Ta’aam is the city’s newest addition to the Mughal-Frontier cuisine segment. So the other day, D and I were walking down Rashbehari Avenue, and I was thinking of going to a place other than where we generally go. At that moment, D had a bright idea and we headed over to Ta’aam. As I was not prepared to blog, I apologize for the quality of the pictures taken on a camera phone (Thankyou D!).

Truthfully speaking, I was not expecting much out of the experience. I am fond of Mughlai food, but I am a sucker for certain places and I rarely look at other joints. However, I am so glad I did go in.

Before I begin, I want to add an update from my friend  claimed that he had the basic Fish Tikka here and it was amazingly moist and tasty. I will add his two cents on the Biryani when we come to it. For now, lets move on to the decor inside. I liked it instantly. Its brightly lit, very nicely and neatly decorated, and has a welcoming feel to it. Generally I do not take too easily to any place, but this one I liked. Our server was fluent in words and extremely helpful, and he did tell us that there were a few things on the menu that were not available, but also asked us to keep our options open.

We were seated at a sofa and I settled back. The server moved away after filling up our water glasses and giving us the menu cards. I was really interested to see Brain Masala and Liver Masala on daily special option, and Nargisi Kofta in the main course menu. After a lot of hmms and hooms, we came to the decision of taking the Dahi Ke Kabab and the Chicken Kasturi Kabab for starters with their extensive list of funny-sounding nonalcoholic drinks. I liked the sound of Marine Delight (Rose syrup, Khus (Vetiver) syrup, lime, soda and ice) and ordered it (85/-). D stuck to her slightly sweet salty Fresh Lime Soda (50/-) though the server told her to try one of the mixed nonalcoholic drinks, with the tempting offer of not being charged if she did not like it.

D’s Fresh Lime Soda in the background and my Marine Delight in the foreground)

When our server came back to take our starter order and he brought our drinks, I was informed that the Kasturi Kabab would not be available, so we ordered the Dahi Ke Kabab (150/-) and the Mutton Boti Kabab (175/-) instead. D is not much a fan of the mutton, but she said she would be a sport and grin and bear it.

I took one sip of my Marine Delight (though I have no clue what’s marine in rose, khus and lime) and I broke into a smile. It was everything I was hoping for. Smelling strongly of Khus and Rose (people, if you don’t like these weird smells, STAY AWAY from this one), this had the slight tangy undertone of lime and the right amount of ice cubes to keep everything cool but not drown the effort. D gave a thumbs up to her drink, which was tasty.

I was happily sipping down the concoction, when my first starter arrived within 5-6 minutes of placing the order. This was where I was impressed. They served food in succession and very efficiently.

Dahi Ke Kabab (150/-)

The Dahi Ke Kabab arrived as two logs that were divided into four or five pieces each, topped with some freshly cut onions and carrots and two wedges of lime. A curd chutney was sitting at the center. We looked slightly apprehensively at it as the waiter served us, but then, took a bite of the seemingly small portion.

And oh yes, this was what I was talking about. I was expecting something else, but this turned out to be a conglomeration of flavors which seriously cannot be explained…. the spices were subtle but present, the curd chutney adding the right amount of sweet tang to it, and the onions adding a hint of crunch. The creator of this dish deserves a standing ovation for making this Kabab. 
Off to a flying start, I enthusiastically sipped my drink as the next arrival appeared. 
Mutton Boti Kabab (175/-)
The mutton Boti Kabab came covered in chunks of onions and green bell peppers, and a wedge of lime and mint chutney accompanied it. There were five pieces, and we were both served 2 pieces each, with one piece remaining on the bowl. Here came the hilarious drama. D, who is generally not a fan of mutton, took one bite, looked at me, and purloined the last piece even before I had had a chance to protest or take a bite of my kabab. 
Then I took a bite.
And I realized why she had done it.
See, in Kolkata, a good boti is very difficult to get. People generally make it too dry and chewy. This one needed no help to melt down on your mouth and create a taste which can be only called… well… Let me just say that it was enough to make me feel that moment of sheer bliss that the French call “the little death”. 
We looked at each other’s faces. We grinned. 
It was that good. 
Then came the real test. 
We ordered a Double Chicken Biryani (230/-). 
There are so many ways you can mess up a Biryani. Our Biryani came within 5 minutes of placing an order (D was considering ordering us another Kabab, I wanted the Nargisi Kofta, but we both took one look at the table next to us, and we ordered the double). 
Chicken Biryani – Double Size (230/-)
With two generous pieces of chicken, two pieces of potato, a mound of thin and long Basmati rice and TWO EGGS (okay, yes, sucker!) the Chicken Biryani came covered with lashings of caramelized onions. We took a bite, and told ourselves that we have found a place we can totally come back to.
This is totally worth coming back to. 
The Biryani was made in Kolkata style, perfect aromatic cooked rice, with soft pieces of chicken, soft, buttery potatoes and an aalubokhra hiding here and there. I polished off the last of the rice, scraped it out of the platter, and used my fingers to polish off the last bits of meat from the bones. 
Here I will add R’s two cents – he had packed it for home, and it came in a canister. He thought he had had a food-gasm after eating it. And he doesn’t even like Kolkata Biryani. 
We polished off the Biryani within a few minutes, and D wanted Shahi Tukda but they did not have it. Okay
Though the place has a few hitches (like, there are things listed which are not available), the service is impeccable, and the bill for the two of us, for all this, came to 784/- 
We were two exceptionally happy campers when we left. I’ll be back, Ta’aam. Please don’t change. 
Written by Poorna Banerjee

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  1. Anonymous 2012-10-31 at 6:59 pm Reply


  2. poorna banerjee 2012-10-09 at 6:03 pm Reply

    thik achhe kitty.

  3. Monidipa 2012-10-09 at 11:00 am Reply

    I MISS Kolkata biryani! Take me here in winter, when I come home.

  4. poorna banerjee 2012-10-07 at 3:10 pm Reply

    Ei you no call me today. Amar ajke tor number theke kono calls asheni.

  5. Saptarshi Chakraborty 2012-10-07 at 2:34 pm Reply

    I called Kaichu and you today, but you guys don't take my calls anymore.

  6. poorna banerjee 2012-10-07 at 9:17 am Reply

    Pout Pretty and Saptarshi – this is right beside Priya Cinema.

    Kaichu – we should go.

    RA – I know you do, but you were the one who triggered off the idea that my accuracy about the place was quite correct.

  7. Roadside Rendezvous 2012-10-07 at 4:06 am Reply

    I HATE U …. sot sokale u gave me biriyani craving… when i had it last night only that too some the same place….

    one visit is not enough for this place….

  8. Saptarshi Chakraborty 2012-10-07 at 3:22 am Reply

    Very good discovery, Panu! I am considering going today. Where on Rashbehari Avenue is this?

  9. kaichu 2012-10-06 at 10:14 pm Reply

    Oooooooh YUM.

  10. Pout Pretty 2012-10-06 at 9:23 pm Reply

    Address please..need to have that biryani!

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