Crispy Chicken in Sauce, Fairlawn Hotel

So C is leaving town soon, and I am going to end up missing her, and I don’t think I will see her anytime soon, so yes, my autumn has officially begun on a note of melancholia. But rather than dwelling on that, I am trying to meet her more often, to saturate myself with her, so that I don’t think of her so often. 

But I guess I will end up missing her a lot. 

We were in Sudder Street, because A totally wanted a beer after shopping her heart out, and I wanted to eat something other than a sandwich, and we ended up in Fairlawn’s, because it has a lovely open-air place where you can drink beer and eat mostly oily food. I don’t mind the oil, as long as the food tastes nice, so I ended up ordering a plate of Crispy Chicken with Sauce. Too bad this chicken wasn’t crisp at all – but it did taste nice, with a hot and sweet sauce that was primarily tomato ketchup and soy sauce, I figured. 

We had also ordered a Kingfisher Light, and was pouring it into our mugs when the man sitting in the table next to us turned and started to talk. He introduced himself briefly and started chatting. Frankly speaking, we weren’t too keen on talking to him, because, well, here we are, three women who just want to have something to drink in peace (and in my case, eat in peace), but he looked so damn lonely that we decided to take pity on him. Turns out, the guy is a courier service deliverer, and he works maybe for one or two years, and then travels around for a year or so.

“It’s kind of sad, you know. I don’t have a house, or much money. Maybe I will borrow from my sister next year before traveling.”

I was slightly in awe of him. Here is a guy, mid to end-fifties, who’s been traveling all over the world and taking breaks, and can borrow money from his sister to fund his travels. I also envied the cool Seiko 5Actus he had bought, secondhand, for 1200/-. Damn, that watch was a total bargain!  

However, interesting or no, we were getting slightly irritated by him, especially because we had thought of spending some “us time” and did not really want a third wheel there. But, despite a few hints, he did not budge, and well, then made a comment which sort of made our hackles rise, because it was both unwanted and patronizing. Slightly annoyed, we decided to move, bought a lovely bag, and ended up in Gariahat. 

Chicken Cutlet in Campari

I was craving the chicken cutlet from Campari. They make a beautiful version, filled with bits of chicken, and with, curiously enough, a mutton rib sticking out of it (I have no idea why they do that!). The crumbed cutlet was piping hot, and I made C pose with it while I photographed it, and then rapidly wolfed down. A got some Jhalmuri from the guy who sat opposite Kimbadanti, and had a blissful expression on her face while we bargained down ear cuffs and long danglers. 

I came back home and made one more batch of my current obsession – the Bao. I am slowly learning the art of pleating, and though nowhere near perfect, the bao dough tasted absolutely like the ones I have had in the Chinese Breakfast in Tiretty Bazaar. But well, my attempt is, at best, PATHETIC.

Bao in Tiretty Bazaar, Kolkata

This is how a Bao looks like in Tiretty Bazaar. It contained pork, in case you are wondering.

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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