The Biryani fest continues here, so does the rain. When S messaged today about consuming copious amounts of chicken biryani in Kolkata, anywhere, I was poised to go to Mezban first, but then I suddenly had this intriguing idea – why not meet up in the newly re-opened Aminia located at Golpark? I have been there a month back, and loved the food. Also, S has never been there, and IDG hasn’t been there since it re-opened. We wanted food. So we reached a decision, a flurry of texts went back and forth, and the next thing I know, I am travelling across the city for more food.

Stairway to heaven. 😀

Aminia originally is located in New Market, near Municipal corporation. However, I don’t like it much beyond the special curry. There is something missing there. This place was opened a long time back, but thanks to some issues, it got closed. The workers, however, enthusiastically sold the biryani and kababs for takeaway, right in front of the closed restaurant, for the better part of 7 years, and then, the place was re-opened and restored to its full glory.

The decor is simple – pottery vases of different sizes and shapes, clean drapes, nicely designed seats, and high ceiling seem to be the choice, and I love that. Neat and prim, as soon as we are seated, a member of the wait staff gives us water and offers us menu cards. While we peruse, another guy hovers close by, to take our orders. Around 4.30 in the afternoon, the place is nearly empty, but if you come here around 6.30 p.m. onward, it will be packed.

Interiors.

We quickly rattle out our order – IDG wants the mutton Biryani. S and I decide to split a biryani because I have in mind eating some other things as well, and we order from the menu swiftly.

I sheepishly ask the man to add an extra potato to our Awadhi Biryani, since both S and I love potatoes, and do not want to split ours. The man smiles genially and tells me that it will be done. He is also intrigued by S’s ability to understand and speak Bangla, and stares at her admiringly. S is American, by the way, but she speaks quite competent Bangla, and can read and write it as well.

The food takes a bit of time to come, around 10 minutes or so. As I had ordered a kabab, I am not that surprised, since they have a penchant to make them fresh. Our eyes wander around the restaurant and spot two groups of people sitting and eating. Mild arguments and loud discussions can be heard, but all stops when plates are put in front of the eaters. Then there is nothing more than the blissful silence, interrupted only by the sound of cutlery and long sighs. We look around and see more pottery artfully arranged, shaped in intriguing styles.

Mutton Pasinda Sheekh Kabab (120/-) and Mixed Raita (50/-)

The Mutton Pasinda Sheekh kabab comes in a bowl, two fat long pillows of divinely soft smokey meat that melts in your mouth. S wanted to eat Raita, so we order a bowl for her, and she says that the Raita is yummy. I decide to stick to my Sheekh, and pair it with a single Rumali Roti (15/-) which is warm and inviting. A squeeze of lime brings everything together, and even as S steals one of the two chillies served, and a slice of onion, I wrap a piece of the roti around the kabab and pop it in my mouth.

Divinity. Smoke-laced melt-in-your-mouth warm meat that makes you want to fall flat on your face. IDG takes a bite and calls it capital before attacking his Mutton Biryani (125/-).

Chicken Awadhi Biryani (205/-)

The Biryani was HUGE and I was glad S and I were sharing. The kind waiter split everything expertly between the two, and while S got the aalu bukhara, I scored more of the delicious moti, the gorgeous little melt-in-your-mouth round koftas laden with happiness and the odd hint of fat.

My share of Chicken Biryani
An egg came with the Biryani, and was expertly cut and distributed among the two of us. We gobbled everything down, and in the end, wanted to go to sleep then and there. However, the game was not over there. IDG wanted Firni, and ordered it.
Firni (50/-)

Firni has never really appealed to me much. Too much of rice, too bland a taste, too boring a texture. In fact, apart from one isolated incident at a friend’s place, I was pretty much not into it. Until I had a bite when IDG offered it to me.

And then I proceeded to take another bite. And another. And well, another.
The texture of the firni was perfect – it was not too thin or thick, rather, it was perfectly set. Hints of saffron and rose fought for supremacy with a light sprinkling of pistachios, which added a lovely hint of subtle texture to the spoonfuls of creamy, perfectly sweetened firni. I will go back again and again for this alone. For 50/- it is possibly the best dessert I have had in a while, and I guess my plans of going off rice is never going to happen now that I have had this.
Sigh. I guess I will be coming back here. A few more times. Okay, maybe many more times.

Aminia (Golpark)57, Ballygunge Gardens,
Ballygunge, Kolkata
Ph: +919831940015, +919007326429

Written by Poorna Banerjee

    1 Comment

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