To put things straight, I am one die-hard fried chicken fanatic! So, I was really elated to learn that the 60 years old brand based out of US called ‘Broaster Chicken’ is coming to Kolkata and then I was truly ‘broasted’ with joy when I received an invitation from the management to visit their new outlet at Loudon Street for a food tasting session! I will delve deep into further details how the tasting session actually went, but first let us learn the alphabets before trying to write the essay! 🙂 Okay, so are you aware what really is ‘broasting’? Is this just another run of the mill method for frying chicken? Not really. Here they use a specific technique of frying chicken. If you really hate that extra oil in your fried chicken then this is your place to be. Broasting is actually all about ‘pressure frying’. They have their patented Broaster pressure fryers (at their outlets) where all the chicken pieces are fried. The chicken pieces are fried inside the pressure fryer with of course the lid close for a specific amount of time and under a measured pressure which is permissible.
These fryers basically use a sealed and pressurized environment just like a pressure cooker, where food is cooked in canola oil. The pressure seals in food’s natural juices and locks out the cooking oil. Also this process of cooking eliminates hot overcooked spots and provides better heat distribution in the food which is being fried. So, it obviously takes less time to cook the food and to cook it in a better way. The end product is pretty amazing to be honest! I went inside their kitchen for a round of inspection and checked out the process how it was being pressure fired and then when I received the fried chicken pieces on my plate I was really impressed with its texture and absolutely zero residual oil content! That was truly a sight of joy for me! So if I do not think about the taste at this point, the method of cooking is surely a winner (according to me). And those patented pressure fryers are the real heroes always staying behind the scenes.
So, now let’s talk a bit about this new outlet and the food. This outlet is in the Loudon Street Area and a new outlet at Saltlake Sector-5 is soon to follow. So, now talking about this outlet it is located in a pretty relaxed yet moderately busy lane of Kolkata where this joint truly looks somewhat quaint in a glance. The typical glass window, the old school warm exteriors and the entrance looks pretty pleasant. And when you get inside, those amazing lamps in those biker helmets truly impresses you. But at the ground floor where you have the service counter or the kitchen, there is only a couple of seating arrangements and you can’t really bank on those. So, you need to go upstairs and there you will find the main dining area which I felt was bit too dimly lit; but the furniture somewhat impressed me. Realized that the chairs and tables have been specially crafted for this place and the artsy finish of the furniture looked amazing. But in this floor also you won’t get many seating arrangements; it is again a small place which I hope they will expand in future. The walls adorn quirky cartoons and quotes which somehow go well with this place. But hey, here please don’t come and expect an all American dinner or something like that! The stuffs which you get here as of today can best be termed as Indo-American fusion food which they call ‘American soul, Indian heart’, which somehow was the first point of disappointment for me. Even the dishes are named with quirky Indian names which I can still live with!
Coming to the food and beverages, we had ordered for Chul Bul Soda and Bul Bul Soda since we wanted to try something fizzy!! Both these drinks were supposed to be typical Indian masala cold drinks but somehow fell short to be so, in terms of taste and the kick. Especially in Kolkata, you get amazing masala cold drinks at several street side stalls, so we know how good it can taste! The Chul Bul Soda was Cola based drinks with masala mixed in it, somehow it was still okay and I could manage to sip it for a while, but I was really disappointed when I tried the Bul Bul Soda which is a fizzy orange flavored soft drink based beverage. The taste was weird to be honest and all of us at the tasting session felt the same way. It’s better not to discuss more on that. If you assume it’s similar to ice cream soda then you would be doing injustice to that nostalgic drink, so let’s cut short this discussion here. Hopefully the criticism will be taken positively to improve upon these drinks. In fact, in the end we had to order for simple Coco Cola to quench our thirst while having the fried chicken.
The three variants of fried chicken were served which included the Legendary Broaster chicken, the Happy fried chicken and the Hot Masala Chicken. The legendary one was pretty bland but I liked it since it promised to be like this only, and it tasted really good with the sauces and the dips, the chicken was juicy with an absolutely dry and non-oily coating. The Happy Fried chicken was there with the curry mango jalepeno dip, and the Hot Masala Chicken came with the curry mango jalepeno dip, harissa and Thai sweet chilli dip. The items were perfectly fried but the spicy masala layer inside the fried outer coating was not uniformly spread over the chicken, which if properly spread would have tasted even better. But anyway the Hot masala chicken was good, and you can safely order it. The Spiced French Fries and the simple Salted French Fries were absolutely non-soggy and tasted good, as they should be.
Coming to the burgers, I had tasted their Schezwan Noodles Chicken burger, Lamb Rogan Josh burger, and Peter Punjab burger. The noodles burger was pretty innovative and kudos to the team for keeping that in the menu, it had the right touch of oriental flavors in it which created the right fusion that I liked. It also had a chicken patty and veggies stuffed in it, the burger also comes in Paneer variant for vegetarians. The Lamb Rogan josh burger looked very promising with those red buns, but proved to be extremely messy and difficult to handle. The overdose of saucy gravy was all over the place and if I was inattentive it could’ve easily spoilt my clothes as well. But yes, the lamb patty was well prepared and was flavorful, it went well with the slices of tomato, onion and lettuce leaves, but as already said, the saucy contents should to limited to keep it at an optimized level. The Peter Punjab burger was bit less happening than these other two! It had a nice chicken patty again with an overdose of mayo and cheese, but anyway overall it tasted nice and can safely be ordered. The non-veg Ghotala Khichdi came next, and yes I really loved this one! This is somewhat their special dish and it should be ordered if you are here. The lamb chucks, chicken keema and fried egg pieces really took that khichdi to another level, and the stuff tasted unexpectedly good. The Chocolate Samosa with Mango ice cream served as the only dessert was surely best of the lot. Actually when you serve chocolate with ice cream it gotta be good. The stuff was innovative and here the crispy little samosa had chocolate filling and it tasted nice with the mango flavored ice cream.
The service and hospitality were good. The place runs on self-service mode, but anyway we were being served for this tasting session. The overall ambiance, interiors and location are good but as already mentioned above, some upgrades are expected when it comes to some of the food items. Otherwise if the feedbacks are taken positively and worked upon, this place can compete with the best fried chicken brand present in the market today, for the sole reason that Broaster Chicken is priced quite reasonably when compared to its biggest competitor. I wish the team all the best for the coming days and for the new outlet(s) which will be opened shortly.