In Tangra region, you do get Pork Wonton Chow for breakfast. They call it Singaara Chow because an assortment of “singara”, or wontons, are placed on top of freshly made chow and served with a sprinkle of spring onions. Easy to make, easy on the stomach. But the tip I had promised the silkiest wontons, and I followed my gut instincts and asked my fellow pork-loving friends to meet up on a bright Sunday morning. Around 10 am in the morning, I’m standing in front of Chinese Kali Temple, China Town, and waiting for R&R (the two stooges to my third), knowing all the time that A&D are at the place already.
The precise location of Ah Leung is not difficult to find. On Google Maps, you can find it here. But if you want directions, then take the road next to Chinese Kali Temple going towards Kafulok, and then take the first right. Walk down straight and ask people about Vicky’s place, and you’ll soon reach a sort of fork after walking a few hundred metres past Lao Tze temple, from where you have to take a left. Follow this road till you hit a dead end (Which is the shop). The front of the eatery should look like this.
Inside you’ll find an air-conditioned section. I suggest going there – its pleasantly cold inside, and you get a little bit of extra attention. There’s also a non-AC segment, and the kitchen’s right in the front where plates of wonton chow are being put together with military precision. On one side of our table, freshly made noodles are left out to get slightly dry before they are thrown into boiling water before being tossed up with some lard.
The pricing is pretty simple: Score a half plate for INR 80/- with 8 pieces of wontons on top, or get the full plate for 100/- with 12 pieces of wontons on top and a bit more chow. We asked for six half-plates and they are served to us in two batches.
The noodles are freshly made, and cooked till springy and mildly chewy. They are tossed in a good bit of lard that adds an incredible layer of umami to the entire plate, and topped with a handful of silky wontons filled with minced pork. A small sprinkle of lean pork is added to the top with some finely chopped spring onion, and voila! The dish is a perfectly executed plate of feigned simplicity – each element working seamlessly with the rest to bring it together and the result is a bowl of slippery noodles and silky wontons. The pork sort of takes a back seat to let the chief element of the dish shine – the lard-laden noodles. The wontons are perfectly cooked and I would probably order a plate of these on the side the next time I go.
A bowl of hot stock is served on the side, and there’s a fresh chilli sauce, perfect for dipping the wontons into, a light soy sauce, some chopsticks and soup spoons on the table which you should ideally help yourself to before starting to eat. The idea is pretty much DIY – after the chow hits the table, the idea is to customize it to your own taste before digging in.
The place stays closed on Wednedays and is open for breakfast and dinner. They don’t really have a menu, but it has been told that they do make pork belly. They also serves up the wontons on their own, cooked to silky perfection, for INR 50/- a half plate. If you order, they would also fry these up, or make baos for you, which, I can honestly say, are the best I’ve had in town.
I have to admit, this was one of the best breakfasts I have had in Kolkata, and I would love to explore more such options in the Tangra region, so if anyone reading this has further inputs, let me know!