These days every bit of our urban life is result oriented. We can not think of a task we will undertake that won’t yield positive results. Even people snacking over a sandwich and coffee in a café tend to discuss topics that will be beneficial to them. The charm of old world ‘adda’ has almost vanished from the life of Bengalis today. And seriously cafes today who mostly operate in chains, won’t let you choose their café as your adda spot during the evening rush hours, since they will bring the bill to your table and will keep asking you if you need anything else. But there are detoxification agents present around you whom you need to know before it’s too late. And one such agent or rather place hidden in the bylanes of Golpark is called ‘First Flush’. This is one Tea boutique and coffee shop where you can sit in a spacious homely atmosphere for hours over snacks and cups of aromatic tea and get nostalgic with your old friends or loved ones. It also has an unique gift and accessories kiosk near the entrance. This place somewhat washes down all the impurities in your body and mind in a shot. Here you can discover the unique taste of first and second flush tea, which are handpicked from Darjeeling. Along with these splendid cups of tea you get soul pleasing continental food options to choose from. And I must say, I was mighty pleased with the food at this place. They serve top quality no-nonsense food which is damn flavorful and drives you and your taste buds crazy!
The food also plays an important part when you are lost in an adda session. You can choose from their appetizing menu which delivers more than what it promises. Also if you are a coffee lover, here you can choose from the range of Brazilian, Irish, Colombian and Turkish coffee and much more. But I loved this place for the amazing tea which was served! Here you get to taste teas from various tea estates of Darjeeling and that’s surely the USP of this quaint cozy joint which you surely can’t ignore. Last week I was invited to this place by the management for a food tasting session. So to start with, let’s start with the name ‘First Flush’ in itself. The name ‘first flush’ means the very first tea leaf plucking activity that happens during the harvest season where you get the most tender, fresh newly grown tea leaves that produces the fresh cup of unadulterated tea! And truly the tea that we had was so refreshing; I could feel the difference right from that first sip.
The ambiance of this place is pretty warm and homely, as I have already said. It has an old world charm and in fact it is one South Kolkata residence which welcomes you to spend some quality time in a place devoid of the gimmicks of modern cafés and similar hangout joints. I am not sure if a regular party goer will like this place, but I really did, so that’s how it’s again proven that I am not a party animal 🙂 Anyway, jokes apart, this place has a nice no-frill kinda entrance which opens up into a room where you have just one table with several chairs around it (though any other café would have accommodated two tables in this place). And this room also has racks stuffed with gifts, clothes, artsy jewelries, etc which are for sale. Also the wall of this room adorns lovely neatly framed photographs and sketches, which I really loved. This room leads you to the large central area. This room can easily accommodate 25 people, but again it has been kept extremely spacious by placing less number of tables which is so unlike the other business minded cafés in the town and elsewhere. Here also the walls adorn lovely neatly framed photographs of hilly areas primarily Darjeeling. If you have just returned from Darjeeling or maybe from North Bengal, this place would be like helping you to get teleported to the hills once again. I would only love this place to play soft relevant ballads on a low volume. Also the large hall can be strategically divided into two sections maybe by placing some ethnically designed partitions which has some link to the hills! Also at least two of the walls can have some acoustics treatment done or maybe some heavy curtain can be used to absorb some sound. I am writing down all these suggestions because I really loved this place and do care about such quaint adda joints in my city.
Now coming to the food and beverages which were served, here you go –
a) Arya Ruby Tea – This was the most awaited part of this entire tasting session which was served in the very beginning. The tea in that glass flask, along with all the accessories and glass cutleries came to our table on wheels attached to a typical British style rack or rather trays which you can find in many luxury hotels, in the hills and elsewhere. There was a sand hourglass which denoted how long the tea leaves should not be disturbed before they are served. This Ruby tea was bought from the Arya estate of Darjeeling and it was such a refreshing cup of aromatic tea, it was not too strong and was pretty easy to go kinda tea which anyone would love! Highly recommended from my side.
b) Fish Finger – The fish finger was truly honest to start with. They had premium quality fresh fish in there that left a pleasing aftertaste; the tartar sauce which was served along with it complemented the thick, generously stuffed fish fingers so well. The crispy outer covering was playing a perfect balancing role with the inner moist filling of that fish.
c) Chicken Lollypop – I really avoid these stereotype dishes like crispy chilli baby corn, chicken lollypop, etc which you generally consume when you are few pegs high. Here also in the beginning I tried to just ‘taste’ the chicken lollypop, but oh boy! I was surprised to see myself gorging on a mighty, massive sized, meaty chicken lolly few seconds after my friends started appreciating it! It was huge and had only succulent chicken in it, no cornflower bullshit, what you get at other places. The sauce was similar to some sweet and spicy honey flavored Korean sauce which I had few years back when I was holidaying over there. All in all, this was a rare gem, if any day I crave for chicken lollypops I will surely come to First Flush, that’s for sure.
d) Basil Chicken Skewers – This skewers were pretty attractive, to start with. The chicken was very well marinated with flavorful basil paste and were well grilled and served with amazing marinara sauce. The chicken were marginally stiff though they had the flavors deep inside which made us feel great about the dish in the end, and yes, the dip did its magic.
e) Bacon Cheese Bombs – These were perfect example of ‘great things come in small packages’. The bacon wrapped dollops of cheese actually were exploding with pleasure and flavor inside the mouth! This was truly sinful! You can forget your diet for this. It would be a crime if you don’t try this gem at this place. I am still drooling as I am now writing this down! O god, please help my poor soul!
f) Chicken Burger – The chicken burger looked absolutely delicious! The mayo and sauces dripping and those frizzled onion rings made me hungry! The chicken patty was quite flavorful, meaty and crispy. The veggies and fresh lettuce gave the right crunch to the burger which was served along with French fries. The entire plate was quite filling and soul satisfying!
g) Egg and Mayo Sandwich – I was quite full when this was served. But still I went ahead to take couple of bites! The bread was well grilled and the filling was gooey and heavenly for anyone who is in love with mayo! The crushed egg and mayo filling was there in abundance making the sandwiches quite heavy.
That concluded our food tasting session but we were not aware that ‘picture abhi baki hain’ 🙂 The pack of happiness arrived when the owner came along with a big one pound cake. It was the sweetest gesture by the management and I thank them sincerely for this! The cake in itself was amazing with that soft, fluffy yet rich and chocolaty core!
I have also heard they serve filling meals as well like Peri Peri chicken combo that is served with Spanish rice, mashed potatoes and boneless chicken. Also you can get Roasted chicken, Chicken Lasagne, etc!
So, if you ask me to rate this place I would rate it very high, I was super satisfied and will surely be back with my friends or family. I will rate First Flush 9.25 out of 10. I am not sure when I had last rated a place so high! 🙂 Anyway, the old world charm of this ‘bangali-r baithok-khana’ was very much required in the city of joy! I would try to spread the word since these honest places often fade away in this rat race, which I surely won’t accept! If you are reading this, please take my word and pay a visit to First Flush on a laid back evening! You’ll surely love the experience… and yes, don’t miss their special tea! Be there, create memories!