There are few good things still left in the life of Bengali mango-people that remind them of their childhood or adolescent days. With the rapid number of increasing eating joints and diminishing industries, values and safety quotient in the city, poor people (like me) tend to cling on to old memories that still make them feel good and proud about their original products, discoveries and contributions to the world.
When it comes to food, one such brand which has been satiating our taste buds since last seven decades, Bijoligrill, helps us recognize that what is original to this land and what our grandparents used to cherish during their adda-sessions or after coming back home from work! They didn’t get the chance to enjoy Tex-Mex food, Quinoa salads, concept healthy food or maybe the LN2 ice creams! We will definitely enjoy everything that we readily get today; we should be open to embrace the changes but only after remembering our roots! Recently age old brands like Bijoligrill have realized that today’s young generation is keener to spend time and money for something trendy, even when it comes to food.
And there are so many people nowadays who do not like to have Bengali food when they go out to eat with their friends. But saying so, there are people like us who still love munching on a fish fry or fish orley, or maybe having steamed rice with some Eilish bhapa for lunch! So, keeping everything in mind, Bijoligrill has recently started promoting their continental and oriental food items, besides their signature Bengali dishes with which we are pretty familiar.
Recently I was there at their Southern Avenue outlet on a management invitation, which is pretty close to the Golpark crossing. The outlet has got seating arrangements on the first floor and it’s pretty nicely decorated with ample, optimally spaced out seating arrangements, and having partitioned segments that cuts you out from the adjacent tables. You can choose your seat by the glass window if you are there for lunch.
The signature dishes here are obviously pretty familiar to most of us living in Kolkata (and even to those who have abandoned the city after spending the first 20 years or so of their lives), and are definitely a must try. And recently they are expanding to other cities in India apart from stressing more on the Chinese and Continental cuisines.
So, let’s get to the crux of the matter, that is food and beverages, which I tried at this joint recently during the food tasting session.
There were three options in our set menu, when it came to the beverages. They were Blue Sparkle, Tropical Fizz and Virgin Mojito. I went ahead and ordered for the Virgin Mojito. It looked pretty appealing like the other drinks. Though I felt the proportion of both sugar and lemon juice was on the higher side. But still it was pretty refreshing and you can easily live with it.
There was only one variant of soup, of course we could have asked for the non-veg or the veg version of that soup. It was called Cream Princess soup with the garlic croutons. Well, I really liked this stuff, a perfect way to kick off your meal. The soup had a dense, smooth and creamy texture with a greenish hue, with some extra cream on top. And those garlic croutons were really flavorful and honest to the core.
It had a mix of Bengali and Chinese finger food items. And remarkably, all of them were good. Definitely the Fish Fry and Fish Orley were the best of the lot, and it definitely will make you nostalgic. Definitely these are the heritage finger food items that the city can be proud of. The Bhetki fish used in those snacks was extremely fresh, flavorful and flaky; it’s perfect to say the least.
The Chinese starters included Salt-n-Pepper prawn and Fish Dragon. The prawns were tossed in the former dish with finely chopped bell peppers, spring onions and it was overall tad dry but extremely flavorful and the prawns were extremely fresh. The Fish dragon had diced pieces of Bhetki fried with a thin corn flower coating and tossed with chopped bell peppers, dry red chilies, spring onions, cashew nuts, etc and had a little gravy in there which gave the dish the impeccable spicy aftertaste and tanginess.
And we tried something from their Tandoor as well, and the dish was called Fish Reshmi Kababs. Again the bhetki was amazing in there, very flaky and fresh. I loved all these fish items at Bijoligrill and surely if you are here, you need to try out something this ‘fishy’ 🙂
This part of the meal was dominated by Bengali dishes like Chingri Malaikari (Jumbo prawns cooked in Bengali style coconut milk gravy along with other spices), Eilish Bhapa (Steamed Hilsa in Bengali style mustard paste along with some green chilies) and Bengali Fried Rice or I would rather love to call it a Pulao as it had bit of sweetness, hint of ghee, dry fruits, garam masala, etc which is typical of a Bengali style tossed rice. All these three dishes mentioned above were beyond my expectations, they were fabulous and I would suggest them to each and everyone visiting Bijoligrill.
The only continental main course dish that we tried was – Cilantro Grilled Fish and yes, since fish was involved this was again a fantastic dish with sautéed veggies, garlic breads and mashed potato; though I felt the veggies were a bit overdone and the mashed potato could have been creamier. But yes, the quality of the Bhetki fish was again extraordinary, something you should definitely try out at Bijoligrill.
Our set menu had options like Caramel Custard, Rosogolla-r Payesh, and Rabri Malpoa. I loved the Rabri Malpoa, it was so damn soft and optimally sweet. It almost melted in my mouth, much like the Rosogolla-r payesh which had tiny Rosogollas in there in a rather dominantly thick milky pool, sprinkled with bits of crushed nuts on the top. Both these dishes were insanely good, must try!
To wrap things up…
So, that ended this marathon meal and a pleasant tasting session filled with fun, chit chats, games, little bit of pranks and generic discussions about food! This dinner brought back many fond memories of my childhood when I used to be at other branches of Bijoligrill with my dad and mom and we used to munch on some fish fries and chicken kabirajis! But yes, this time I was pretty surprised by their continental and Chinese fare, which I am sure the city dwellers would love. Overall this meal was an exceptional ensemble of traditional Bengali dishes and foreign food which the Kolkatans would surely adore. I would suggest a slight upgrade in the service, attentiveness and staff training, but otherwise the servers were pretty warm and friendly. I would definitely love to come back to this place for more and would love to bring my friends and loved ones to this outlet of Bijoligrill.
This brand has got nothing more to prove for sure, after serving us for so many decades! It is now synonymous to Kolkata, or rather the old Calcutta and its sweet mystic tradition which is pretty inimitable like all those signature dishes at this place. I can only hope them to expand and grow, long live the legend!