The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The bridge, the river and kids' play. Brilliantly captured by Sujay Kumar Das.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The new offering from Monginis

Monginis has a new addition to its menu- Baked Pudding. Visited the outlet at Bentinck Street yesterday, that I often go to, and spotted it in the shelf of savouries. Only a few pieces were left and a customer recommended it to his companion while having one. After finishing my favourite fish envelope (which has made a comeback after its recent replacement with fish manchurian, which didn't taste success), I got it to round off the evening snacking on a sweet note.

Loved the taste. Tasty pudding topped with cashew and raisins. Finished it in tiny bites, relishing every grain. And then packed the last two left for boss and a colleague. A filling size just at Rs 20!

I simply love pudding, and getting it off the shelves in a chain like Monginis that's never too far from you, is just wonderful. Would definitely like an encore soon.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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  • Loved the khichuri with beguni and papad that the boss, in an exceptional rainy day mood treated to in lunch. It was brought from a high-selling street-side stall on GC Avenue. Had this street delicacy after ages, and loved every bit of it. All this comes at just Rs 18! Incredible!
  • Going by the rains today, won't wonder if I see/ get to hear about people travelling by boats on the roads tomorrow. Boss is warning for some time to pack up. So...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

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  • As Boss ended the first week on 15th August with a whooping Rs 3.2 cr (as per Reliance, the producer), it was interesting to follow an exchange on Twitter between Reliance, Rana Sarkar (its production partner for some of its Bengali productions) and Venkatesh Films- the biggest production house in Tollygunge- on whether this is the biggest first week collection in the history of Bengali cinema as claimed by the producer.The challenger claimed that it's their Challenge 2 which is the biggest so far with 3.8 cr, followed by Paglu (3.6 cr) and Dui Prithibi (3.5 cr, also from their house). The jury is still out on it.
  • It was a delight to see Lake Mall opening after a painful wait of 8 years, on 14th August. At times I thought whether it would ever see the light of the day in 10 years or so. It is the first PPP venture of KMC in markets that matured (The others being the 'partially opened' Barnaparichay in place of College Street Market, Lansdowne Market and the aborted Park Circus Market). Among mentionable brands it has a Big Bazaar (so proper south Kolkata finally got one!). And a multiplex- Sun Cinema- is starting around this November (giving the close by Priya some competition). For people in the area so far the nearest quality multiplex was at South City Mall. It will be interesting to see how the big brother of single screen- Priya - takes on the competition.

Friday, August 16, 2013

First look: Mishawr Rawhoshyo


The first look of the eagerly awaited Santu-Kakababu movie made by Srijit Mukherji was revealed earlier this month. It instantly took me back to my teenage when I would wait for the Sharodiya Anandamela, especially for the new Santu-Kakababu novel by Sunil Gangopadhyay. The illustrations by Subrata Gangopadhyay would enrich the reading experience. The cretaive has been done precisely in that style to bring back that nostalgic feel. The teaser design, with no mention of Kakababu, and only his crutch showing is interesting indeed. I even tweeted my thought on the first look to Srijit, who retweeted it.
Mishawr Rawhoshyo is one of my favourite Santu-Kakababu stories. The setting in Egypt is its key attraction (which probably made Srijit pick it as the first among the three novels he wishes to film, with the other two set in jungle and hills respectively). 
The trailer, released on Sangeet Bangla later stoked the fire. It gave the real feel of the fascinating adventure in the land of pyramid. The film has indeed been mounted on a huge canvas, and look-wise compares with a Hollywood adventure. Indraneil is playing the sinister Hani Alkadi, with a bald and clean-shaven look. Prosenjit looked perfect as Kakababu (and the best so far, compared to Samit Bhanja in Sobuj Dwiper Raja and Sabyasachi Chakraborty in telefilms). He has the right age to play this legendary character, which is a hot favourite of Bengalis, besides Feluda and Byomkesh. Santu has been played by Devdan, who is a known face on television and was Prosenjit’s son in Chawlo Paltai.

Needless to say, I am following the run-up to this Puja release. Hope to come back here with more on it. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

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Here's my way to microblog, forced by my consistent failure to find time to blog, and the fact that I wanted to do it on KC, and not on Twitter. Shall try and make proper posts intermittently.

  • Jeet's Boss opened big at box office last Friday (8th August, '13). It  collected Rs 72.5 lakh to beat Dev's Khoka 420 (70 lakh) released two months back to set the record of highest first day collection for a Bengali movie. Dev's Challenge (2009) stands third with 68.5 lakh. So Jeet's now one up on his biggest rival and Tollygunge has some hot numbers to discuss.
  • Arsalan is finally opening in north Kolkata proper. After coming across a lot of speculation among colleagues, now I know the location is reportedly Fariapukur (Left, facing Sutanuti Junction). Learnt that the space is big and can be expanded later. Looks like it is set to rewrite biriyani history in north before this Puja.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The chocolate brownie in the train

Am travelling to Patna now. With boss and client. Since the train we are boarding (Danapur Express) doesn't offer neither a pantry nor picked up dinner, we helped ourselves packing food from the food plaza at old Howrah station. As I stood in a long queue at the coupon counter to pack 'anything I like' for us three, boss decided for sandwiches as that had a different counter bang opposite mine and had no customers. I love sandwiches. So I quickly decided for my variety (grilled cheese chicken sandwich) and was quickly told by the counter guy that it wasn't available. So the only option was to go for boss' choice- chicken mayonnaise sandwich (a reasonable Rs 45).  It was then that we noticed this new addition to the Monginis counter (from where we picked up the sandwich)- choco walnut brownie. Boss wanted that and I too was pretty eager to try it out.

The brownie turned out to be the highpoint of the dinner. Since the client finished food first (We shared the sandwiches and he shared home-cooked chowmein-chilli chicken), I offered him the brownie. It was he who spoke of it first, how he liked the mud cake like texture, the taste and the size (Pretty big for Rs 30, a familiar trait of Monginis). I took my habitual small bites off it once I was through with the 'main course' (The sandwich was good too).......and loved it. I silently agreed to the client on the mudcake bit- it was gooey indeed, rich and tasty. It was heavy too and made my otherwise light dinner well-rounded. Overall, the walnut-topped brownie was a pleasing experience (So much so that it brought me back to blogging).

The confectionery buffs will not probably keep Monginis' confectionery products up the ranks. But there can probably be little dispute that Monginis is the red hot favourite of the middle and upper middle class. Even those who don't like its confectionery will probably swear by it when it comes to a colleague's birthday. Well, I am pretty much a savoury person and hardly stand before the cake and pastry shelf in a Monginis shop. However I too agree that they don't do a wonderful job in pastries. But their products are decent and unmistakably deliver what it takes to hook its target customers- value for money. And this, over the decades, has been one of the keys to Monginis' success, as much as it is the constant additions and deletions in the menu. It always wants to offer its customers something new, better or both.

Monginis of late is adding items from the premium confectionery range- like chocolate mousse. The brownie is a continuation of that. I guess I will see this brownie in the shelf next time I am in the store at Bentinck Street, which I frequent from office. And yes, in terms of understanding the palate of the middle class, I find them spot on with this. It should score with their customers over any dry and crisp brownie (without undermining the one like that in Just Baked, I love it too!). But one would have to be in the right mood for having that kind. The Monginis kind suits the mood more easily. And yes, its also precisely double the size of the one in Just Baked, which costs Rs 35.