Mainland China from the Speciality Restaurants group has opened a branch at Bandra. We wanted to go on Sunday but they didn't accept reservations. We skipped it. I was more upset because the group didn't launch its other restaurant, Oh Calcutta, instead. So Bandra still remained bereft of Bengali restaurants.
But Father Christmas smiled on us two years back when Candies was opened just beside my house. There were more goodies in store this year too.
Ips got me rolls from Hangla at Andheri, when she came to visit me while I was convalescing. She texted me a couple of days back. The SMS read 'Hangla has opened where Calcutta Roll Centre used to be. Now you can order rolls from home too'.
I told Kainaz about this who immediately suggested that we go to the new Hangla and give the chicken curry at home a miss. So off we went. I broke into a smile as a I saw the Hangla banner where the late, unlamented Calcutta Roll Centre used to be. The new Hangla was apparently a couple of days old. The outlet is on Linking Road Bandra, beside the B P Petrol Pump and opposite Amarsons.
We ordered a couple of mutton rolls. And here's a lesson. Hangla's mutton rolls are sublime. The rest? Well, pedestrian.
We brought the rolls home, popped them in the micro for 30 seconds. This was a couple of hours after they were made. Yet they remained fresh. The paratha wrap was crisp, slender and delicate. An aptly understated coating to complement the mutton inside. The mutton was soft. Well spiced. Esoteric. They fried the onions on our request. The sweetness of caramelised onions gave the right balance to the fiery green chilly pieces. The sort of oily, cholesterol laden sinful pleasure which you keep going back to in a trance.
I picked a chicken biriyani too. The best thing is that they offer half and full portions in biriyani. The half portion was just right for one person. Any full blooded Bengali who sees the photo below will know that this is the real Mc Coy. Boiled Egg? Check. Boiled potato with slightly crinkled skin? Check. One piece (!) of meat? Check. (the leg piece was at my request). And the rice? Fragrant. Firm. Separate. It was as if each grain was kissed by a princess.
A splendid example of the sort of biriyani which spoilt all other biriyanis for Calcuttans. I took each bite and smiled like a baby in its mother lap. Soaking in the familiarity and feeling at peace.
Their other cooked fare, available at the Andheri outlet, are not available at Bandra yet. Which is fine. They are not known for the other stuff. They have kosha mangsho at Bandra but I don't see myself ordering it in the near future after last time's experience at Andheri.
On asking I was told that they deliver at home with NO minimum amount. The Bandra numbers are 9833324730/ 9221285106. The mutton roll cost me Rs 70 (1.5 USD) as did the half chicken biriyani
So go to Hangla. Buy a mutton roll . And spare a thought for the little shop called Chowringhee Square that sold rolls in the Papa Poncho lane at Pali Naka for a few months in the early 2000s.
Now let's hope that the guys at Oh Calcutta follow soon.
Post Script: 'Hangla' ( hang - la) in Bengali means greedy. It is largely used in the context of food. The tone is acerbic. A strange name for a food joint if you were to ask me.