I believe Bengalis (living in Kolkata), basically the middle-class Bengalis, started eating out Bengali cuisine in a proper restaurant after Bhojohori Manna and Oh Calcutta came into the picture. The latter was started back in 2002 by Speciality Restaurants and it served (and continues to do so) traditional Bengali cuisine in a fine-dining environment! Orthodox Bengalis (especially our maa, mashi, mesho, pishi, etc) kept arguing why I will go to a restaurant to taste Shorshe Ilish when I can prepare the same at my home with utmost care! But after having a meal at this Bengali restaurant in an upscale setting, they felt why the restaurant came into existence!
Basically, people loved the concept and Oh Calcutta still rules the culinary scenario of the city. In fact outside Kolkata, this place is an absolute necessity for Bengalis living over there, like in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, etc. But people still grumble that this place is not pocket-friendly, basically they want premium quality stuff at cheap rates!! But anyway, Oh Calcutta has decided to take care of that aspect as well, recently they introduced an all-you-can-eat Weekday Buffet menu priced at only INR 675 plus taxes, which according to me is unreal!
A few days ago when I was at this place (Oh Calcutta at Spring Club, beside JW Marriott) to try out this buffet menu, I felt this menu has been curated with care and pretty strategically, that will ultimately make the customers happy, very happy in fact! First of all, when you step into this place, the grandiose traditionally Bengali ambiance overwhelms you, the place is optimally lit and it exudes warmth and class. The fantastic quality of the food goes hand in hand with the amazing fine-dining ambiance.
Coming to this buffet menu, here you get a whole lot of lovely dishes at an unbelievable price, which is so unlike this place actually!! Anyway, so I was greeted with some Aam Panna sarbat which was chilled and nicely prepared with perfect density, always the best thirst quencher for me! So, the buffet menu kicked off with some amazing starters like Borishaler Murgi Bhaja and Tandoori Aloo. The Tandoori Aloo was not too spicy and was pretty nice and subtle. But the star item was the Borishaler Murgi Bhaja. It is basically boneless succulent chicken pieces marinated well and fried with dried onions which give this dish a unique flavor, that’s sure to impress. You can have loads of this starter and still won’t get enough of it! And try some cucumber salad and Kachumber salad while having these starters.
In the mains, this buffet menu scores really high. You get Luchi and Aloo Dum to start with, the soft Luchis went really well with the tad tangy potato curry and I actually overate and had to check myself in the end, since loads of items were still pending! This is closely followed by the Potol Posto, which is basically pointed gourd in poppy seeds paste, the dish is extremely subtle and filled with the aroma of fresh poppy seeds, went so well with simple steamed rice!
After this, I tried steamed rice with Moong Dal and Aam Tel Sorshe Bhindi. This side dish prepared with Bhindi or Okra (ladies’ finger) was really a delight to savour. It was tad spicy, rich, tangy but not too heavy! Then came the Chingri (prawn) Malai Curry, this was the real delight and having steamed rice with this dense rich gravy was truly an overwhelming experience! The balance of coconut milk and spices was just perfect in this dish!
This was closely followed by Kacha Longa Murgi. This dish can give any mutton dish a run for their money! The gravy is simply a bomb; it’s bursting with flavours and not too spicy as the name might indicate. Kacha Lonka Murgi literally means Chicken cooked in a green chili gravy but it’s much more than that, there is a touch of sweetness and richness coming from the garam masalas with an underlying touch of spice coming from the dose of those green chilies!! A must try Chicken preparation if you visit any outlet of Oh Calcutta! This Chicken dish was followed by Fish Paturi, it’s basically boneless Bhetki fish fillet steamed after wrapping it in banana leaf and smeared with mustard paste, according to me the mustard paste could have been a tad better and stronger, and I have had better Fish Paturis elsewhere. But anyway, after this, I was extremely full. This was indeed a lavish lunch buffet!
But wait, picture abhi baki hain mere dost!! Then I was served the accompaniments like Tomato Chutney and papad followed by the desserts. And believe me, you will surely miss out if you don’t try the desserts. The dessert platter included Langcha, Payesh, Gondhoraj Mousse and Vanilla Ice Cream!
The Payesh and the Langcha were simply divine, I rarely try Payesh at places but thank God I tried it here. It was not overtly sweet and had that perfect aroma, texture and density, somehow I returned back to my childhood days after having this, mom used to prepare such lovely Payesh! Overall, the meal was a big hit according to me. I was extremely full and super satisfied!
So, if you are close to Spring Club (Science City, Kolkata) try out this weekday buffet menu! Especially the nearby offices or people working in Sector-5 can come down and try this out for weekday lunch. I promise, this will leave you craving for more! So, let Oh Calcutta serve its ‘taste of joy’ and make this city of joy a better place to live in! If you try this weekday buffet, let me know in the comments section below how you liked it!
Disclaimer: Foodiedada was invited to Oh Calcutta (Spring Club) by the management!