Saturday, July 09, 2016

Dinner at Barcelos

Was a lazy Saturday and we didn't have plans either compounded with the fact that our Cook had taken the day off. So we decided to try out a place we hadn't been to and we didn't want to go too far either. So Barcelos it was. 


Located on the Top floor of Acropolis Mall, I loved the idea of walking across the Glass Bridge to reach the entrance.


While I ordered a Cheese Cake Shake, my wife ordered the Mix Berries Shake.


We ordered one of their Signatures, 1/2 Chicken (Chicken marinated in their Secret Sauce and grilled to perfection). Well it wasn't the usual Chicken one has tasted in out places.


This one I had to order. Why Order One Burger when you can have Four, Right! So we ordered the World's healthiest Mini Burgers. 2 Chicken + 2 Mutton, They came with four different breads; White, Brown, Red and Black and each tasted more yummy as we went down the plate from one to the next. This is a definite must try if you're visiting Barcelos.

BARCELOS, KOLKATA
ADDRESS : F-001, Acropolis Mall , Rajdanga Main Road, Kolkata
You can check out the Menu at http://www.barcelos.co.in/menu.php

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Awadhi Cuisine Dished Out With Class

Our usual plans of driving out to some nearby locale had been put on hold for the weekend as we had some other stuff to do. But knowing us, a Sunday without doing something was not going to happen. by mid morning my wife suddenly suggested we go try this Restaurant which was serving 'Haleem' as a Ramadan Special. Oh! and we do like Haleem and especially during this time.

So we headed out to Kidderpore, a place on the map not particularly savoury for most of us South Kolkatan's. Well it's home to the famous India Restaurant.


Indis Restaurant is probably 18-20 years old and one of the most popular eateries in the locality. The new A/C sections on the 1st & 2nd Floors was launched during the Durga Puja Festival of 2015 to cater to a more upwardly mobile gentry with ambience and décor that will put some of the more established Restaurants to shame.


Once seated we straight away ordered the Haleem, but were told that Haleem would only be available after 2pm and could take a bit longer too. No worries, it was around 1:30pm so we could wait.

Meanwhile we ordered their signature starters; Chicken Cheese Kebab. The Mint Sauce that came with it should also be highlighted. I asked for a second bowl of it.


For mains we ordered another of their Signature dishes; Awadhi Biryani. Brought in a Handi and opened at the table, the moment the lid comes off and you see the steam and draw of a whiff of those aromatic flavours,  you just cant wait to dig in. Let me just say it's probably the best Biryani I've had.


Well having devoured that Biryani, and washed own the meal with a Thums up. We were eagerly awaiting our Haleem. We realised that the two we had ordered might be a bit much after this. So we scaled it dow a bit to only one. But we were not leaving without having that Haleem.

the clock kept ticking and 2 became 2:15 and 2:30 and then 2:45 but we were firm with our resolve! and it also gave us time for that Biryani to settle.

Finally at 3pm the Haleem was served and was it worth the wait? Definitely. We shared one Haleem and while we really wanted to order the second one, better sense prevailed.


So for those of you who might want to taste this delicacy, there's a few days before Eid and you still might get a chance to taste some Haleem. Else just for some awesome Awadhi Cuisine, its definitely worth a visit.

Having gone through the menu, I know I'm definitely going back there to try out some of their other specialities.

A meal for two would cost approx Rs. 750-900

India Restaurant
Address: 34, Karl Marx Sarani, Kidderpore,
Kolkata, West Bengal 700023
Tel: 033 2459 8964
Everyday : 6AM-11PM

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Drive to Dhanyakuria

Another Sunday Morning and our Maruti Suzuki Ertiga is wondering what road lies ahead. Blue skies with white puffy cotton like clouds is just too inviting for a little road trip. We had heard of a place called Dhanyakuria, a small village/town which was known for its palatial Zamindari Baris. We had done some research and knew there were a couple of them that were worth the 70km drive from Kolkata.

So as the morning progressed with a spat of rain brining the temperature down, once it cleared up, we hit the road by noon.

The road via Rajarhat is lined with beautiful landscapes on either side of the highway.


You will get to see miles and miles of water on either side which are Fisheries and in all likelyhood you'll spot a fisherman or two in his boat out catching fish on these vast expanses of water.


At Deganga the landscape changes very quickly and it's like driving through dense forests. We barely saw the sky for miles.

