The urge to make a post just after eating rarely appeals to me. I generally like pondering over food, remembering the taste, and blog about those that stick to my memory. However, this time I am tempted to write a post right off the bat, and introduce you to one of the lesser-known but loved much joints which I love. This post is dedicated to D, one of my favorite food partner and a fabulous friend. Without her, this post would not have been possible, because only she can come up with an excuse for me to be around Metro Plaza at around 3.30 in the afternoon.
THE SCENE: One frantic me trying to locate one frantic D on the vast stretch of Theater Road. Once located, we planned to have something light and boiled, preferably Thukpa or something similar, from Buzz, since I knew that the other favorite place of ours nearby would be closed from 4.00 to 5.00 p.m.
We walk down the road known as Little Russel Street to Buzz, and stop, because what appeared to be open 2 minutes ago has suddenly lowered its hatch half mast, declaring a temporary peace-time.
Closed. In short.
Dejected, we were thinking of eating rolls, while suddenly I looked to my right, and saw that it was a small Mughlai food joint. I looked up, and my eyes widened as the familiar sign “Saima” was seen.
I have been a fan of Saima for a long time. Ever since I was a wee lassie of 18, on one of my first forays to British Council, as soon as I would walk over to Exide metro, an enticing smell of Biryani and Roll would call me. And well, I would succumb. Saima. This little tiny place which had a very shabby look to it but the Biryani was quite alright. However, this place specialized in making superb rolls, and two things that always stood out from the menu for me were the Chicken Chap, and the Chicken Liver.
We entered this much larger version of Saima and headed over to the AC Section. We sat down, the waiter promptly arrived and gave us two menu cards and asked whether we wanted regular or mineral water. We opted for regular water and a Diet Pepsi each, and within a minute, the waiter was back to take our orders.
Immediately I asked whether they had chicken liver. Waiter looked at me with a pair of sympathetic eyes, and said, he would check. He came back and said, “Sorry, all gone” and I realized that it would be the Chap after all.
We ordered two plates of the Chicken Chap, and Rumali Rooti (I have realized that I have no patience for people who do not like rumali rooti with chicken chap) and within another couple of minutes the food was right in front of us.
After taking one hasty picture, I began eating.
Okay, so here was a gravy which was quite oily, but given the amount of oil the Chicken Chap in Kolkata generally seem to have, this was way less than that, and I was in love with the mildly spiced Chap, which unlike the other heavier version was a perfect accompaniment to the light and warm roomali rooti. We dug in, scraped every scrap clean, and licked the chicken off the bones. The chicken piece that I received was perfectly tender, and I smiled at the beauty of a well-executed dish.
Halfway through our meal a huge group of people came in and ordered virtually a truckload of food. However, to my utter surprise, the waiter brought everything in within five minutes of placing an order, including crisp and warm tandoori rotis which the men on the other table absolutely loved, and tore and dunked in their Mutton. If I was not so full I would have salivated.
And yes, our fabulous lunch cost us 172 INR total, and we totally tipped the waiter for his swiftness.
8/1A, Little Russel Street, Near British High Commission, Kolkata