India colonisers – from the Mughals to the Europeans – influenced the cuisines of the state of West Bengal. Now this small restaurant in Little India brings to life a range of delicacies from the food capital of the region (Kolkata). From street food to grandmother’s favourite recipes, this Indian Cuisine has some nuances that needed testing. I took my mum along with me!
This is Indian food as you’ve not tasted before: aromatic and delicate, with the sentiment of “less is more”. Both in its cooking style and portions, you’ll first think it’s not enough, and then you’ll feel wonderfully full! The curries, tandooris, sauces and side dishes are slow-cooked with natural herbs; other cooking techniques include steam technology and air frying with mustard oil. Not much onion, garlic and tomatoes are used. And the flavours? Subtle but delicious.
The kitchen here is also not what you’d find in other Indian restaurants. Owner Deepali Ray has gone to incredible lengths to create a state-of-the-art kitchen that allows slow cooking to lock in flavours, by using ovens and slow cookers over frying pans! It’s quite extraordinary and you can also feel it after you’ve eaten as there’s not the usual heaviness or after-effects of a “regular” Indian meal.
I’m mainly vegetarian, but when my mum ate here with me she had the Kosha Mangsho (mutton pot roast; $22.90), which was melt-in-the-mouth tender. We both enjoyed the Macher Paturi ($21.90), a sea bass fillet marinated with French mustard, green chilli and parsley, then steamed and coal-roasted in banana leaf – really good! One of my favourites is the Kolkata Roll ($10.90), a crispy, flaky bread rolled with paneer tikka, spices and a variety of veggies like onions and capsicums. Plus, the vegetarian biryani ($19.90) is amazing – I love that it has no colouring or additives. The cooking style allows the flavours to seep slowly into the biryani, which is made with raw jackfruit for a meat-like texture. Even my mother who doesn’t rave about much was oohing and aahing over this dish.
For home delivery, we’ve enjoyed the Kolkata Shingara ($7.90) – Bengali samosa filled with potato, cauliflower, green peas and peanuts, served with date and tamarind dip. Another must-order is the vegetable chop ($9.90), a delicious combination of beetroot and carrot with herbs and peanuts, crumb-fried and served with a mustard dip.
Last but not least
The Nalen Gurer Sondesh ($9.90) is a dessert made of freshly curdled cottage cheese roasted with dates and baked with a smoked flavour – not sweet but very moreish. Mum said she couldn’t eat another thing, and then ended up eating an entire portion of it!
Our Tip: For home delivery, order a bit extra and keep some for the next day!
For takeaways and deliveries, order here. The restaurant is also open for dining in.
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