|K19, Park Plaza Hotel, Kolkata|
Kolkata Street Food Festival at K19 Restaurant, Park Plaza Hotel, Kolkata
Kolkata has one of the best street food…period! You have not lived if you have not tried the pucchka (pani-puri aka golgappa) with the spicy aloo mix and the sour lip smacking water. Though Delhi comes in a close second and is often head to head in a lot of things but for me my vote will always go to Kolkata. Taste aside the entire experience of standing by the road with the plate made of leaves and trying to gobble up the pieces faster than the pucchka dude can serve them up is a hoot and a half. My friend recently dropped in from Mumbai and he really wanted to try out the infamous pucchka but he ended up having it from some restaurant and was very disappointed with it. He told me that he didn’t like it one bit and I literally went nuclear on him saying that he better not be saying anything bad about it since he didn’t really experience the real deal in the first place 😛
|Dharmatala Lemon Soda|
|The Pucchka Counter|
|Look at that beauty in all her deliciousness!|
Well I cant blame him…not knowing where to go and who to eat from when it comes to street food can cause more trouble than its worth. Turning to restaurants is also not doable as they fail to serve the authentic taste that makes the street food so famous in the first place. The best bet would be to grab a localite and have them take you to the best places around town but it will take a brave soul and half to venture out in this weather and eat anything. What if I tell you that K19 at Park Plaza Hotel has come with THE ideal solution! They have a huge buffet and on popular demand have added Kolkata street food options to it. A select few of us were invited to sample this inclusion and test it for its authenticity.
|The Jahlmuri Counter|
|All mixed and ready to be gobbled|
I will admit that I was apprehensive about getting the real street flavor in a restaurant setting. We started off with some Dharmatala lemon soda which was not too sweet nor sour and was just what we needed to refresh ourselves. We made our way to the counters that had been set up in the street food style spirit. I made my way to the pucchka counter as it is one thing I can never resist! The water served in the crispy shell filled with aloo (potato) mix was just right and had a hint of lemongrass to it which just amped the flavor up. After gobbling a few pieces I moved to my next favorite and that is the jhalmuri (spicy mixture made of puffed rice). I wanted it in old school style with the adding of mango pickles to the usual mix of potato, cucumber, onions, peanuts etc. tossed in with the puffed rice. The server filled this huge thonga (paper bag) with my mix and topped it off with a green chilli and coconut half circle. I loved how the mango pickle added a nice spicy sour element to my muri mix 🙂
|Moglai Paratha – Best ones I have had so far and super yum|
|Paneer Kathi Roll|
I tried the moglai paratha with the aloo sabzi and was really surprised with the taste. I have never liked moglai paratha but this one I could not stop myself from eating. The added aloo filling was just too good! One was literally spoiled for choices as they had samosas, different types of pakoras both veg and non veg, pao bhaji, kathi roll, chowmein, stew…I was feeling quite stuffed already but I knew I had to try the kathi roll and the chowmein. Served with a salad mix and ketchup the chowmein was loyal to taste that you get on the streets which I thoroughly enjoyed! The epitome of Indo-Chinese fusion 😀 The paneer kathi roll was good too with thick cubes of paneer made in a ketchup based gravy rolled into a thick paratha. Made me miss the khathi roll I would go especially to Sarojini Nagar for 🙁
Phew! That was really good. I never thought I would enjoy authentic street food in a posh restaurant setting. Though a lot of people attempt it but seriously they have been the only ones that I have tried so far that were able to replicate the actual flavor of most of the items. You can enjoy the Kolkata Street Food Festival till the 14th of June. And in case you don’t want to take the buffet you can always order the items A la carte. Oh by the way this is part of their dinner buffet. I really wish my friend would have been in town and I could have taken him to K19 and have him taste the best that Kolkata has to offer all in one place. Do check them out if you are in town. I will catch you soon!