All we did was to get ready and set off.
B wanted to explore Chowringhee. So we hopped on to a taxi and sped off. Since it was not too far from our place of stay, got there in around 10 minutes.
Walking on the streets of Kolkata early in the morning is an experience by itself. The roads are empty and there is a little quiet all around too.
Yes, even in old Kolkata.
I loved the morning quiet ... walking down new streets, new lanes, taking in everything along with the winter morning sun.
And prayed this trip would help me, if not fully, at least to be able to accept what life gives without getting shocked.
Standing quietly, they looked over the streets and corners that must have seen much change.
A few buildings were being brought down and new buildings were coming up in their place. Of course, sans the old world charm or elegance.
So we walked on but just as we turned the corner there stood a little shop.
The man was making all kinds of rolls ... egg, chicken, mutton, vegetables and aloo.
Inside the shop, it was dark. We could make out around 6 tables with three chairs each. And every single table was full.
An old man was collecting the parathas , plied them with masala with a fast hand, dunked ketchup, rolled them up and served. It took almost 15 minutes before I got my egg roll. By then there was a long line waiting.
Here is my egg roll. Check out the flaky paratha ... it was slightly sweet to taste and the egg inside was soft and fluffy. The ketchup had some spice ... so all in all ... it was a perfect egg roll.
I watched B drinking the chaa from the bhnaar or the earthen pot and warmed at the way this North Indian was taking in Bengal and its little doses of culture, just for this nostalgic Bengali.
What a beautiful morning it had turned out to be.
And as pre decided, we headed for 37/1, Purnadas road, Sudipar Rannaghor, praying that we make it before lunch time is over.
I had heard a lot about this place recently and had added to my 'to do' list for Kolkata.
The place was packed yet it does not feel congested.
The air conditioning was good and the manager and the servers were very polite and helpful.
Vegetarian B went for Koraishutir kochuri, paneer, aloo bhaja and begun bhaja. I asked for prawn malaikari and mishti bhaat. The bhajas, B shared with me.
I ordered a Topse fry too,later.
Wanted to fill in everything in one visit.
I hope I will be able to visit again some day to try out their other preparations.
We walked through Gariahat, looking at shops, running away faster from insisting shopkeepers who would actually follow us for some good number of steps, trying to sell their wares.
Spied a phuchkawala with a huge crowd around him, a mark that his phuchka is good. I wanted to try ... but was too stuffed.
By early evening, we were ready to drop. So got hold of an Ola and reached Park street. It was too early to go back to the hotel, so walked for some more time. But lugging all the shopping bags and walking was getting a little too much.
On reaching Flury's, we decided to go in.
Both, to rest and get something cold to sip on and to prove our earlier experience wrong.
There were a lot of empty tables and thankfully nobody bothered with where we were sitting.
We could see the beautifully dressed up Park street from the windows.
Sadly, we couldn't go beyond a bite for each of them. The tart was brittle. The muffin was dry too.
And had too much of fat ... could feel the fat in the palate. Surprisingly, the pastry was dry and brittle too ... fell into loose crumbs instead of that thick cream layer holding it and had no moistness at all.
Pune and its perfect bakes have spoiled us.
Loyal fans of Flury's might not like this ... but I will say Flury's is a little over hyped.
I liken it to people visitng Marz o Rin of Pune ... just for nostalgia.
But half way down Park street, the thought of dinner struck us. Looked around and decided to try an old place on Park street ... Chinese Flavours.
The food was good and the place was packed at 9 in the evening.
Just wished they had a better lighting.
When we stepped out, it was very late. All that was left to do was to return to our room, freshen up and give ourselves up to the luxury of deep sleep.
Kolkata Day 1
Kolkata Day 2