When R told me he wanted to eat chaat at Ram Mandir area, I happily agreed to go. But then came the downpour, and when we reached, we saw knee-deep water, and thoughts of water-borne disease, typhoid, cholera and other such things swirled in our heads. We hurriedly took off, and drove the car to College street, because suddenly, all that water was making us thirsty.
(Epic Failure: I forgot to take pictures of the OUTSIDES of both Paramount and Dilkhusha Cabin. I sorry.)
|Cream Green Mango – 40/-|
When I first stepped in Paramount about 11 years ago, I fell in love with a particular drink called “Cream Green Mango”. Containing nothing more than some green mango syrup, ice shards, water and topped with a layer of whipped curd, you are supposed to swirl everything together to get the perfect flavor. 11 years back it was 10/- for a glass. Now, four times the price, and equally satisfying, the glass was the first of two for me.
|Litchi – 40/-|
“Try the litchi flavor,” the smiling owner told us, a man who have known my preferences for the last few years and successfully recommended to me things I loved. Tamarind was his other suggestion. This was equally good. Paramount is one of the oldest sherbet shops of the city, and is possibly the only one still standing. The litchi sherbet was sweet, tart, cold, and thoroughly satisfying. It was originally R’s drink, but after one sip, I sort of took the glass away and ordered him another, jealously guarding mine. He sipped his, and his expression broke out in a smile of relief and happiness, something that his previous choice, the humble “Daaber Sharbat” (young coconut drink) could not do fully.
|Interiors of Dilkhusha Cabin|
We walked down, and it started drizzling lightly. Our destination was Dilkhusha Cabin. I have showed pictures of the Mutton Kasha at Dilkhusha before, but truthfully speaking, you need to really understand why I love it so much. Frequented by Saiyad Mujtaba Ali, Shibram Chakrabarty and many other intellectuals of Bengal, this is the place where I generally go to get my Kabiraji Cutlet cravings sated. As R hates Kabiraji, we settled for Mutton Breast Cutlet, followed by Mutton Kasha and hot rotis straight off the tawa. We noted that the cabins inside were gone, replaced by cheerfully colored walls and sturdy marble tables and chairs. Frankly speaking, I prefer this over the old, dimly lit cabins of Dilkhusha, although the concept of “cabin” gets lost here.
|Mutton Breast Cutlet. I think it was around 40/- or so.|
The menu is slung outside and we were told by the waiter to just go and check and let us know.We really overlooked everything else but the Kasha and Cutlet, so ordered two plates of each, with a Thums Up for R who was still feeling dehydrated. The mutton cutlet came in first. Meat encased in breading, deep fried. Need I say more? It smelled familiar, an old smell of perfectly fried food, of a world beyond calories and diets, and oil and cholesterol. I think my voice let out a little sigh and my eyes rolled back in sheer ecstasy.
|Mutton Kasha. 70/-|
The Mutton Kasha came in next, in all its oily glory. Soft, but not mushy meat pieces, cooked down in an onion-y gravy that begged the pristine purity of rotis to pierce its humble depths, and we savored each spoonful of it, closing our eyes, our tongues rolling around the meat, chewing the soft layers of fat, and sucking on the bones to coax out the last bits of meat. It was an experience that can only happen when you eat with your fingers, your body fully attuned to the flavors, the taste, and the perfection that meat can be.
We wanted to eat more, but at that point, both of us felt like bursting. Our bill came to somewhere around 230, and we gladly paid it, our waiter smiling benignly as we gave him a tip much larger than he expected. Plush with the ecstasy, we walked out of Dilkhusha Cabin, with the moist rainy wind lifting our hair, and our wet fingers moving to our nose to inhale the spicy, lingering fragrance of that perfectly made Mutton, wishing for perseverance and more stomach space.
1D, Bankim Chatterjee Street,
Building 88, MG Road
College St More