Tea & Lassi – My Personal Favourite Beverages at Sharma Tea House at Bhowanipore, Kolkata

‘Cha khabe?’

Bengali eat their tea if not drink. Kolkata is known for the Bengalis’ love for Cha. That is why I requested my Kolkata Bengali friend – Let us visit one of the best tea joints in South Kolkata near Kalighat – where I was staying.

Sharma Tea House (almost 50 years old), opposite Gurdwara Sant Kutiya at Bhowanipore – He suggested.

Ashok Sharma (from Etawah, Uttar Pradesh) is the owner.

More than 4,000 Google reviews – I checked.

Evening hours. We reached within 20 minutes via Metro.

Rabindra Sadan is the nearest Metro Station to reach Sharma Tea House – within walking distance.

The friend said – Sharma Tea House is the tea-lovers ultimate renowned paradise in South Kolkata. One of the not-to-miss places in South Kolkata. Best place for tea – any time. They are open from early morning till late at night.

So true. I saw pedestrians, bikers, and motorists having a cup of tea in eco-friendly earthen cups (Kulhad). Though, there are no seating arrangements but still a crowded Tea House. A clear indication of its popularity in South Kolkata.

I enquire about the types of tea available and their prices.

There are two types of tea available – Normal Tea and Kesar (saffron) Tea.

Normal Tea – Rs. 10, Rs. 20 and Rs. 30 as per the size of the earthen cup you select.

Kesar Tea – Rs. 40, Rs. 50 and Rs. 60 again as per the size of the earthen cup you select.

As the weather was humid & hot, we requested 2 earthen cups of normal tea.

The tea – Awesome! Excellent! I agree – one of the best Tea Houses in South Kolkata. Their tea is worth trying.

Timings: 4:30 am – 9:30 pm

What else popular items do you serve? – I question the person present at the cash counter.

Club Kachori & Lassi.

Club Kachori is served from 5:00 am till 10:30 am and on weekends & Sundays it is served till 12 Noon.

What’s the price for lassi – I enquired eagerly.

Rs. 50 and Rs. 100 as per the size of the earthen cup you select.

Another day, we reached Sharma Tea House again. This time we requested Rs. 50 lassi.

The lassi was freshly made, luscious, thick with cream on top served in an earthen cup.

A mini-meal almost. Palatable & refreshing.

In short, Sharma Tea House is too good for light refreshments but the trademark is Chai – the highlight of this tea house. You should not miss this tea house if you are a tourist, especially in South Kolkata. Must try. It was a nice hangout. One of the best locations to have a great time with friends or family. Even during rush hours, the service is really quick.

Recommended at least once for an experience. This place is truly a gem & pocket-friendly. The journey continues..

Hair Dye/Colour – How much I Paid and Saved at a Salon in Mumbai Suburban?

Today was the time for Hair Color but not via Inoa by L’Oréal Professionnel (ammonia-free) or via Garnier Black Naturals Hair Color (NO Ammonia).

Today, I opt for Godrej New Expert Natural Black Creme Hair Colour (no ammonia).

The reason: A new brand experiment and to cut my salon expenses.

Actually, a few days back, I was waiting at an air-conditioned salon for a clean shave, I saw a person having his hair color dye via Godrej New Expert Natural Black Creme Hair Colour.

I enquire with the barber – How much charges for the hair color via Godrej New Expert Natural Black Creme Hair Colour?

200 Rupees if you bring your own Godrej New Expert Natural Black Creme Hair Colour which costs 33 Rupees only.

Fantastic. Not expensive – said I.

Hair coloring via Inoa by L’Oréal Professionnel (ammonia-free), I used to pay Rs. 500 and via Garnier Black Naturals Hair Color (NO Ammonia) – Rs. 300. Hair Shampoo charges – Rs. 100 extra before/after the hair color.

And how long does hair color last?

One month.

Let’s try – Godrej’s New Expert Natural Black Creme Hair Colour (no ammonia).

The final result?

Fantastic coloring. And the barber applied Hair Shampoo too without any extra cost.

How long does hair color will last? – I question the barber.

One month – the reply.

Let’s see – a thought.

And total Rs. 233 only.

