There are numerous restaurants in Kolkata which are institutions by themselves. Peter Cat @Park Street is one of them — a must-visit for many Kolkata lovers/visitors. Are we an exception? You must be kidding!!! My last visit to this ‘hallowed’ joint had been straight from the airport even before going to the hotel to dump my bags. Such was the desperation. This time, it was with family. A different occasion but the same attraction – Chelo Kababs!!
We reached around 7 pm thinking we’d be too early. Boy, were we wrong. There were at least 20 people waiting for their turn at that time of the evening! The place has always been full, overfull actually, at any time. After a 20-min wait, the crowd had swelled and it was like winning a lottery when our name was announced.
Ambience @Peter Cat in Park Street: The decor is colonial and has, perhaps, not been changed in decades. The waiters still wear the colonial white dress with caps, blending in with the loud red decor of the place. They ensure a separate list and seating for stags and families. The first floor is beautiful, although we had been assigned a table in the ground floor. No complaints here, getting a table is akin to winning a lottery!! Washroom is clean. More or less.
Food @Peter Cat in Park Street: Chelo Kebabs is synonymous with Peter Cat and over the last 50 yrs I don’t think anyone would have missed it unless intentionally. It’s the iconic dish that, frankly, is somewhat hyped … It’s a plate full of rice with dollops of butter, 2 Sheekh kebabs, one skewer full of excellent mutton kebabs with a poached egg thrown in for the final effects. The kebabs are excellent and the dish is very filling. For those who keep a count of every calory, like my wife, it is sinful. But patrons go back for it again & again … and so do I!!
We ordered Rann (mutton) for snacks, which was very good, but not melt-in-the-mouth types. And Mutton Chelo Kebabs for dinner (but of course!) – 2 plates were more than enough for the 4 of us. Service is good and quick. Mind you, we are small eaters during dinner and while I had trouble finishing one full plate, my wife, Mom and daughter wisely shared another.
Peter Cat is also popular for its sizzlers and Indian dishes. However, if it is Continental food you are craving for, go to the neighboring Mocambo.
Prices @Peter Cat in Park Street: Something that never stops shocking me is the prices at Kolkata restaurants!! Unbelievable, especially if you hail from Mumbai. Pint of beer for 135 bucks, Cocktails for 170, Rann for 174, Chelo Kababs for around 500 .
Final Word for Peter Cat in Park Street: Very good crowd with decent food and drinks; very easy on the pocket despite being one of the most iconic restaurants of Kolkata. One Starter + 2 beers + 2 cocktails + 2 Chelo Kebabs = INR 1,800. Can’t ask for more, can you?
We left the place after the waiters gave us dirty looks for blocking the table for more than an hour. One look at the crowd outside and it is reaffirmed why Peter Cat is famous – the number of patrons waiting for a meal inside had, by now, spilled into the street outside, and it looked to us as if that a dinner at Peter Cat was perhaps the only important to-do left for mankind!!
Important! Note that Peter Cat does not take prior reservations — It is first-come-first-serve. It opens at 11am and shut around midnight.
PS (added by Deepa): Why call it Peter Cat if it serves mostly Indian food?, I wondered. Beats me! Perhaps a love for everything ‘English’ as is typical of Part Street!!