This is the first Building you get to see, once you turn off left from the Taki Road towards Dhanyakuria. The Higher Secondary School. Even this building looks like it was built hundreds of years ago.

Once you come to this building, it means you are in Dhanyakuria and the amazing Zamindari Baris are just around the corner.

The first Zamindari Bari and the Biggest and best maintained on in Dhanyakuria is the Gaine Bari

Drive a bit further and you came across Ballav Bari another one of the Zamindari Baris.

Outside the Ballav Bari is this Tower/Building which is truly magnificent. If you look closely, the intricate masonry is amazing.

Yeah we get fans on our travels and these two boys led the way from Gaine bari till here and followed us as we went to our next point.

The main Mandir with a huge ground in front of it and a large pond behind. It is now used once a year for the main Puja.

A dilapidated gate that leads to Sawoo Bari.

Sawoo Bari.

I had to jump over a wall to get into the compound for this view of the Sawoo Bari.

This is another Zamindari Bari on the road in Dhanyakuria. Have no idea what it is called.

We found an old man walking along with his cycle and while chatting with him, convinced him to park his cycle and show us around this little village with its hidden treasures. So this is one Gate he brought us to after navigating through narrow meandering village roads.

Further into the village was this Temple and behind it were some more houses from olden days.

After looking around Dhanyakuria, we drove out onto the main Taki Road and found our final stop. This was the Building we had been looking for since we got here. And this is just the Entrance.
Gaine Gardens. We we just about got this picture, as we strolled in through those huge gates and wandered around till a caretaker came screaming at us for trespassing. So apparently the sign on the gate says so in Bengali. This property has been taken over by the Government and serves as an orphanage for Girls.

Dhanyakuria! off the bucket list! we head back towards Kolkata and enjoy the drive through those magnificent water bodies as the sun goes down.

Our faithful Maruti Suzuki Ertiga basking in the twilight after taking us to another wonder magical destination.
The 3 travellers, my wife, me and our Maruti Suzuki Ertiga ZXi.

for more travel pictures check out my IG @rohitnyss

Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Drive To Taki

If any of you are wondering where this place called "Taki" is and why we chose to Drive there, well read on.
A quick stop on the Malancha Bridge to click the view from up there.

Taki is located around 60kms (71.2kms from our house) from Kolkata due east and is situated on the banks of the Ichamati River in the 24-Parganas North District. The River is the International Border between India & Bangladesh.
The main Riverside Tourist Spot at the Promenade.

The reason it has shot to fame is the Durga Puja Bijaya Dashami, when the borders are opened for one day and people from both countries cross over at this point to celebrate the festivities. It is also famous for it's Kali Puja and has one of the oldest Kali Temples.
One of the main reasons for heading to Taki, the promise of an assortment of Fresh Fish.

A boat carrying supplies down the river on the Indian Side. This is the narrowest Point in the river which acts as the International Border between India and Bangladesh.
The best way to get around the Village is to hire a "Bhan" (motorised tricycle with cart).
A dilapidated Water Tank Tower from the "Days of the Raj".
Shiv Mandir.
The original Kali Mandir (apparently several hundred years old)
The new Kali Mandir (built a few months ago)
The Ramkrishna Mission has a huge campus in Taki.
Remains of a time gone by. There are several Old Buildings in Taki, some still standing like this one and others in utter ruin.
On the sight seeing itinerary is the home of General Shankar Roychoudhury. If you're wondering who he is, well do what I did, look him up on Wikipedia.
There are lots of Fisheries like this one all around Taki. Shrimp farming seems to be one of the main activities.
Brick Kilns is the other big industry in Taki. You start seeing these Chimneys way before you enter the town.
A Boat ride is something you can do. here we actually saw a Bengali Film Shooting occurring on this boat.
Another Tourist attraction is a small Eco Park where they have birds, flowers and these Geese that we tried to get up close to.
As we headed back after our day long adventure in Taki, we stopped on the Malancha Bridge once again to watch the Sunset.

Well after spending a day in Rural Bengal, it is evident why the TMC and Mamata Banerjee are back in power. The road to Taki is superb (barring a couple of places where it's still under construction, but that itself is a great sign).

Taki has electricity, water and most of all cleanliness. It's quite unbelievable how this little Town has taken such strides in maintaining cleanliness.

A Public Library, Government School & College, a Football Stadium... all stand testament to the fact that Education and initiative goes a long way.

And better still, the few people we did interact with in Taki were very hospitable.

for more pictures and videos on Taki you can visit my Instagram