Friday, March 07, 2008

Oh Calcutta!!!!

Oh Calcutta
Hotel Rosewood, Tardeo
With ze wife.

After a fairly intense session of considering where to Moshe (too much) Indigo Deli (boring) Trattoria (just went) Swati (too crowded) Vong Wong (no reservations) we decided to head out to Oh Calcutta and enter the realm of another indigenous cuisine. The last time i tried this was at Sri Krishna Udipi which ended in tears.

This one however, was a complete rout. Oh Calcutta is touted as a premiere destination for Bengali food in our part of town. I have heard of Bengalis coming in from everywhere for their macchar jhol and hilsa.

Unfortunately we are vegetarians and this is not our fate. So we went in for some veggie options Cheese croquettes and another patty with home made cheese and mung dal. The guys could have told me how similar the two dishes are but they didnt. Turns out one is a traditional bengali dish and the other a western mix. I couldnt tell the two apart. Go figure.

After some agonising over what to go for next, we chose after a recommendation a dish made of channa patties in some brown sauce. This with a side of steamed rice. Completely out of this world taste. I didnt know what i was eating but it didnt taste like food. Hardened patty, tasteless sour sauce.

We ate our pappad (30 bucks for 2) some onions and got the f**k out of there ran into the nearst Barista and tried to drown the evening (all 40 mins of it) in an afogato.

My take is that my palate is cut out for the rich Italian, complex French, heavy duty Mexican, the exquisite North Indian, the fiery Chinese & Thai but when it comes to indigenous Indian i am completely lost at sea.

So even though it was a terrible evening for me, i can understand how Bengalis might go for some of the dishes listed.

The service is friendly but not the best trained lot to help the uninitiated.

Food : 3/10 Servic 5/10

Damage : 2000 without drinks.


Anonymous said...

Gaurav, ur review of Bengali cuisine at Oh Calcutta seemed biased, prejudiced and totally unauthentic. u sounded like an alien on this planet while describing ur eating bengali food. ur first time and i agree not everybodys supposed to like everything, but considering the fact that u like all cuisines in the world originating from the west or even China, u seem to have tastes buds which have been mutilated. Anyway its a fad to like french, italian food cause of its associative snob value in India. Similarly Thrashing local Cuisines gets one a good upperhand in mindless circles. enjoy ur conti next time.

Gaurav said...

i am not biased or prejudiced against any particular cuisine. I especially love North Indian and South Indian.

Its just that under the aegis of authenticity i have had two terrible meals on the trot at revered restaurants.

so it might mean that i simply dont get it. or that the food was just not as good as its spouted to be.

either way, i take no particular joy in bashing any particular cuisine.

sorry you feel that way.

The knife said...

Hi Gaurav,

I read about your blog and read about it in the Mumbai Mirror. Meant to check in and write since then. I too blog about food but ist more like a food diary than meant to be a restaurant guide.

I have a different point of view on Oh Calcutta.

But I am a Bengali and I know what to order.

I think it is very important that if you run an ethnic place then you should have staff that is knowlegeable and can guide people. This is so rare in most places.

I have taken vegetarian friends/ relatives there who have really enjoyed it.

Next time try the following: mochar chop (a banana flower based round cutlet), loochi (very soft and crispy pooris), chholar daal (a sweet channa daal) and alur dam. A lovely alu sabzi.

Let me know how it went

Gaurav said...

Hi Knife (sorry didnt get your name)

thanks for writing. appreciate your input over Bengali food but i dont know when and how ill be able to convince my wife to venture in Oh! Calcutta again.

I absolutely agree that one should have staff that can really guide you in picking what to eat.

However i do think that even if one orders without guidance you should not end up with 0-0 for items you like.

Ill keep this in mind for next time. Do keep visiting. Cheers.

The knife said...

Hi. My name's Kalyan. Started off with a pseudonym for some reason when i started my blog!

I know what you mean about convincing her but it is really worth a trip. I can vouch for the fact that you will like it :)

Yes, even if you order yourself, things shouldn't all be duds. Especially in your own country and in English speaking country.

I have largely had good expereinces in the Far east or turkey where they have pictures of the foor or have samples to choose from.

I was quite surprised about Oh cal as I found them fairly evolved. But then I never needed their service and I always take charge of the ordering

Gaurav said...

Hi Kalyan,

Absolutely, ill def keep Oh Calcutta in mind as something we ought to try once again.

Turkey must have been great, i have lots of friends from Istanbul and Izmir. I was there in Kusadasi for a day last year.

Spent sometime in Athens as well, brilliant food daresay somewhat close to what they serve across and around the Aegean.

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