There are few things in our lives to which we love to cling on to! Even if that entity disowns you, you can’t probably let go the fond memories and you keep on making honest efforts to go back for that old magic. One such entity is probably Darjeeling, at least for the Bengalis this has to be true. And with the present political issues, it seems the distance is going on increasing between Kolkata and Darjeeling!! But there is a little glimmer of hope still left for the foodies like us (at least), who used to go there for the Keventers meat platter or that awesome Nathmulls Tea. Few months back an amazing café-cum-store opened up in my city called ‘The Whistling Kettle’ at Golpark (near the CCD), by Mr. Sailesh Sarda. He is the fourth generation owner of Nathmulls, at Darjeeling.
I bet you will be overjoyed after glancing through the menu, which boasts of the English breakfast platter sourced directly from Keventers, Darjeeling and of course has got the magic of the Nathmulls Tea. In fact, here you can also pick up some Nathmulls tea from the store. So these little big things made me pretty enthusiastic and interested about this new café in town. And as a matter of fact, it is already trending for this unique offering which it has got.
Few days back I was invited to this place for a tasting session and I met Mr.Sarda in person, which was such an awesome experience in itself. He is so informative, enthusiastic and warm and makes you feel comfortable in a jiffy, which I absolutely loved. The place overall is pretty cozy, homely and adorable. We were seated at the farthest and probably the coziest wooden section having a lovely wooden ceiling. The place has loads of neatly framed black & white photographs of Darjeeling which helps you remember those pleasant stays and unforgettable moments in the hills. The overall ambiance is very homely, warm with nice optimally spaced out seating arrangements.
There is an area on your left for the live performances where you will find a guitar standing alone waiting for his masters to come in! But anyway, even if you don’t get to see a live performance you will definitely enjoy the classy collection of western music that gets played here all the time. Apart from the dining area or the café, there is a store which you need to cross to get into the café and believe me, that store even looks fabulous and brightly lit. There you will find a huge collection of tea sets, kettles, colorful crockery and cups and jars and obviously tea leaves.
Then we started off with the food tasting and firstly we were offered few varieties of teas from the Nathmulls. First of all, before talking about those teas, let me tell you each of them looked so different and absolutely stunning! We tasted their White tea, Green tea, Black tea, Yellow tea and Basil herbal tea.
And all of them were served in differently shaped glasses, especially loved that white tea in the champagne flute, it almost looked like champagne in there minus the bubbles!
All these variants of teas were extremely aromatic, soothing and soul pleasing. Surely this is one sweet little tea boutique that the city dwellers will love to the core. You can also buy all these lovely variants of teas from their store.
These were closely followed by the much famed Vietnamese Coffee. That is prepared from premium quality filter coffee mixed thoroughly with condensed milk and then poured on a glass full of ice, quite literally served ‘on the rocks’. We should let it sit on the ice for a while and then take the sips slowly. That’s surely one insanely good variant of coffee I have had in recent times, it is perfectly sweetened with a perfect density, chill and overall balance of flavors. Surely do try out this Vietnamese coffee!
We were served the famed meat platters next. Both the Pork platter and the Chicken platter tasted really good and somehow I loved the chicken platter more. Well, I myself was shocked for this strange preference of mine! These meat platters are said to be sourced from Keventers and the pork platter had pork sausages, bacon, ham, salami and sunny side up egg.
Of course the chicken platter had the corresponding chicken counterparts; all these stuffs tasted pretty good as they should be and is sure to attract more foodies to this joint. The sad part was the sausages looked and tasted like the industrial ones which should be avoided for sure.
There’s this all-day breakfast here which is enough to bring you to this place for an adda session. Along with this, there is an Italian menu with a selection of pizzas and pastas at the 30-seater café which taste equally good. I tried their Spaghetti Carbonara with a generous dose of bacon. It was cheesy, meaty, mild garlicky and enough in quantity to fill in two hungry tummies. You will surely love this bad boy, I am sure!
The service here at The Whistling Kettle was pretty prompt, friendly and warm, something that is very crucial at cafes and restaurants, which many owners tend to miss out and fail miserably in the long run. Though I have heard mixed reviews about this place but I personally loved it based on my personal tasting experience. And I will definitely recommend this place to my friends and come back for sure for casual adda sessions. Hopefully I will be equally amazed and pleased every time.
I have heard their pizzas and lasagna are also good, so I am planning to try them out next time! But anyway, whenever I will be back, I will surely again try out the Vietnamese Coffee which truly impressed me a lot. I surely did like this touch of hills in the plains and relived loads of my Darjeeling memories while sipping my favorite cup of basil herbal tea! 🙂
P.S. The writer was invited to ‘The Whistling Kettle’ for food tasting and review purpose. Some of the pictures have been captured and shared by Oendrila De.