Golbari special mutton keema

If you live in the Northern part of this 300-odd year old city, are Bengali, and if you are over the age of 15 with sound hearing, then I am going to safely bet you have heard of Golbari. Of course, you can stay in the Southern, Eastern, and other parts of the city too, or you can not live in this city at all and have heard of Golbari, but well, you have to understand the pride which North Kolkatans possess when it comes to Golbari.

And as they proudly say, they have NO BRANCHES. 
So, when, one day, me and a certain food-addict friend (we should call this individual R) decided to venture out on a cold Sunday evening to Gol Bari (also known as New Punjabi Hotel, but no one calls it that), we were going there, expecting a big plate of Mutton Kawsha, the stuff which Gol Bari is famous for. 
However, on our way to the tiny counter, we were sort of … well… we… er… let’s just say, we got distracted. Because as soon as you enter this tiny, very busy place, with service that is so fast that food-filled plates appear before you have been able to finish your order, you would feel cherished and loved. Because its like being with a Bengali mother. Seemingly brusque, but fills you up with love because you know you are treated as one of her own.
People come to Golbari because they think that this teeny tiny joint with tiny footstools and marble counter-top barely able to hold your plates only serves good Mutton Kawsha. 
What they forget, is, there is more to Golbari than that. 
There are other things. 
Which R and I discovered. Well, to be fair, I have discovered earlier, but R found it too! 
Fish Fry. 42/- (I am hoping I am right here. I just might not be. It can be 45/-)
 For example, this tantalizing beauty, a flat fillet of fish coated lovingly in crumb and fried till perfectly crisp, served with a side of sinus-clearing mustard and pickled onions. My friend’s face was a pleasure to watch as he bit into it. And then he closed his eyes, and sighed. 
Fish Chop.
And then came the fish chop. Its 12/- and huge. And filled with nubbins of fish cooked down with spices and breadcrumbs and vegetables, and then coated with crumbs and deep fried. It is unhealthy. But if you are going to associate health with Golbari, then you probably are looking at the wrong place.
At this point, our star of the show appeared. We had foregone the Kawsha and ordered the Mutton Keema.  Rather, the Keema Combo, which comes with a plate of Keema, 2 pieces of bread which is a cross between a roti and a paratha, a dollop of sour, tamarind chutney, and a small huddle of chopped onions, with specks of cucumbers and beetroots in it, that passes off as salad. 
Mutton Keema Plate. 106/- 
An old Bengali obsession, that Salad.
And then there was the Tamarind Chutney. 
Tamarind Chutney
Which was glorious and I was salivating, even before it hit the table, just thinking about it. But the star of this show had to be the Keema.
It was spicy, and I wanted the extra spicy one, so I grabbed the one with that big green chilli on top, so I could munch on it while eating the Keema. It was not too tender or soft. Essentially, this Keema had character. You would have to chew it in, to wring out the flavors, before it becomes sufficiently pliant for you to gulp it down. R thought that the roti/paratha was not enough, and he ordered another fish fry to dip the Keema in and eat. 
Of course, we live like that. We have no respect for our arteries. Lungs. Heart.

You name it. We shame it. 

Because we are amazingly happy like that. 
The bill for this dinner came to somewhere below 300/- (shameful, I know!!) and we were going out when R suggested getting some jal jeera sodas (15/- per bottle) which we drank down to chase the oils down our throat. 
And I leave you with a snap of the crowded Golbari, jam packed at nearly 10 in the night. 
Golbari (New Punjabi Hotel)
Shyambazar 5 mathar more, 
Written by Poorna Banerjee

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  1. poorna banerjee 2013-02-21 at 7:41 am Reply

    Why thank you! Also, I wish you luck in your venture and hope it goes well and you come back from there smelling faintly of onions and cardamom.

  2. Arijit 2013-02-21 at 6:58 am Reply

    I live in Kolkata, and I'm not really a foodie (Oxymoron – I know) so I've had Golbarir mangsho only once. I am currently on a man-diet of whim and low self control and this will go well with it. Destination this weekend: Golbari. Nice blog!

  3. poorna banerjee 2013-02-20 at 9:21 am Reply

    Trust me, they were all the invitation I could handle.

  4. MyWorld 2013-02-20 at 7:39 am Reply

    Oooh this is pure torture!! I should have never seen this at lunch time,when I have only cabbage and roti in my lunch box. Wish I could fly to Kolkata from Bangalore this instant! The fish fry and keema looks soooo inviting…!!

  5. poorna banerjee 2013-02-18 at 9:27 pm Reply


  6. Monidipa 2013-02-18 at 8:19 pm Reply

    Aamio jabo.

  7. poorna banerjee 2013-02-18 at 11:52 am Reply

    Go and eat these, and also the chicken. Divine, I tell you.

  8. poorna banerjee 2013-02-18 at 11:50 am Reply

    😀 hate mails o eshchhe.

  9. poorna banerjee 2013-02-18 at 11:50 am Reply

    If you ever come to Kolkata, then I would be glad to take you out for dinner.

  10. Shainee Chakraborty 2013-02-18 at 8:21 am Reply

    Jeebh diye jol porche 😀

  11. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella 2013-02-18 at 6:45 am Reply

    I would so love to visit India one day and partake of this amazing food! I wish we were having this tonight! 😀

  12. Pout Pretty 2013-02-17 at 9:04 pm Reply

    I'm salivating now! And I have to try that Mutton Keema..in all these yrs have never looked beyond the kosha mangsho. What a shame!

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