In today's episode, we are on a gastronomic tour across Central Kolkata which is the commercial hub of the city. Lined with numerous government and private office buildings and shops, the area is also one of the most popular street food zones in the city. It is thronged by a crowd that is mostly composed of office goers and loyal food enthusiasts. So if you are on a food trail in the city of joy, then you shouldn't miss out on the delightful treats available here. Along with our gracious host Pamela Das, we strolled down these vibrant lanes exploring the wide range of street food and the culture
Since there were a lot of iconic places to be explored in the area, we started our food tour quite early in the morning with a refreshing cup of tea along with some club kachori and sabzi. The saffron flavoured tea, a specialty of this place, was by far the best tea that we had in Kolkata. People who love spicy flavors will love the combination of club kachori and potato sabzi. It was great speaking to the genial Arun Bhai about the origin and evolution of the place.
From there we took a taxi ride to Dacres Lane, an iconic spot that is locally known as Office Para. Dated back to the time of British Rule, it is one of the oldest surviving street food centers in the city. On reaching there we were greeted by a lane full of eateries some of which are quite old. We made our way through the staggering variety of food all over to reach the iconic Chitto Babur Dokan, a shop whose name is synonymous with the locality itself. The eatery focuses on light and hearty veg and non-veg dishes that cater to the hunger of the office goers coming to this area.
We tried their two bestselling offerings. First was light and hearty chicken stew and toasted bread and second was a humble khichuri platter. The mild flavours of the European stew and the Bengali khichuri have rendered them a hit with the customers who look for some light stuff for lunch.
From there we walked towards BBD, Dalhousie, and reached the busy area near the Calcutta Stock Exchange. This area is best known for great tea, sandwiches, toasts, etc. No wonder during lunch break or any possible break, people come together to discuss the day with each other. There isn't a more rewarding sight than watching people bond over food in a zone where it's all about business and commerce. Here we tried a luscious malai toast from the ever-busy Kona Dukan. Those who have tried the combination will know its enchanting taste. And the best part of the experience was we discovered that a little sprinkle of salt and pepper just elevated it to the next level.
Next, we tried a comforting cheese corn toast from Bhola Sandwich. Fresh white bread slices joined by a creamy stuffing and then grilled to perfection made for a quick and happy snack. Finally, we wrapped up the food tour with a delicious orange kulfi. There are more to come so stay tuned.