|Park Pavilion Kolkata|
When I started off to Park Pavilion, the 24-hour Coffee shop at Jameson Inn (Shiraz Restaurants), I was expecting to meet up with friends to have a chat. Unfortunately, it started raining cats and dogs by the time I started, and I ended up being horribly late, only to find out I was the first one there. However, that was sort of not a bad thing – the chef came over, and I had a lovely time chatting with him, who has been an avid cook from his childhood and is a great guy to talk to!
|Chef Rupam Banik Park Pavilion|
Chef Rupam recommended a number of dishes which are, according to him, the best in the bunch. Born in a family with brothers, his first brush with cooking happened when he was very young, and his mother fell sick for a while. With the help of his brothers, he cooked different dishes to get over the boredom of the same kind of food, and later, realized it was his passion too.
“Many people want biryani. They say it even without looking at the menu. But, we are slowly winning over with different dishes around the world. We serve samples of other dishes, and when they eat it, they want more. We need to make sure that people sees us as a coffee shop which is able to deliver more than just a biryani. And I will present to you some of our favourites from the menu.”
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As he spoke, a cup of strong, well-made cappuccino was placed before me. Being a shameless coffee addict, a good cup of Joe makes me happy, and this did the trick for me. The 24-hour coffee shop in Kolkata has an extensive menu which boasts of Indian, Continental, and several South Asian delicacies. The tandoor is closed at around 11 pm, but other dishes are available round the clock. Plus, coffee. My friend asked for a glass of fresh lime juice as she appeared and plopped down on the plump sofa, exhausted.
|Spaghetti Aglio e Olio|
We started off with a dish of Spaghetti Aglio E Olio – simply done, with a light hint of olive oil which helped bind the garlic and chillies, and a touch of pepper. This dish is served with a bit of extra cheese on the side, for those who like the dish with more cheese. I am not a fan of extra cheese, and my dish of pasta was spiced up on my request, and the result was perfectly cooked strands of pasta tossed with a considerable amount of garlic and red chilli flakes. I would have been happy with a whole plate of this all to myself, but my friend’s longing gaze made me share.
|Chicken Satay Kolkata|
The chicken satay were skewers of soft, well-cooked meat, served with a peanut sauce which was too creamy for my taste. However, the skewers of meat were spicy and quite good all by themselves. Not exactly an authentic version, but the Chef said that this was tasty, and was quite popular with the crowd.
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I personally loved the Tandoori Aloo that my friend selected, with a good amount of peanuts and raisins stuffed inside the scooped out shells of potato before grilling. It was simple, and well-executed. I was smitten.
The piece de resistance of the menu was the Herb-Crusted Prawns which were lightly coated with greens, and served with a thick, coriander pesto. The plump, creamy prawns got a generous drizzle of butter and lemon – enough to make a grown man cry. Within minutes, shells were cracked, meat was carefully extracted from the thin claws, and we had a mountain of shells before us.
Located conveniently, Park Pavilion is a great spot for a quick meal, or a leisurely cup of coffee. I liked the laid back ambiance, and the tasty food, and those who like their biryani fix at any odd hour – you will get that too! Also, if you are paying by American Express card, then you will get a discount as well. At present, the offer is for 15% off on food till 31st October, 2015. You can check a complete list of places here.