Abstinence for some, indulgence for others – the festivities around the corner might be celebrated differently in different parts of the country, but the spirit is the same – to celebrate the positivity all around.
Kolkata has been know for it’s street food – inspired by a million cultures, adapting the best of each, the by-lanes offer everything from momos at the Tibetan joints, dumplings at the Chinese stalls, meat delicacies introduced by Awadhs and the chop-cutlet culture introduced by the presence of British. There is always something for each palate available at the busy lanes – with endless cups of tea. Soaking in the same spirit of the unending love for food, Monkey Bar has curated a special menu showcasing the best of the street food from Kolkata – with the Monkey Bar twist. The brains behind the menu are Kolkata based home-chef Iti Mishra and head-chef Dheeraj Verma – who in their search for the best flavors, scoured the lanes themselves to get the best to your plates.
Whether it is the Monkey Bar’s twist in the Beadon Street Fish Roll, of using shrimps to stuff fillets of Bhetki and serving it with a mustard-spike salad or Chitpur Road Chicken Rezala – which is an amalgamation of subtle flavors and childhood memories, being served with teen kona porota – something we have grown up eating – each dish in the menu had been given full attention to – keeping in mind the history & origin of the dish as well as the palate of the consumers.
Girish Park-er Shoitan Dim is the non-vegetarian avatar of dimer devil – scotch eggs encased in kebab mince – deep fried and server with pickled onions; it brings memories from the childhood and the authentic tastes from the by-lanes of the city. Tiretti Bazaar Prawn Dumpling is inspired by the Chinese establishments from the area, famous for serving delightful Chinese breakfast on Sunday mornings – wok tossed balls in soy and honey sauce – this is nothing like you will ever get here and packs a bag full of flavors.
Mughlai Porotta is probably the most popular dish from the streets of Kolkata – traditional served with ghugni (white matar), chutney and a handful of sliced onion – these ‘keema stuffed’ egg rolled paranthas are a meal in itself. The Monkey Bar twist to this brings out a vegetarian version and is served with paanch phoron baby potatoes. A little skeptical to start with, we loved the combination and though the ghugni was missed, the potato dish made up for it.
While the street foods would originally be gulped down with a cup of cha or limbu paani as it is called – the Monkey Bar twist shows it’s magic here and the cocktails are a must try. Taking puchka (gol-gappa) pani and converting it to a cocktail is an art – very well practiced at Monkey Bar, with the Puchka Pani Capriojka – vodka, gondhoraj lebu, fresh mint, puchka pani – a match made is heaven. How can anyone miss cha, if we are talking about food served in the street of Kolkata – Thanda Cha is a mix of Darjeeling tea, vodka and chilled spices – a drink which will refresh you to the core.
The festival is on from October 4 to October 21 and brings together the best of street food from the lanes of the city of joy. Next Stop Kolkata is the best way to get on a virtual ride to the street foods of Kolkata, and having tried the menu firsthand, we are absolutely sure no-one else could have done this better.