Very few people have actually heard of Nihar Ranjan Majumdar’s ‘Paradise sherbet shop’. But when I start talking about Paramount Sherbets everyone will surely be able to recognize this legend. Name has changed but the place still remains the same, and definitely the quality remains as it is. This legendary sherbet and juice bar still retains the old world charm and teleports you several decades back when you step right in.
Location —- Located at Kolkata’s ‘boi para’, this place is next to the Mahabodhi Society (opposite College Square) and the place is infact quite close to the Putiram sweet shop.
Beverages —- On my last visit (infact I was at Collge street with one of my foodie friends just to spend some time at Paramount!) I tried my favourite below two drinks:
a) Dub Sarbat: It is a refreshing concoction made of sweet soothing coconut-water, the pulp of the tender coconut, crushed ice and some secret syrup. It is a pure joy to try out this drink and I generally take less than one minute to finish off the first glass of Dub Sarbat on a hot summer day! As a matter of fact, this drink was famous even in 1918 when the shop just started operating. Back then the summer coolers (specially the Dub Sarbats) were served to the public and in the backgound something big was actually going on since this place was a hideout for freedom fighters and I have heard that there was one secret room for them at this place! Infact it is said that recipe for this dub sherbet was actually then prepared by the famous scientist Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray!
b) Green Mango: This is the best refreshing drink I have ever tried. It is made from mango extract, some essence, sugar, salt and crushed ice. If you are here at Paramount then surely do try one glass of Green Mango, it’ll be a crime if you don’t; infact that is true for the Dub Sarbat as well 🙂
Ambiance —- The humble settings, old furnitures, high ceiling fans and old wall hangings give that warm feeling and makes you feel blessed and nostalgic at the same time. It is a small shop and the place is naturally quite cramped up, but when you are here you are actually in a time warp and the thrill is enough to ignore all these petty issues.
Hygiene —- Though you may feel that it is not safe to have road-side sarbats, etc on hot summer days, but this is Paramount and things are quite different here. They don’t use synthetic materials in their beverages and the ingredients are primarily derived from fruit extracts, infact the ice used is being sourced from the same supplier all thoughout these 97 years! The table tops where the drinks are served are made of white marble and are generally kept clean.
Price and Service —- Nothing much to say, the price at this place has always been very reasonable and it’s truly worth every penny. There are no additional taxes charged. The service is very prompt and orders are readily taken and served almost in proper sequence.
Overall —- The common meeting place for revolutionaries involved in the Swadeshi Movement like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Pulin Bihari Das, Satin Sen, etc is still standing tall today with all its rich heritage serving those signature beverages and summer coolers to all the die-hard fans, some of them are again legends like Satyajit Ray, Uttam Kumar, Suchitra Sen, Bikash Ray, Shibram Chakraborty, Balaichand Mukhopadhyay, S.D. Burman, and so on. As of today the place highly depends on word-of-mouth advertising and is still going strong even after nearly 100 years! We hope and pray that this Beverage Museum goes strong for the coming 100 years… and more. Long live the legend!