Burnt Garlic is a cafe-cum-restobar that opened last year on the ground floor of Priya Cinema. In fact, the restaurant is owned by the Priya cinema management and hence, there was a lot of buzz when it opened. The launch day saw quite a few celebrities coming in. Everyone was talking about the interiors designed by a famous city scenographer. Curtains of rolling pins, wall art with fabric plates, patchwork embroidery upholstery, 70’s disco lighting, live gigs. The ingredients were all there for a successful run. The reviews however were not too flattering. I heard from people that the food was overpriced and not up to the mark and hence I stayed away from visiting the place. Nearly four months later, everyone I knew was talking about Burnt Garlic. They were raving about the food, the drinks, the new menu and the slashed prices. I knew I had to visit soon and I did a few weeks back.
If you are shocked to see a review of a vegetarian restaurant on the blog, I don’t really blame you. And I get this reaction a lot when I go to a veg restaurant or put up pics of veg food. “You eating vegetarian? What happened? Is there something wrong? etc etc. Obviously, being born a Bengali, eating fish and meat is in my genes but I do enjoy vegetarian food as well. Especially, north Indian, oriental and a few continental veg dishes. And one of the best places to enjoy veg food in Kolkata is definitely at Fly Kouzina, Salt Lake. It is a pure veg restaurant and is also Kolkata’s first aircraft themed restaurant.
The interiors are designed to give the feel of an aircraft. There are two seating areas. The first cabin is for larger groups of diners and the second cabin is for smaller groups of four. They are so much into the theme that you have an air hostess greeting you when you first enter and giving you a boarding pass with your name and seat number printed on it. Don’t ignore this pass as just another prop though. It is actually your pass to a discount on your next visit so keep it safely. Once ‘boarded’, window screens beside each table will make you feel that your flight is taking off or landing. I found the decor fun, innovative and children will especially enjoy it.
The name Holiday Inn holds a special place in my heart and one that I associate with very precious childhood memories. I was nine years old when I went with my parents to Bombay for the first time and we stayed at The Holiday Inn hotel in Juhu. It was my first five star hotel experience and I remember how excited I was. I would spent most of my time in the bookshop, the pool and once I figured out that the hotel was a favorite haunt of film stars, I would sit in the lobby for hours hoping to catch a glimpse of them. The Holiday Inn was also where I had my first five star buffet meal and since I’ve always been a foodie (yes, even at 9 years), the huge spread, especially the cakes, pastries and ice-creams were a source of much delight.
When I first saw the Holiday Inn building near City Centre 2, all those memories came flooding back. And when the hotel opened a few months back, I started hearing some very good things about Social Kitchen, the all-day diner. I was recently invited by the Holiday Inn management to try out the food at Social Kitchen and I must say that the variety, the quality, the taste and the price really impressed me.
Will you judge me if I say that it’s been a week since I’ve had the exquisite Sunday Pranzo at La Cucina, Hyatt Regency Kolkata and I still can’t stop thinking about how good the food was? Ya, you probably will but that is the glutton that I am pretties. What to do? 😀
Kolkata has finally caught up with the Sunday brunch culture and there are plenty of restaurants now that offer a very good brunch but the one at La Cucina will have to be my favorite. Why? First of all, it goes on pretty late till 4 pm while most restaurants get over around 3. Second of all, the food is Italian and you get a selection of specialties from different regions of Italy like Tuscany, Sicily, Veneto. Third reason is that the food is complimented with unlimited Italian wines, beers and other imported spirits. Fourth reason is that the brunch menu is huge and you get pretty much everything in it from ravioli to gnocchi to pizza to polenta etc and last but to me the most important reason is that they have a killer selection of desserts.
One of my earliest childhood memories is of taking a tram from Belgachia with my mother, getting down at Shyambazar, walking to Fariapukur to the famous Orphan Tea shop and standing in a queue holding her hand while she bought the household’s monthly supply of tea. This was in the 80s and Orphan Tea was considered to be one of the best shops in the city. It was stacked with chests containing various varieties of loose tea – Darjeeling, Assam. There were little steel drums on the front counter, with ‘Cha’, written in both Bengali and English. Orphan Tea lost its glory long back and with the advent of ‘cha bars’ and cafes, so have many of these standalone tea shops in the city. Now, we no longer stand in a queues to get our caffeine fix. All we have to do is walk into a cafe and order what we want. One such cafe or ‘tea boutique’ as it is called where you get a very good variety of tea is First Flush, located near Golpark.
Push the red door open and you set foot inside a warm, cozy and welcoming space. I felt like I walked inside the living room of someone’s house instead of a cafe and I loved that. There are cane tables and chairs, racks displaying books and even sarees and jewelry. Plus, there is ample space so you don’t feel cramped. Basically, an ideal place for some ‘cha’, ‘ta’ and ‘adda’