1 Sept 2013

Best Restaurants in Kolkata

Capital of West Bengal, Kolkata is one of the busiest cities of the country. Located on the east bank of river Hooghly, it is the oldest operating port of East India making it a vital trading centre and a hub of commerce, culture, education and industry. Covering an area of 185 square kilometers, Kolkata has an extensive transport system including a tram line and the Kolkata Suburban Railway. It is also the centre for the growth of the Bengali film industry as well as Bengali Literature. The city is famous for its exclusive expertise in seafood and traditional Bengali dishes and sweets.

Known as the “cultural capital of India”, Kolkata has produced world famous film makers, poets, artists and songwriters. The National Library of India prides itself in preserving the works of visionaries like Satyajit Ray, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Ram Mohan Roy and Swami Vivekananda. In addition, the Victoria Memorial has documented the history of the city. Social circles in Kolkata are formed on the basis of closely knit neighbourhoods known as paras and intellectual exchange among members of same socio-economic statuses known as addas.

Some tourist spots of the city are the Howrah Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Vidyasagar Bridge and the  Shaheed Minar or Ochterlony Monument. Known as the “City of Palaces”, Kolkata has some of the finest memorials and architectural monuments of the country. Statues of  Sir James Outram,  Rabindranath Tagore,  Karl Marx, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose are honoured at different locations. Some historical hotels are conventional to the city’s heritage. The Great Eastern Hotel has a tale attached to its sense of Orientalism and eastern tradition. The Grand Hotel, that began humbly is now a sophisticated mansion that caters to the needs of high end tourists.  

The 4.5 million residents of the city are found to celebrate Bengali culture in grand occasions like Durga Pooja and Navratri. Bengali sweets are made in large numbers during such festivals. Every Bengali restaurant has an array of desserts including Rasgulla, Cham Cham, Sandesh, Mishti Doi and Rasmalai. Bengali cuisine has gained widespread popularity all over the world and remains an integral part of the tradition in Kolkata.

A Bengali meal is characterized by the use of aromatic spices, savouries and sweets. Rice with fish curry or Macher Jhol is the most popular Bengali dish. The food in Kolkata has extensive flavour with a tinge of tamarind and sweet. A full course meal consists of a starter, Shak (leafy vegetables), Dal with roti, two main courses of fish gravy along with other items, chutney and dessert. Most of the dishes are infused with spices, gravy and mouth watering flavour.

Visiting Kolkata should be in one’s Bucket List at least for the food. Kolkata has a tropical wet and dry climate with hot and humid summers. Monsoon brings heavy rains and thunderstorms. The best time to visit is from October to February when the weather is more pleasant and suitable for tourists.  Kolkata flights are plenty in number and transport people both within the country and internationally.