Park Street in Kolkata is synonymous with nightlife and dining … and opulence. It’s still the place for the most happening nightlife (especially during Christmas & New Year) like Tantra, the best pastries & cakes at Flury’s; iconic restaurants like Peter Cat, Trinca, Moulin Rouge … and of course the first nightclub in India – Mocambo.
Started in 1956, this was the place where it all started … European décor & food, singing and dancing and of course a place for the ‘who’s who’ of Kolkata to be seen in. Years passed, the commies came and stopped the dancing and music, some of the old timers shut shop (the Blue Fox’s gave way to McDonalds, KFC opened up right opposite Peter Cat) and life changed for most people. Still Park Street will remain a special place in the hearts of all and people will still throng in hundreds of thousands during festive days!!
So Mocambo it is … since we could not enter Peter Cat because of an hour+ waiting on a week night!! I miss their Chelo Kabas, but that’s another story. I have had steaks before here and the price still surprises me – especially because I come from Mumbai. We went in to a full house after more than 20 mins wait outside … a mix crowd of mostly locals, office goers and of course tourists from the West.
What meets you when you go in? An over the top décor; uninterested staff; you wait to be attended which can take a lot of time! Food & drinks is a complete value for money — it is shocking to see a pint of KF Ultra beer at Rs. 125. We ordered Chilly Baby-Corns and Devilled Crab, the latter supposedly an all-time hit here. The corns were pretty tasteless, the crab good – boneless, cooked in a white sauce and served over the shell, baked with cheese. Since I had had the steak before, decided to go with the manager’s recommendation – chicken chipolata (sizzler). Guess what? It was just okay. Would love to try the Betky dishes here next time …
The names of the dishes are still the same as 50 years ago, unmatched across India I am pretty sure … Angels on a Horseback, Hawks Bay Prawn Cocktail, Fish a la Diana, Chicken a la Kiev & Pavlograd (I am sure this was done to keep CPM leaders happy), Pillau etc. The presentation can be significantly improved and the taste, but I did not see too many people complaining.
Will end with a few words from the 2nd generation owner Mr. Kothari (he owns Peter Cat as well): “A German architect designed the interiors and my dad got an Italian chef flown down to design the menu. Kitty Bryanan, a British fashion designer, made the dresses that Pam Crain used to wear at Mocambo—they were mermaid-like, flared at the bottom—while the dance floor was of reinforced glass imported from Belgium, with coloured psychedelic lights below. Only the crème de la crème would dine there, and dinner jackets were mandatory.”
Enjoy a slice of history when in Kolkata. Stay at Taj Bengal in Kolkata