Park Street is the original food street of Calcutta. No matter how many new places open up at Sarat Bose Road, or Rajarhat, this is one basic fact which remains unchanged in the lives of us, the Calcuttans.
Many of once-fancy restaurants of Park Street have now been closed down, or have been reduced to a mere shadow of what they used to be. However, some of the oldies have retained their glory even today. They continue to challenge the newbies and even win them by miles. So it would have been a sin to not list down the classic eateries of this legendary street. So here goes my 5 favourites from Park Street –
1. PETER CAT –
What can be said about Peter Cat which hasn’t been said already? Yes, the Sizzlers and Chelos still rock. Yes, there’s still a queue even on a weekday afternoon. The hanging red lanterns and the peeping cat remind me of my childhood, when every weekend dinner meant Park Street.
In fact, the peeping cat is one of the very early (if not the first) usage of a logo in the kolkata food scene. But just one turn off is the waiters making it too obvious that they expect to be tipped, by standing right beside the table.
If you are a Kolkatan, you go to Peter Cat to get nostalgic. If you are not one, no trip to the city is complete without a meal here.
P.S. I personally prefer sitting upstairs, rather than their ground floor.
Address: 18A, Park Street, Kolkata.
Cost for two: Rs.1000/- approximately.
2. MOCAMBO –
Somethings are forever, and Mocambo certainly is. The dim red hued lights, the leather couches, the courteous attendants, the interesting menu, and most importantly the amazing food, together spell magic.
I never miss their legendary Pepper Crab. Also, I cannot ever be bored of their Fish a La Diana. Their famous Baked Alaska, looks splendid and taste pretty good too. But more than the taste, the theatre of the flambé is what makes draws me towards it.
P.S. I can never fall out of love with this place.
Address: 25B Park Street, Kolkata.
Cost for two: Rs. 1200/- approximately
3. OLYPUB –
Olypub, the name itself brings a smile to my face. It reminds of me of cheap booze, amazing food, and of course, college. Olypub is not a fancy dining place, and neither is it some cheap drinking hole. It is an experience for first timers and the comfort zone of regulated. And of course, a nostalgia for many.
Young adults of the city flock this place as much as paunchy middle aged men, and even on weekdays be persuaded to wait some time before you bag a table here.
The Anglo Indian styled food is the signature of Park Street, and Olypub’s too. Their Beef Steak is pure magic, and is very justifiably popular. But their Mixed Grill is no less. The dark BBQ glaze in both is similar, and north are served with generous sides of mashed potatoes and boiled peas. They are classic examples of the fact that good food sells in this city more than fancy presentation.
The Chicken a la Kiev is a favourite too. As one cuts through the crunchy crumbed balls of chicken, molten butter oozes out to fill the plate and my heart too.
If I am not wrong, they don’t have any desserts on their menu, but honestly that doesn’t even matter because by the time one is done eating here, there surely won’t be any space for further stuffing.
The waiters are almost always rude and haughty. And they clearly expect handsome tips too. But this is one place where it didn’t bother me at all. *hic*.
P.S. The food prices are unbelievably cheap.
Address: 21, Park Street, Kolkata.
Cost for two: Depends completely on your alcohol intake capacity. Rs. 700/- is more than enough for just food.
4. FLURYS –
It’s a name which is almost synonymous to the Kolkata cafe scene, since ages. I love visiting this place for the feel of it, more than the food itself. I am personally not too fond of their old fashioned, overtly sugary pastries. But do love their pancakes, and the simple, thin sandwiches.
Unbiasedly, the prices are a bit too steep, but when it is Flurys, I am unabashedly biased. And the feeling that one gets, sipping on a cup of tea, sitting by the glass windows at the heart of the city, watching the bustling city from inside a capsule, with the smell of vanilla wafting through, is definitely worth the price.
P.S. You have to have their Egg Benedict.
Address: 18, Park Street, Kolkata.
Cost for two: Rs. 1500/- approximately.
5. HOBBY CENTRE –
Being in business since the 1980s, this of course is one of the oldest ice-cream parlours around. And it still holds it ground as a go-to ice-cream place for their delectable sundaes undauntedly, in the face of liquid nitrogen and agar-agar attacks by the newly minted places boasting of fancy molecular gastronomy tricks up their sleeves.
P.S. Even with our measly pocket-money, we could afford hanging out at this place, around a decade ago.
Address: 1A, Russel Street, Kolkata.
Cost for two: Rs. 400/- approximately.