The warmth and the feel of having homemade Bengali food surely attract many to Kalapata. Though I have heard about it several times in the past but this was my first visit to this place along with one of my foodie friends. There are several pros and cons about this place and in the end they somehow cancel out each other to attain a close to average rating. Here is my analysis based on my dining experience –
LOCATION – – – – – This is surely one of the positives of this place, it has got a prime location for sure. It is located at Lake market in the gully just opposite Lake mall, close to the Prema Vilas.
AMBIANCE – – – – – This is surely one of the negatives. The place looks very ordinary and clumsy. Moreover, the hygiene takes a backseat which is the most concerning aspect according to me. The tables have got unclean plastic covers on them which have dried up stains of dal and curry, pretty repulsive according to me. The tables are shared between parties which again I do not appreciate. The place is not so big, but that is okay. The table arrangements are made to accommodate maximum seats in that little place, so it is highly cramped up. Also you won’t get any printed menu card on your table, there is a white board with the menu scribbled on it at one end of the eatery, you need to go there and decide your order, come back to your table and tell the names of the dishes to your server, pretty inconvenient! No positives about the ambiance though the place is air-conditioned which is a saving grace.
FOOD – – – – – Food is kinda average to be very true. Couple of dishes were pretty good whereas few were depressing. The place has got huge range of Thalis or meals, like veg meal, egg meal, prawn meal, pabda meal, chicken meal, etc. You can also anyday order a separate side dish along with your thali.
We opted for Rohu meals and a separate plate of Chitol Muitha to go with it. Our Rohu meal comprised of Steamed rice, Dal, Rohu fish curry, aloo bhaja, aloo sheddo makha, green coriander chutney, Tomato chutney, machher matha-r ghonto. Loads of typical Bengali dish in there which is very niche to homely Bengali cuisine. Out of these, the Rohu fish curry was well prepared with potato slice in it and the fish was fresh as well. Rest of the dishes were all good, nothing out of the world since they tasted very much like your homemade preparations. But the tomato chutney was a disaster, it tasted bit weird and had no tanginess or punch in it, we could not have it more than twice. The Chitol Muitha was good though the gravy was very thick and rich with four pieces of Muitha in it. The Muitha were nice to taste but the outer skin was bit hard since it was heavily fried. All the veg items and rice was repeated which was appreciated. Also the prices are very reasonable and on the lower side, lunch for two costs about INR 300-350. There is no bill produced here, not even hand-written bills, much like the old-world Benagli hotels where people had that trust and faith in each other!
SERVICE – – – – – The servers are pretty friendly I must say. Their warmth is pretty vital for running a place like this. The veg items and rice is repeated several times and the servers proactively ask you for the food refills every now and then.
SUMMARY – – – – – Here are my granular ratings:
Food quantity: 3.7/5
Food quality: 3.4/5
Food presentation: 3.2/5
Value for money: 4/5
Surely a nice and safe place to fill in your tummy if you want to keep the food expenses down. The old world charm of a Bengali hotel is still left here in this place with few signs of modernization creeping in. The meal system is very typical to this old world culture and not found in many eateries nowadays. If I want to have close to some homemade Bengali food without pinching my pocket then I’ll surely go for this place, though I would urge the management to look into the cleanliness of the tables and the hygiene factor which is pretty crucial these days.