bengali food. Although fish and rice is the signature dish of Bengali Cuisine, it has much more to offer. Till early 21st Century, the Bengali Cuisine was not too popular choice for the dine-outs in Kolkata. So, the restaurants for Bengali cuisine were limited mostly to the five or four stars hotels. The restaurant chains like Bojohori Manna had finally set up the trends of Bengali cuisines from the early 21st century.

Bojohori Manna

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Named after a famous classic singer of Kolkata, the first outlet of Bojohori Manna was opened at Gariahat, in the Southern part of the city. The whole menu of the restaurant is seasonal, offering the fresh seasonal vegetables and fishes. The interior of this restaurant reflects the nostalgic atmosphere of the Bengali Culture. The best time to visit the traditional Bengali restaurant is definitely the festival time.
During the festival, it has almost become a tradition for us to visit Bojohori Manna wearing traditional clothes. During Durga Puja, the greatest festival of Kolkata, the queue outside this restaurant had never encouraged us to settle for another one. This year, however, even within the heavy downpour, we waited in the queue. Later, the heavenly taste of our favorite fried Hilsa fish and Chicken Kosha had compensated for all our troubles earlier.
The restaurant is almost a trendsetter among the residents of Kolkata who used to prefer Mughlai, Chinese, and Continental for a Dineout. The amazing flavor of paanch poron (A spice mixed with six ingredients) mustard, poppy seed, turmeric, coriander, coconut of traditional Bengali dishes is worth of a try. All the fish dishes along with plain rice or Polao are the iconic dishes of the restaurant. A full meal for two is most likely to cost around INR 800 at Bojohori Manna.
The people of Kolkata live for food, so the classic restaurants are still holding their head in most high regards.

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