The flavour of Kolkata

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

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Mitra Café on VIP Road

We were terribly hungry after a long client meeting in DLF (New Town) that got us exhausted, followed by an airport drop of a senior executive from HO. Our car was on VIP Rd moving towards Baguiati and boss suggested KFC (on VIP Rd), which we agreed to. But as we were about to get in to KFC, we noticed that Mitra Café, the famous snack joint of Sovabazar, has opened a muticuisine restaurant in the same building. It’s the Metro Bazar building near Bazaar Kolkata on VIP Rd (on way to airport from Joramandir). K popped the question- KFC or Mitra Café, and I changed direction to the latter (on the fourth floor) as I find it a better option.

The restaurant looks decent. It’s spacious and the décor is minimal and nice. Only eight wrought iron tables (four-seater) and chairs and four sets of two off-white three-seater sofas and a table are laid out. Many more tables can be fitted in, given the open space left out. The colour palette is warm and sober shade of yellow with matching light coloured floor tiles. Press articles about the famous chain (with branches at Shyambazar and Golpark) are framed to adorn one wall. Three of us made ourselves comfortable on a sofa set.

Unless one has made up his/ her mind, he/ she will be spoilt for choice to order from the expansive ranges of fried items in fish, chicken and mutton. I had pre-selected fish. K and I ordered Fish Diamond Kabiraji.

The kabiraji didn’t take long to arrive. Its length covered the plate. I love the bird’s nest look of the crust of kabiraji they make at Mitra Café. For a change, the sauce served was the good old mustard, and not the off-white bland sauce they serve at Sovabazar. But disappointingly chopped onion was far outnumbered by cucumber pieces.

The kabiraji was well made as usual. The egg crust felt pure, having been made from quality ingredients with no compromise. It cost Rs 100 apiece, which is not expensive given current fish prices. It was finished soon. Boss was not hungry, so didn’t eat anything. He and K rued the fact that this dish was made with a whole lot of oil. K pointed out that the because of the egg crust, it absorbs more oil.  I don’t feel like joining such talk while one has willingly chosen to snack on such stuff. I just gently pointed out that had we gone for KFC, it wouldn’t have been a healthy option either.

One thing that puts me slightly off about Mitra Café is the use of vanaspati as the cooking medium. I don’t expect it in such a place of high repute. Besides being unhealthier than white oils, it gives a sticky feeling on the tongue while the food is not so hot.


Overall, a good snacking experience. What elevated it was having the Mitra Café experience at a comfortable ambiance at a new location.