-By Salmoli Mukerji
If Calcuttans are ready to embrace new food neighbourhoods, then Golpark area in south Calcutta is ripe for a giant hug. Quaint, sleepy residential localities are glittering with specks of foodie haunts.
The entrance is unimpressive, but obvious - next to an Arambagh chicken store! Inside we are pleasantly surprised. The stairways walls treat us to a lavish tribute to erstwhile Punjabi heritage, sepia photographs of the Maharajas from a different era - a great beginning. Upstairs, the interiors, splashy in fuschia; with red, orange and green gulal in old fashioned pickle jars sitting on the window sills, gives the space a cosy, contemporary feel. At least this way, the customers won't get tired of the restaurant, because of its fresh decor.
Chawla's Chicken is quite a familiar name in north India. New vegetarian and non- chicken dishes has led them to change the brand name to Chawlas2. So, we contemplate a worthy meal. Without much ado we hit the menu straight. Home-style Soda Shikanji (Rs. 35) followed by Adrak ke Panje (Rs. 180), Mutton Roast (Rs.180) and Fish Fry Punjabi Style (Rs.230). Marinated, average cuts of mutton and spices cooked on roasting skewers, wee bit overcooked to our palate. The Mutton Roast, has the right filling of moisture and flavours and wins by a mouthful. The Punjabi style fried fish, is not close to a Amritsari Macchi, but from the same family. Frankly, not enough to entice the palate of a contemporary diner. The Shikanji is light and spunky, a perfect accompaniment to dinner.
PLUS and MINUS
We speak to the man behind the kitchen. In his mid twenties, Prabhu, comes from the original Ludhiana kitchen of Chawla's Chicken with self-taught house-style recipes since he was 16. Along with him come bagfuls of home ground specialty spices, family secrets and indigenous style. Then, finally we take the giant leap, lured by the promise of the much famed Chawla's Cream Chicken (Rs 340, for full), it comes in two versions with and without bones, we go for the traditional with bones. It is a dish that would go great with an assortment of Lachcha Paratha (Rs.25) and Tandoori roti (Rs 8). To complete the drama we add a Dal Makhani Special (Rs.85) and Green Salad (Rs.50) with curls of onions and lemon. Indeed it is different - batons of tender chicken whirling in luscious juices of milk and cream flavoured with coarse black pepper and a hint of green cardamom. However, it is way too peppered - almost sets our throats on fire! And there is no dessert on the menu. At the end, it is the friendly service that saves the day.
Review posted more than 6 month ago
The place is not at all good except for some points like its chicken, dal makhani and service staff here. I liked their service style and patience they have to deal with their customers. Ok rexperience..
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