The flavour of Kolkata

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chakhori Corner - the Kolkata food blog

I found this blog about Kolkata food called Chakhori Corner some months back. And being a true blue foodie with a strong academic interest on eating out, got hooked to it. Three foodie college girls - Jahnavi, Sohini and Sreeparna - review restaurants on this blog with rating on various parameters comprising decor, cleanliness, service, taste and value for money. Each post mentions portion size (i.e. one portion is ideal for how many heads) and cost of individual dishes and their photographs.

The eateries are mostly in the budget category and spread in south and central Kolkata, across cuisines. The cuisines show in the various labels listed at the right, so you can pick up a cuisine and check out posts on various restaurants reviewed under it.

What I especially like about Chakhori Corner is that it shares a down-to-earth and extremely honest view about the restaurants. The bloggers are not in awe about any place and thus don't get carried away. 'Value for money' is an attribute that is sincerely reflected in all the posts. Hence, apart from being a reliable Kolkata food blog, it's worth trusting for the value conscious and price sensitive Kolkatans. There are reasons that it has more than 100 followers, who I believe, are mostly from the city.

It also lists a few easy-to-do recipes of common Bengali delicacies.

They also have a Facebook page. See it here.

A definite recommendation!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A-1 Haji Fast Food Centre

When this new fast food centre opened in Baguiati (in Ashwini Nagar, near Phoira Bhawan) last year, a lot of locals must have expected to get quality biryani and mutton delicacies, because the name ‘Haji’ is legendary in Kolkata for its quality raw mutton from numerous outlets across the city. It was seen that the mutton roll sold at A-1 Haji Fast Food Centre is cheaper than average. The reason is not a difficult guess, the raw mutton is in-sourced.

Soon after it was opened, it was a hit in the area. Food flies off the counter in the evening.

Had brought its biryani to a reception at home last week. Must say I was impressed with the quality. Post a ‘genuinely’ positive feedback from the guests, when I started on the biryani it wasn’t exactly hot. But it was yummy. The mutton was succulent. Yes, it was a little rich, but that’s fine. Even after eating to my heart’s content there wasn’t any uneasiness.

The prices are quite reasonable. Let’s look at some of the items : Mutton biryani sells at Rs 70, special mutton biryani Rs 110 (with 2 pieces of mutton and a larger quantity of rice), chicken biryani Rs 65, special chicken biryani Rs 100, chicken chaap Rs 50, mutton kassa Rs 70 (full) and Rs 35 (half), chicken kassa Rs 60 (full) and Rs 30 (half), special masala tikia Rs 20, chicken roll Rs 20, mutton roll Rs 22, special tikia roll Rs 17 and chicken boti kabab Rs 60 (There’s no mutton variety).

Hope to explore its mutton roll and other dishes.

For those more interested to check it out, it’s located at HC1 Ashwini Nagar, Baguiati, Kolkata 59, and can be reached at 32562688.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The 'Fitted' Fashion

Went to Big Bazaar last Sunday to pick up a t-shirt. I last bought a t-shirt quite a few years ago.

Picked up a turquoise blue round neck and went into the trial room. And…did not like the fit at all. It was making my thirties stomach bulge (an office bulge to be precise, the average one you have thanks to sitting long hours at the desk) too prominent. It was a close fit. Thought of changing to a dark colour that has the ‘hiding’ quality. Tried a dark grey, but the fit of the large size (which is my size) still left a lot to be desired. The bulge wasn’t showing much because of the dark colour, but not that it couldn’t be noticed at all. Finally I had to pick up an XL for the fit to be acceptable. Something I have never had to do ever in my life.

The experience in the trial room gave me a hard realization that this in an age of the fitted fashion as far as western clothes are concerned. If it’s fashionable, it’s got to be fitting. T-shirts to shirts, all follow your contour, and some of them do it closely (the body fit). Yes, you are a bit relieved with short shirts that are a bit loose (unless you are grossly out of shape). In our younger times, it was different. T-shirts were loose, and shirts were looser. When not tucked in, shirts looked shapeless. So unless one was absolutely out of shape he wouldn’t need to be much careful about the fit. Cut to today’s times, those who are conscious about how they look in clothes need to be extra careful about the fit.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A fun question

Met a colleague on another's invitation last Sunday evening. He was dressed in a nice, long burnt orange kurta and faded blue jeans. We discussed how his teenage son keeps borrowing his clothes and footwear as he (the son) feels like. There's another colleague who is often teased by us for often wearing his teenage son's tees to work.

Both guys are in their forties and in reasonably good shape for their age. And they are fine exchanging (or letting the son borrow) clothes with their children. There must be many like them in the city. Which brings me to the question : Are their many women in the city too who exchange clothes (no, not saree) with their daughters?

Friday, November 04, 2011

Calcutta Times : The Saturday Avatar

Needed to put in this clarification after my two recent posts : The New Calcutta Times on October 8 and Calcutta Times : a put off after a great hope on October 10.

Well, it's permanent. And it's ONLY on Saturday. On Saturdays, Calcutta Times is donning this exciting tabloid avatar. Apart from familiar sections it has a cover story. The interviews are also structured differently, with more pictures and text boxes, to suit the tabloid format. Loved the interview of the actor brothers Gaurav and Arjun Chakraborty (Of Gaaner Opare fame), also known as the sons of the well-known actor couple Sabyasachi Chakraborty and Mithu Chakraborty, on the October 29 edition (See the cover in picture).

Looking forward to the Saturdays for one more reason!

(Picture sourced from The Times of India e-paper)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A nip in the air

There is a nip in the air....and the mind (the body too) is ready to embrace the season (despite the ongoing bout of flu). The sun is mellow, and inviting us to find more occasions to go out and feel it. And beckons ...vegetable chop, phulkopir singara, koraishutir kachuri , hot momos, stews and soups..nolen gurer sandesh, gurer rosogolla ...and much, much more as the body is prepared for a long and varied gastronomic journey ahead.

Enjoy Kolkata!! And drop your take on the above, especially your favourite winter foods.