The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The city is known for its old alleys. One such is shot by Atanu Pal.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Wall Street Bar- the new gastro-pub

If you are particular about good food coming with your favourite drinks, head for a gastro-pub. It essentially means a pub which offers food of high quality. The idea of gastro-pub originated in London in 1991 with the new owners of The Eagle Pub putting together a restaurant menu in it. The unique concept reinvigorated both the pub culture and the dining scene in Britain over time.

It will be a good idea if your place of choice happens to be Wall Street Bar- the new den in the city pubbing scene, as I found out being part of a bloggers’ meet last Saturday afternoon hosted by the young and enthusiastic Aayush Karel, one of the three partners of Wall Street Bar.

Since the name has world’s most renowned financial district in it, the owners have chosen a high street location at the heart of the city (It’s at 10A Shakespeare Sarani, right opposite Axis Bank) and given it a swish look and feel with cozy and wooden décor, dim lighting and smart one liners with matching graphics adorning the walls and large LED screens beaming satellite channels. The 2000 square feet dining area seats 50 people and there are a few tables seating two each laid outside the main door opposite walls showcasing cool collectibles (which you can buy too) for couples who want a quiet ambience.

The wall in the area outside the main door showcasing collectible items

The gastro-pub recently launched its new food and beverage menu with the inclusion of a sizable non-veg segment. It serves Chinese, Continental and Italian cuisines and, a welcome addition, Burmese cuisine (specializing in Italian and Burmese).

We chose our drinks first. I picked from the house cocktails- a Vanilla and Rosemary Martini. Friends and blogger couple Anindya and Madhushree chose their poison from house cocktails as well- Wall Street Special (an elegant cocktail made with multiple spirits) and W-special Kafir Tea (A house special- Kafir lime-flavoured tea with four white spirits) respectively. The Martini (vodka-based) was smooth with the vanilla and rosemary adding different flavours. Madhushree said that hers was quite strong and Anindya liked his Wall Street Special.

 Vanilla and Rosemary Martini

The house cocktails- (L to R) W-special Kafir Tea, Wall Street Special and Vanilla and Rosemary Martini

Wall Street Bar serves drinks in style. There are shot glasses with Batman and Superman logos. Also, for example, the Gandhoraj Basil Mojito is served in a unique dispenser if it’s a large order. The large bar counter with pairs of tall cosy chairs facing each other in front of it is well-stocked with a wide range of dark and white spirits including in-demand international brands. They serve mocktails too.

Shot glasses- Batman vs Superman

Gandhoraj Basil Mojito Dispenser

The gastronomic side now. We started off with veg Khow Suey (Burmese noodle soup). It was served with crisp rice noodles which were to be dunked into the yellow soup and four condiments- peanuts, ginger and fried onion slivers apart from lemon and tomato slices. The condiments are also to be put into it in proportion and finally the lemon is to be squeezed for a few drops into the soup and it’s ready! The flavoursome soup brought pep to the beginning. It also has chicken and prawn versions.

 Khow Suey

I liked the Buffalo Nut in Chilly Plum Sauce (Water chestnut tossed in a sweet and spicy plum sauce) for its balanced spicy and tangy taste. The cheese fondue served with garlic bread cubes and crudités (including broccoli, baby corn and bell pepper) was scrumptious and could be one’s perfect comfort food any day. Prick the bread or a piece of veggie with the needle given, dip it into the off-white fondue, put it into your mouth and close your eyes and relish. It is available in three flavours. The Baked Mushroom (Mushroom stuffed with ricotta, baked and served with a three-cheese medley) should be lapped up by any mushroom lover. The perfect baking and the abundance of cheese complimented each other.

Buffalo Nut in Chilly Plum Sauce

Cheese Fondue (served bread cubes and crudités) 

The dipping Cheese Fondue

Baked Mushroom

The Ginger Chicken Strip with a crisp and crunchy crust was delicious and went well with sweet chili sauce and tartar sauce. A safe choice with drinks. The Bhetki Cupcake was an innovative savoury dish. It’s bhetki fish marinated in Thai spices and baked in a cupcake mould with chives cream frosting on top (served with a thin lemon slice atop the cream). It didn’t disappoint. The only feedback from us to the chef was to do away with the lemon bit as it was adding extra sourness to the dish.

 Ginger Chicken Strip

 Bhetki Cupcake

The superstar of the afternoon came at the end. The Bhuna Masala Chicken Wings served with burnt garlic rice bowled me over! It’s simply chicken wings cooked in bhuna masala. The two pieces of chicken in thick spicy gravy tasted sublime. The garlic fried rice perfectly complimented the chicken and had a nice smoky flavour. If you’ve nibbled some snacks and downed a drink or two, it can fill you up.

 Bhuna Masala Chicken Wings served with burnt garlic rice

They also serve pizzas and sizzlers, and pasta with a sauce of choice.

Chef Dipak Kumar Majumdar helms the kitchen. The soft-spoken, young gentleman began his career with The Park, Kolkata. Then he settled down in Mumbai and worked with various renowned restaurants.

 Aayush Karel (right) and chef Deepak

Good food and drinks aside, the gastro-pub has on offer special nights like Karaoke Nights on Wednesdays, Live Band on Thursdays, Ladies Night Out on Fridays, Switch Night underground music on Saturdays and Standup Comedy Nights on Sundays. The experience is enhanced with the music covering Hip Hop, Bollywood, EDM, House Music, Unplugged and Deep House music. The eatery offers happy hours from Sunday to Friday from 3 pm to 8 pm.

Enough reasons to check it out at the earliest opportunity, right?

It’s a premium den and the pocket pinch would be Rs 1600 plus taxes for two. It’s open from 1 pm to 12 at night.

#GastroPub #WallStreetBar #BurmeseCuisine #FineDiningKolkata #HighStreetPub

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