They say – there may be side effects on the scalp because of hair dye/color such as skin irritation or redness or itching or swelling but, to be honest, I never had any such issues while using Inoa by L’Oréal Professionnel (ammonia-free) or Garnier Black Naturals Hair Color (NO Ammonia) or Godrej’s New Expert Natural Black Creme Hair Colour (no ammonia).

I was happy. At least Rs. 167 minimum, I saved today. The journey continues..

Have You Ever Eaten Kabiraji at Radhu Babu’s Tea Shop (since 90 years) in Kolkata?

Evening time, I was a little hungry.

Bubble Beds – Backpacker’s Hostel in South Kolkata – where I stayed, had the option of a self-service kitchen but I was thinking of local authentic snacks & tea.

I discussed this with a local friend.

Radhu Babu at Janak Road, Lake Market – one of the Oldest, Heritage, Authentic, Traditional Bengali cafes in the City of Joy for quick bites. You will have a Kolkata flavor there. A popular joint to have tea & veg./non veg. snacks – The suggestion.

Fantastic – said I.

I searched Google. It was on Google Maps as Radhu Babu’s Tea Shop.

I followed Google Maps Directions and within 10 minutes I reached the destination.

Good location. Nothing fancy. A small cafe with unpretentious simplicity. Limited sitting arrangement. Plastic stools are placed on the footpath. The separate menu for morning and evening is displayed on the wall as follows:

Morning Items (in Rs.):
Tea – 8.00
Biscuits (Britannia Thin) – 1.00
Butter Toast per Slice – 15.00
Plain Toast per Slice – 8.00
Omelet/Poch (Single Egg) – 17.00

Evening Items (in Rs.):
Mutton Korma (1 pc) – 95.00
Mutton Stew (4 pcs) – 95.00
Mutton Cutlet (Kabiraji) – 65.00
Mutton Chop – 25.00
Chicken Korma (Per Qtr.) 1 pc – 80.00
Chicken Stew (Half) – 110.00
Chicken Roast (Half) – 110.00
Chicken Cutlet (Kabiraji) – 60.00
Fish Fry (Kabiraji) – 60.00
Fish Finger (4 pcs) – 70.00
Fish Chop – 25.00
Prawn Cutlet (Kabiraji) – 75.00
Vegetable Chop – 18.00
Tea – 8.00
Biscuits (Britannia Thin) – 1.00
Plain Toast per Slice – 8.00
Special Fish Fry – 75.00
Special Chicken Cutlet – 70.00

What to have – a thought.

Chicken Cutlet (Kabiraji), 2 Biscuits, and a cup of steaming tea – The request.

Attentive & Quick service with a smile.

The Tea is awesome and the Chicken Cutlet (Kabiraji) – Lip-licking, mouth-watering, sumptuous, remarkable & unbeatable.

Chicken Cutlet (Kabiraji) – Had the very first time. A superlative, authentic experience. And the price – very reasonable.

Radhu Babu’s Tea Shop is the perfect place for chitchat/chill-out with/out friends while having snacks & tea.

Timings: 6:00 am – 10:00 am/4:00 pm – 8:00 pm (7 days open) except 1/2 day in Holi – festival of colors and Dussehra.

No doubt will recommend it. One of the best places to have breakfast & evening veg./non veg. snacks.

But the million-dollar question was: What is Kabiraji?

I question my local friend and the reply is as follows:

Kabiraji is not a regular cutlet. It is an Eastern India non-vegetarian dish made of mutton or chicken or fish or prawn wrapped in a coating of beaten egg yolks and fried till it is crispy.

Another popular belief is that the fish fry wrapped in a coating of beaten egg yolks was the favorite of West Bengal’s iconic King of Poets – Kaviraj Rabindranath Tagore (Nobel Prize in Literature 1913), thus, cutlet named as Kabiraji.

Knowledge enhanced. Thank you, my dear friend – said I.

Radhu Babu’s Tea Shop – a hidden gem in Kolkata is 90 years old cafe, currently run by Satya Dutt – grandson of Radhu Babu. The cafe is visited by numerous luminaries and eminent personalities.

One should visit at least once. It is easy on one’s pocket and stomach with delicious taste.

Maybe if I visit Kolkata again, will visit this cafe again. Now one of my favorite cafes. The journey continues..