Chelo Kabab. Peter Cat.

Admit it.

Admit it.

You thought – “Chelo Kabab. Peter Cat. Oh.”

Ho Hum. Right?

Same old same old.

But this is a different thing, you know.

Photo Courtesy +Saptarshi Chakraborty  and +Insiya Poonawala  because clearly I am a dumb idiot who forgot to take pictures.

Because today, I am going to talk about a couple of unsung heroes of Peter Cat.

And yes, I am betting that 9 out of the 10 Peter Cat visitors do not know about the following things that I will presently describe on this blog post. Because they have been guilty of eating Chelo Kabab and Hamburger Steak Sizzler or Roast Chicken Sizzler or Mixed Grill (non veg). All of them, I feel, are heavily overrated, and most of the times filled with lumps of tough chicken or chewy seekh kabab, or, God forbid, icky, half-cooked meat.

Or, like my friend D, who was captured by the lump of butter. Which, btw, most of the times, does not melt, although its there, right there on top of the rice. There must be a mystery writer thinking of a new mystery somewhere in this city, about the Case of the Unmelted Butter.

D Entranced by a lump of butter on rice.

But then we were walking all over Park Street the other day, and I was hungry and so were other people in my group, so around 3.30 p.m. a hoard of hungry barbarians decided to enter and demand food and something chilled to ward off the sudden, muggy heat, of course, which was all expected, but still unwelcome. Severe hunger pangs were then duly satisfied by tucking into a couple of the onions doused with vinegar, and a sudden flaring of the eyes suggest that the onions weren’t soaked in vinegar enough – they still possessed a sinus-clearing quality to them.

This is expensive now!

Our server then took down the dishes we wanted, but for me and a friend, he added a few other things. B raised a brow, stared at me for a second while I rattled off my order to a server who smiled indulgently at me, and then, suddenly, he relaxed back with a beer mug filled with froth and Foster’s, clearly thinking that the sizzler was the better option for him.

Of course, it also might have been the fact that I, quite frankly, had opined previously that I did not want to share my main course at all, because I love it to no end. But then again, I am weird and possessive like that. On one corner, a beautiful lady sits and chats with a local. Dashes of conversation hit my ear, and I get distracted for a few minutes before B deliberately decides to bring me back to earth, namely, to the other members of the table. R waits eagerly for the meal – her appetite whetted with the Phuchka we had consumed at Russel Street some time back.

Fried Chicken Liver

My main course arrives first. Deliciously soft yet with a slightly crisped exterior, sinfully sweet, fried chicken liver is something I can order and eat alone. No, sorry, this is personal, and marauding forks will not be indulged with a bite of what I clearly consider to be food of the Gods. Mortals are not included here, especially those who have never progressed beyond the boring sizzlers.

Close Up.

The Fish Makhmali Kabab comes in next – five pieces of petal-soft Kolkata Bhetki, marinated in a light blend of yogurt, spices and herbs, and then gently grilled. The fish is bound to disintegrate on your palate, and it does. L and R stares at my face, twin expression of wonder clearly written on theirs. I smile smugly, and relax with my meal, staring into space and snatched conversation while the world floats by.

Sizzling noise is all around us, indicating other tables that had ordered the same. Our table had too, but L decides on the Vegetarian Mixed Grill Sizzler, which is the only thing of interest. It consists of piece of stuffed potato, a mound of chhana and numerous other vegetables (including a halved tomato) covered with a very North Indian gravy on a sizzler plate. However, after I ate a third of the food ordered by L, I declared it was not half bad, though. In fact, I would eat that again. If I decide to turn vegetarian.

Mixed Grill (Vegetarian) Sizzler.

Which, I think, dear readers, should be NEVER.

So tell me, if you are familiar with Peter Cat, what is your favorite thing to order there?
Peter Cat
18A Park St.
Kolkata 
Written by Poorna Banerjee

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