24 hours in Kolkata

Where and what would you eat during a day in Kolkata? Antara answers.

Devilled Crab
Devilled Crab

Evening snacks: Head to Vivekanand Park for the quintessential phuchka, some tangy alur dum (still served in sal leaves), dahi phuchka, papri chaat and the likes – accompanied by a masala thumbs up or a lemon tea (lebu chaa) and of course, the Bengali adda. If you’re still hungry, you must make the most of the opportunity and sink your teeth into a Kolkata Roll. Iceberg at Gol Park (walking distance from Vivekanand Park) is an ideal roll haunt.

Dinner: Park street again. Head to Mocambo if you’re craving the last bite of British nostalgia in the form of Devilled crabs, Angels on horseback (fillet of chicken wrapped in bacon, served on a bed of onion and sausage risotto), Yorkshire pork chops or Baked Alaska. Sounds like a different era doesn’t it? Note of warning though, this place is almost always overbooked, so be prepared to wait it out. But don’t worry, if you find a queue and are not in the mood for the wait, just walk over next door to Tung Fong. The spacious seating, old style Chinese brass and teak interiors and huge round revolving tables have a sense of infectious magnanimity attached to it. For dessert, you can head to the Indian Hobby Centre (opposite the Park Hotel) for a wholesome sundae of your choice. Go ahead, try and finish it

For a takeaway option, you always have the Kolkata biryani to fall back on. Pick one at Arsalan, Park Circus and you won’t regret it. Light, fluffy, non-greasy, complete with the chunk of potato, one has to admit the thing has a charm of its own.

If you followed through with my suggestions, you’ve spend a day amidst sights, sounds, flavors and aromas that most folks probably haven’t experienced and will return to the dreary routine of normal life with a groan, and remember with fond yearning, that one day in Kolkata where every one of your senses were continually delighted. That’s Kolkata for you.

A fairly long discussion followed the posting of this article on Facebook, during which Rahul Arora posted quite a comprehensive, if physically challenging culinary itinerary involving four dinners among other interesting points. Here’s his schedule for 24 hours in Kolkata. If you’re planning to do any of them, do tell. We’d love to know how it went.  – Editor

0630Chinese breakfast at Terhatti Bazaar
0730Club Kachori and Jalebi at Gangaur (Russel Street)
0830Tea at Sharma Tea, Elgin Road
0930Singhara at Tiwari
1030Chhole Bhature at Jalpaan Shop, Bhawanipur
1130Crispy Rawa Masala Dosa at Anand
1230Padba Sorse, Dalna, Steamed Rice at Prince (Free School street)
1330Kosha Mangsho at 6 Ballygunj Place
1430Daab Sharbat at Paramount
1530Late lunch at Royal Biryani
1630Tea At Dolly's Tea Shop, Dakhinapan
1730Alu Dum Puchka at Lake Kali Bari
1830Lemon Tea at Simpark New Market
1930Fish Fry in Dackers lane
2030Kosha Mangsho at Dolbarii
2130Dinner at Tangra (Bejing )
2230Dinner at Azad Hind
2330Dinner at Jai Hind Dhaba
0030Midnight buffet at Hyatt
0130Club Sandwich at Taj Bengal
0230Tea and Toast at Russel Dhaba
0330Coffee/tea at Flotel
0430Sunny Side up and Toast at Sonnet Hotel
0530Cut fruits at Princep Ghat, then sitting on a boat and seeing the sun rise.

Ed: Cover image (Bhetki Paturi), Deviled Crab and Bengali Thali from Brown Sahib, Saket (now closed).