There are some excellent Bengali restaurants in Kolkata, where you can enjoy authentic and delicious tasting Bengali cuisine. A hit in Kolkata, many of these restaurants have gone on to open up branches all over India. Seafood lovers will really love seafood dominated Bengali food. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! To get the most from your dining experience, keep in mind how Bengalis eat their food to preserve the subtle flavors -- vegetarian dishes first, followed by fish, and then meat.
1. Oh! Calcutta
If you've got money to splurge on eating out, you won't be disappointed with Oh! Calcutta. This award winning, fine dining restaurant can now be found in major cities across India. It aims to recreate dishes from traditional old style Bengali recipes, selected through painstaking research. The environment is elegant, and there's a private dining area as well.
- Address: Forum Mall, 10/3 Elgin Road, Lala Lajpat Rai Sarani, Kolkata.
- Phone: (33)2283-7161.
- What's Good: You can't go wrong with the seafood. The Gandharaj Bhetki (steamed fish flavored with lemon) and Aam Ilish (mango hilsa fish) are popular.
Kewpies Kitchen started as a small, unassuming, family run restaurant over a decade ago but has taken the city of Kolkata by storm. Located in the owner's home, it seats just 50 people. If you want reasonably priced Bengali food in a unique environment -- this is the place!
- Address: 2 Elgin Lane (behind Netaji Bhawan), Kolkata.
- Phone: (33)2475-9880.
- What's Good: The traditional Bengali thali (platter) served on a banana leaf.
Don't have much time to eat? Bhojohori Manna is where you should head to get tasty Bengali cuisine on the run. And with outlets all over Kolkata, you're sure to find one conveniently close by. The restaurant is named after a famous Bengali track, sung by Manna Dey, for a film made in the 70s. The track "ami sri sri bhojohri manna..." revolves around a magical cook who traveled to many lands and acquired a unique culinary style of his own.
- Address: Locations at Ekdalia Road, Hazra, Salt Lake Sectors I & V, Star Theatre (Hatibagan), Ruby (Kasba Industrial Estate), Esplanade, and Hindustan Road (most upmarket, recommended).
- Phone: Refer website.
- What's Good: Kosha Mangsho (mutton curry) and Daab Chingri (coconut prawn curry).
In testament to its popularity, 6 Ballygunge Place is another Bengali cuisine restaurant that's branched out across India, and Kolkata. The original one is located in a character filled converted bungalow, with plenty of old world charm, in Ballygunge. A meal for two at this mid-range restaurant will cost around 800 rupees ($17).
- Address: 6 Ballygunge Place, Ballygunge, Kolkata. Also at DD 31 A, Sector 1, Salt Lake, Kolkata.
- Phone: (33)2460-3922.
- What's Good: Try the Pabda Macher Jhal (spicy fish curry, prepared with mustard paste and poppy seeds.)
You can't visit Kolkata without having biryani! Kolkatans claim that their style is the best in India, due to its rich combination of spices, tender meat, and added potatoes. There's a wide range of inexpensive biryani dishes on offer at Aminia. The food is delivered fresh and hot to your table, almost as soon as you've placed your order. Aminia is a budget restaurant though, so don't expect much ambiance. However, it is a local favorite.
- Address: 6 A. S.N. Banerjee Road (opposite New Market), Kolkata.
- Phone: (33)2244-1318.
- What's Good: Mutton biryani.