The flavour of Kolkata

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

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.