Calcutta Raajbaari bhoj at Bombay

I always head to Oh Calcutta at Tardeo when I want to treat people to good Bengali food in Bombay.

The food is good and fairly authentic. They not only have ‘Bengali’ food but they also have other typically (tastewise) ‘Calcutta’ food items such as Mughlai, Chinese and Club food (continental).

The ambience is very nice too. The interiors are fairly classy and they have done it up with Calcutta photographs (Satyajit Ray, old Calcutta buildings, etc), artefacts from old Calcutta houses (gramophones, oil lamps and porcelain fountains), old Bengali books and of course the rickshaw outside the door. I have taken my in laws, office colleagues, other non Bengali friends there and they all seem to like the place.

I have a fairly standard menu which I order when I am entertaining there. I start with the fish fry – crumb fried bhetki. This is a big hit amongst all who have tried it. The fish is very fresh and each bite is a delightfully juicy one. They serve it with the Bengali mustard dip, Kasundi. Adding a bit of lime to it adds to the taste. It is easily one of the most mouth watering fish dishes that I have ever had.

I then follow it up with the classic combination luchi and chholar daal. They make excellent, fluffy, soft luchis (puris) at Oh Calcutta. I really treasure them as the only person I know who makes such good luchis is my grandmother in Calcutta. In fact I used to survive on my grandmother’s luchi and chholar daal when I had first come to India as a kid. She still makes if for the wife and me when we go to Calcutta. I sometimes order alur dom too which they make pretty well. The wife and my pa in law love it.

I then follow it with rice and fish (rohu) in mustard curry. I choose this as mustard curry is a typically Bengali dish. They make it very well here. The taste is sharper and more pungent than the toned down version that I make at home for the wife.

I make a variation to this menu when I am with my in laws. They love prawns. So I substitute the fish curry with prawns malai curry. This is a coconut based, Bengali, curry. They make it very well at Oh Calcutta and the prawns are fairly fresh. The prawn malai curry, over the years, has helped convince my in laws that their daughter did not make a bad choice by marrying me.

I feel that this menu - fish fry, luchi chholar dal/ alu dam, fish/ prawn curry rice, followed by sweets gives a flavour of a well rounded Bengali meal.

Some of my other favourites there are kosha manghso (mutton in a thick, brown gravy), biriyani (Calcutta style – well flavoured and dry and mochar ghonto (a dish made with banana flowers, coconut bits and little potato pieces).

I love the complementary alu kabli that they serve. Reminds me of the phucka stuffings from Calcutta. My pa in law is a big fan of it and could make a full meal out of it.

There are some, especially Bengalis, who find Oh Calcutta to be expensive. The menu that I described costs Rupees one thousand for two people. I think the price is fine given that it is the only Bengali fine dining restaurant in Bombay, the ambiance is classy, the food is authentic, fresh and tasty and the service is friendly and competent.

Oh Calcutta has diversified to cities like Delhi and Calcutta and I believe it is quite popular there too.

PS: On hearing that I am writing about Oh Calcutta my mom in law sent the following SMS: BETKI AND MALAI CURRY MUST GET 5


k said…
I think you make much better fish curry than o cal
Kalyan Karmakar said…
flattery will definitely help you earn your gravy
Unknown said…
I can never forget this place....My first outing (Vishal's farewell dinner) and last (my farewell lunch) with Team Moto was at Oh Calcutta... The menu was repeated, except the beer of course (coz we had to rush back to office) on my lunch... And yes, I enjoyed the Mishti dhoi for sure.. :-)
Kalyan Karmakar said…
so when are you planning your next trip back to Bombay then?
Unknown said…
It will be in July...most probably 4th July - 20July....and yes, this time am expecting a full meal straight from the Karmakar kitchen cooked by 'the knife' himself :-)
Kalyan Karmakar said…
you have got yourself a reserved table :)
Scarlett said…
You should try the Dak Bunglow chicken at Oh Cal. The fish fry is to die for! Even the fish fingers are good. And their mishti doi is the best outside of Calcutta...quite like Jugal's in Cal.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
I just had the fish fry this afternoon. It is a permanent fixture when I go there. You are referring to the crumb fried one right as against maach bhaaja. must confess that I haven't had the daak Bnagla chicken. but did have the kosha manghso and mutton rezala today
Scarlett said…
Yes I was referring to the crumb fried one. It's not Dak 'Bangla' chicken...its actually Dak Bunglow chicken. It's made in onion paste & goes very well with luchis or any kind of roti really.
And I never understood why Bongs add potatoes to everything? I mean, who adds potatoes to chicken & mutton??
Kalyan Karmakar said…
My wife's a Parsi. One of the few communities that can match us bongs in our love for meat. The love alu too. I guess that's the closest we will come to liking a 'vegetable'. There's an interesting story in Chitrita Banerjee's Eating India about why the Bong biriyani has alu. Apparently biriyani was made for the nawabs who were ousted from Oudh. They were short of money so the cooks put in alu to substitute the more expensive meat
Scarlett said…
Yeah, you mentioned that somewhere in one of your posts on biryani. Bong everything has biryani. My sister got married last December & moved to Cal. She's put on solid weight since then & she kept wondering why! I stayed with her when I went to Cal in March & I figured out why! They love aloo! Aloo bhaja, aloo fry, aloo ki sabzi & what not. I was like "Hello??!!"
I am a Punjabi totally in love with Bengali food, Oh Calcutta (Lokhandwala) being a favourite fix. Although it's a shame Oh Calcutta Mumbai's menu is not as extensive as its Delhi counterpart!
Kalyan Karmakar said…
No Enigma...thanks so much for dropping in. Punjabis are one of the true food lovers and big hearted folks around. I think that's why the food scene at Delhi rocks.

I have not been to the Delhi or Lokhandwals Oh Cals , but have you been to the one at Tardeo? That's quite extensive I think
Viagra Online said…
those are my favorites dishes! Specially the second one, you know what? I think the kasundi presentation is something atypical for me. I used to survive on my grandmother’s luchi and chholar daal when I had first come to India as a kid.