Kolkata means extended family, good food, shopping and old-world charm for us. You never tire of the Phuchkas, the Rolls, the variety of fishes, the curries, the sweets, do you? The modus operandi we employ to deal with our insatiable urge to ‘eat it all’ when at Kolkata, is by making an meticulous list and by sticking to it strictly. Bohemian, Bhojohori Manna, 6 Ballygunj Place, Kewpie’s, Mitra Café, Bedouin – that’s how they are conquered….
This post is about the famous famous Kewpies. But before I begin to write about the food, here are two warnings – Number 1, Kewpies is difficult to find. Located on a narrow by-lane of the famous Elgin Road, we had to go round and round in our cab many times until we found it. Guess that’s because we were there for the first time. For Kolkata residents, it shouldn’t be difficult to locate. It did help that our taxi-driver wasn’t from that part of town. We almost resorted to GPS.
Number 2 – you’d be forgiven to think that Kewpie’s serves continental food. The name, after all, is hardly India. But surprises of surprises, their’s is a spread of typical Bengali food. Awesome Bengali food! Read along to find out how awesome…
On the food front, Kewpie’s virtually covers everything that a Bengali kitchen ever came up with. From an array of delectable veggies to almost every fish in the pond to the meats, Kewpie’s has a jhol or jhal (Bengali words for gravies of varying thickness) around them all. We, by the way, were royally confused. And so crazy hungry from all that hunting for the restaurant, that we could hear the growling of our stomachs. Filled to the brim at that hour, the busy staff informed us that the orders could take another 45 minutes to hit the table if we ordered anything exotic. “No No”, we blurted out in alarm, “We shall settle for the ordinary”. And ordered the ‘Thalas’ – the assortment of rice, luchi, veggies, dal and fish and desserts, all in one huge plate.
Well, what arrived at our table, was by no means ordinary – Illish bhanpa, Chitol Maacher Muitha, Chingri, Shukto, Alur Dom, Dal, Bhaja, Chutney, Papor, Mishti Doi, Mishti — we were in the seventh heaven. That Chitol Muitha was probably one of the best I have ever had. We went back home that evening deeply satiated.
The ambience at Kewpie’s is most homely…it is almost as if you are seated in someone’s living room. A small cosy place done up in beautiful colours and art décor items on the walls, we especially loved their crockery. The plates, bowls and even the glasses were all earthen ware, and disposed after every meal. Served on banana leaves on these plates, you almost feel you have been transported to your great-granny’s kitchen!
If in Kolkata, miss Kewpie’s at your own loss….an enormous loss!!!