Peter Cat is a legendary restaurant in Kolkata, standing tall after surviving both a fire and the simple passage of time; it remains as popular today as it was when it first opened in the 1960s. The dimly-lit interiors and the crisp Rajasthani red and white costumes of the servers will transport you back to this bygone era. Their delightful, cat-shaped menu offers a wide range of Continental and North Indian cuisine, and is famous across Kolkata for its delicious meat dishes. If it’s your first time in Kolkata, then this restaurant should serve your first meal.
Opening hours: 11am-11.15pm
Watch out for: Chelo kebab
Peter Cat, Park St, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal +91 33 22298841
Though their venue is always low-lit, Mocambo’s menu shines brightly in the Kolkata food scene. They offer Indian, Mughlai and Tandoori food, but their Continental preparations are what really do the trick. They enjoy a sizable crowd throughout the week mainly to sample their Fish à las Diana, Baked Alaska, and Cream Caramel. Pair these memorable dishes with a classic cocktail from the bar, all served by their incredibly quiet and respectful wait staff, for the full Mocambo experience.
Opening hours: 11am-11pm
Watch out for: the devilled crab
Mocambo, 25B, Park Street, Kolkata, West Bengal +91 33 2229 0095
The Blue Poppy
If you’re craving momos and want great Chinese food that won’t empty your wallet, The Blue Poppy is the place to be! Its casual college-canteen-style seating, refreshing AC and welcoming smiles create a perfect setting for gorging on scrumptious food at low rates. Try the pork momos, the steamed chicken, or the chicken meifoon soup. Their tables are often crammed with college students and office workers, so be sure to get there early if you’d like a quieter meal.
Opening hours: 12pm-4pm; 5pm-9.30pm
Watch out for: the delicious momos
The Blue Poppy, 4/1, Middleton Street, Elgin, Kolkata, West Bengal +91 98303 76737
Head to Katsuri for a taste of authentic Dhakai fare at a comfortable rate. They prepare some of the finest seafood the city, and their menu includes unmissable delicacies like Bhetki Paturi (slow-cooked, steamed fish wrapped in banana leaf with mustard paste), Shorshe Hilsha (hilsa fish in mustard sauce), and the Ruhi Kaalia (a rich and spicy fish curry). After one dish of Katsuri’s fish, you’ll be hooked. End on a sweet note with a delicious dessert like the rasmalai (paneer balls in sweat creamy milk) or the misti doi (a fermented sweet yogurt).
Opening hours: 11.30am-4.30pm; 7.30pm-11pm
Watch out for: delicious fish preparations
Katsuri, Plot No.7A, Marqius Street, New Market Area, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal +91 33 30990531
With its gigantic, elegant seating area decked out in striking Chinese artifacts, Tung Fond offers quality Chinese food in a memorable, inviting atmosphere. You’ll see plenty of work colleagues coming in from Park Street offices to treat each other to tasty lunches here, like the Thai garlic chicken (or fish) and the drums of heaven. Feel free to relax with a drink from the bar as you wait for your lunch or dinner, and don’t leave without snagging one of their chocolate brownies.
Opening hours: 12pm-4pm 6pm-12pm
Watch out for: kung pao chicken
Tung Fong, No. 25-B, Karnani Mansion, Mirza Ghalib St, Park Street Area, Kolkata, West Bengal +91 33 2217 4969
A fresh face in town, Edesia now offers sweet relief to locals who craved higher quality breakfast options. Inside you’ll find creamy white walls swirled with pink graphics, comfy couches and shelves packed with coffee mugs soon to be filled. Their impressive décor is backed up by an extensive menu that goes above and beyond with its traditional American-Italian fare: their cheese platter and their waffles are not to be missed. This worthy newcomer to the Kolkata food scene has injected an espresso-like shot into the local breakfast and brunch scene.
Opening hours: 8am-11pm
Watch out for: their waffles and egg dishes
Edesia, 6, Hungerford Street, The Regency Building, 1st Floor, Kolkata, West Bengal +91 33 2290 0908
Baan Thai in the Oberoi Grand serves authentic Thai cuisine, with the bulk of its ingredients imported directly from Thailand. The venue itself is impressive, beginning with the gorgeous life size statue of the Buddha waiting to welcome you at the reception desk. The striking Thai wooden masks and wood carvings decorating their walls lend a regal touch to the restaurant’s interior. Their thoughtfully prepared menu offers a range of vegetarian delicacies, as well as a number of highly popular seafood and meat delicacies. Start with the Tom Yum soup or the yam neua salad, then proceed to the chicken or pork phad bai krapo (stir fried with chili and basil), or the prawn khao phad (Thai fried rice). For dessert, be sure to try the khao neiw ob krati (a coconut-based treat with water chestnuts).
Price: Fine Dining
Opening hours: 7pm-11.45pm daily; Lunch is served Saturday-Sunday 12.30pm-3pm
Watch out for: the khao phad
Baan Thai, The Oberoi Grand, 15, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata, West Bengal +91 33 2249 2323
Fire And Ice
Fire And Ice is heating up, as this review comes hot on the heels of its nomination in the Best Italian Restaurant category of The Times Food and Nightlife Awards 2016. This is India’s most prestigious culinary award, and the nomination was well-earned: this is one fantastic place for Italian food. Their authentic Italian menu branches far, far beyond the standard pizzas and pastas you’ll find in most Italian restaurants in India. That said, the pepperoni pizza here is in a league of its own, along with their delectable antipasti and rich risotto with artichokes. Fire And Ice easily serves the best Italian cuisine in the city, and may soon prove itself the best in all of India.
Opening hours: 12pm-11.30pm
Watch out for: the risotto
Fire And Ice, Kanak Building, 41, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata, West Bengal +91 33 2288 4073
Hakuna Matata means ‘No Worries’ in Swahili (as a certain meerkat and warthog once famously sang), and it’s now also the name of a new restaurant that’s popped up on Kolkata’s bustling Park Street. Inside you’ll find a warm and cheery atmosphere, with ample sunlight washing over shades of bright yellow and light wood. The food is as fresh as the daisy-like décor: from tasty nibbles, sandwiches, wraps to full Italian dishes, this is truly a globetrotting menu. Try the chicken falafel pita pockets, the pumpkin gnocchi, or the soba miso noodle salad.
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 12pm-10.30pm; Sunday 11pm-10.30pm
Watch out for: chickpea masala pav
Hakuna Matata, 12D, Park Street, Opp Park Hotel, Kolkata, West Bengal +91 33 6555 6066
Nizam’s need no introduction to the people of Kolkata: this local gem is nothing short of an institution. Over many long decades, their Kathi rolls (meats and spice wrapped in a paratha) have kept generation after generation coming back for more. The succulent Seekh Kebab is a timeless taste of heaven, wrapped in fresh, hot parathas with a generous sprinkling of raw onions and chilies. The quality ingredients in their delicious dishes, coupled with the warm and friendly service, have elevated Nizam’s to iconic heights in this city. To dine here is to fully understand Kolkata’s lasting love of food.
Opening hours: 10am-12pm
Watch out for: legendary Kathi rolls
Nizam’s, 23/24, Hogg St, New Market, Dharmatala, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal +91 98361 94669
By Shreyas Kulkarni