Bihar Restaurant

We walk through New Market, pushing aside Christmas paraphernalia and come into the light, right next to random bangle shops offering their wares, and our greedy gazes fall on them. K stops for a few minutes to haggle with a particular man with an assortment of neon pink and teal blue metal bangles, and after a hard bargain, the bangles are safely ensconced inside her bag, money exchanges hand, and she turns to us, a wide grin spreading over her face. I wait for her impatiently, our destination close by. Bihar Restaurant is an establishment known for its Kathi kababs, Khiri kababs, and Nihari on wintry mornings. My intent to take my friends with me to enjoy a hearty, calorie-overload meal.

We wait around for ten minutes or so before we get our seats in the crowded and slightly dirty interiors. There are tiny cabins furnished with little fans on one side, where we want to sit, and the fans can be started with a pull of the little cord that hangs from them. We are seated, and the server looks at us inquiringly while we place our order after a short, heated debate between us. B wants paratha and biryani, K wants biryani and kathi kabab, C needs to have chicken biryani and I am looking at some of the stuff on the menu, but my gaze is chiefly drawn to the kheeri kabab and the beef bhuna. After a couple of minutes, we place our order, and after repeating it twice, the slightly confused server runs off with a happy smile on his face.

Sneak Peek from our Cabin

Our first set of plates arrive within five minutes of ordering, enough time for us to take portrait photographs which would later grace our Facebook walls, and contemplate about the kind of food which is going to hit our palates soon – the three sitting with me are here for the first time, and they are hungry. I assure them that the food is pretty good, and will not be bad for the tummy. A plate of green chillies sit on one side, and both B and I look at it longingly. Meanwhile, our Biryanis are placed in front of us, together with the kababs, a plate of salad and a paratha.

Beef Biryani.

The Beef Biryani (60/-) is our choice of poison today, barring C who wants a Chicken Biryani. There are two soft pieces of boneless meat in the fragrant rice, and a large piece of potato. The portion size is generous and we literally fall on it, marveling at the softness of the meat.

Chicken Biryani

C’s Chicken Biryani (100/-) has a nice, big piece of chicken breast which is adequately cooked and tasty. She is pretty happy to eat it solo, breaking the pace with tiny bites of the Beef Kheeri Kabab (76/-) which, nicely put, is actually made from the udders, cut into small pieces and grilled.

Beef Kheeri Kabab

The Kheeri is topped with lightly fried onions and freshly chopped green chillies, and we rummage through our salad to find lemon wedges that is squeezed over the kababs generously, before we attack them with forks and fight over soft pieces of grilled meat.

Beef Kathi Kabab

The Beef Kathi Kabab (68/-) is what B is looking forward to, and she tears off a piece from the paratha, wraps it around a kabab, and pops it in the mouth. She then frowns at the paratha slightly, and continues eating the meat without touching the paratha once.

Paratha

I tear off a side from the paratha, dip it in the beef bhuna gravy, and chew. I understand why B is not interested in the paratha – its too oily, and slightly raw inside. In fact, we all manfully try to eat some of it, but it is the only thing on the table that remains after the meal is over.

Beef Bhuna

The Beef Bhuna is my personal favorite – pieces of soft, boneless beef swimming in a spicy gravy which is perfect with the Biryani. I take huge spoonfuls of the gravy and meat and pour it over my Biryani. The effect is commendable, and I inhale my food within minutes, chomping down slices of of onions that came as part of the salad. Our food is interspersed with long drinks of ice-cold carbonated beverages – in my case, Limca, and Thums Up for the rest.

Carnage.

We all sit back, satisfied, replete, and very very full, and the waiter pops his head to ask if we want anything, handing us paper napkins to wipe our fingers. We not our head and he hands us the bill – INR 514/- for our meal. We all happily pay our shares and walk off, chewing the lovely, sweet paan masala that came with the bill.

Bihar Restaurant 
12-13 and 29-32 SS Hogg Market,
New Market
Kolkata

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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