With the weather slowly cooling down, restaurants and cafes are suddenly springing up in the City of Joy. After a long time, the city is seeing an upsurge of dining out, and here's a list of ten places in Kolkata that have recently opened its doors and are getting a good deal of attention. If you live in Kolkata and are a big foodie, you must try all or at least some of these restaurants.
From the house of Mocambo and Peter Cat hails Peter Hu?, one of the most anticipated launches of this year in Kolkata's gastronomic scene. The name is a question in itself, a fun conversation starter that Nitin Kothari, owner, admits freely. Asian food has always been well-loved by the city, and the menu of Peter Hu? is a combination of the classic and the exotic. Keeping that in mind, the menu features several interesting things, including a robata (Grill) section, a bao segment, a wide range of dim sums, as well as a dedicated sushi segment in the menu that definitely deserves exploration
Located close to Gariahat, Cloud Social is a massive rooftop restaurant/lounge that has an incredible 360-degree view of the city of Kolkata and is perfect for a sundowner scene. With over 17000 sq. ft. in size, the vegetarian menu offers primarily Indian, Chinese and Italian food, and has an array of interesting drinks on offer. With plenty of open-air space for people to relax, co-owner Saras Agarwal said, "we aimed to give the city a space where they can come and not feel locked in. I think we have achieved that target with Cloud Social."
Miam Cafe and Bistro
In Sector V, you would find an 1800 sq. ft. cafe, spread across two floors in PS Srijan Corporate Park. Miam Cafe and Bistro offers a wide array of dishes - from sliders to pizza and Indian options. "We thought we could give the office-goers a place to come and have a cup of coffee and eat something nice with it, so we decided to open this cafe," said owner Raj Tripathy.
The heritage house of Narendra Deb now hosts a beautiful cafe, Bunaphile, the name taken from two words - 'Buna', a term indicating the art of coffee making art in Ethiopia, and 'Phile', a suffix that describes obsession or addiction. True to its name, owner Sonika Dey brings to the table a selection of coffees and continental food that is designed to tempt. The British Fish Paturi and the Tiramisu coffee are definitely standouts from the menu.
Though the location of La Artisan is slightly away from the centre of the city, the Sartorini-themed cafe; is like a fresh breeze of air amid the hustle and bustle of the city. With a decidedly continental fare, the menu features, among other things, really good Eggs Benedict, and the Tres Leches will have you coming back for more.
Uns draws its name inspiration from the song "Tu hi tu" (Dil Se), and it aims to tug at the heartstrings of its patrons by making them feel at home. The vibe of this place is really eclectic, which translates into the menu as well, featuring drinks like popcorn cappuccino as well as Basanti Polao and Kosha Mangsho, things that are not the usual fare for a cafe. "The idea is to induce comfort and warmth", said Bodhisatwa Datta, owner, "I wanted to have a place where one can be oneself, and so this place was created."
With beautiful white lights and a decor inspired by the beautiful cafes of Paris, L'Instant Cafe provides a fun, vibrant, yet relaxed space for people to enjoy their food. Co-owner Cedric Josse, a Frenchman himself, said, "I really felt that continental fare is enjoyed by the city, so we decided to make a menu that would primarily focus on that." Some of the house favourites include the Porcini Mushroom stuffed Grilled Chicken, the Goat Cheese, Bacon and Honey Pizza and the Smoked Salmon Pizza.
Boma Asian Bakery
"Super Kawaii!" is the first word that comes to mind when you first encounter Boma Asian Bakery, a pastel-coloured Oriental cafe. The menu features, among other things, an array of Chinese buns, Korean corn dogs, and Japanese cheesecakes, owing to the owners' food inspirations. "We love Korean and Japanese food, and when the option came to create a space where we can keep Japanese cheesecakes and Tibetan momos under the same roof, we jumped at the chance," said Sachiko Seth, co-owner.
A lovely sky bar, LMNO_Q is spread across 8000 square feet, and can seat about 150 people at a time, which makes it a rather incredible addition to the Park Street region's foodscape. With a menu that can be called global fusion, created by Masterchef Shaikh Arif Ahmed & consultant Chef Amit Puri, the menu features Asian-inspired 'Hong Kong Wok Fried Prawn', as well as a Tex-Mex hat-tip with 'Chic Chic Chipotle', while not forgetting the Indian influence with dishes like 'Rajasthani Murgh Parche' and 'Charminar Shikampuri Kebab'.
Uno Dos Tres
Nestled near Forum Mall, Uno Dos Tres is a quiet little cafe; whose menu might surprise you with its eclectic nature. The owner, a mariner, decided to run a space that would offer dishes he had tasted and created during his voyages, so the Philipino chicken smells of smoke and soy sauce, the crab cakes taste really fresh and mildly creamy, and the broccoli mornay is gratinated with a blowtorch, giving it a nice, smoky char.
About Poorna BanerjeePoorna Banerjee is a food writer, restaurant critic and social media strategist and runs a blog Presented by P for the last ten years where she writes about the food she eats and cooks, the places she visits, and the things she finds of interest. She is deeply interested in culinary anthropology, and food history and loves books, music, travelling, and a glass of wine, in that order.