Mohan Bhandar (Kolkata) – The Famous Snacks/Sweets/Tea Outlet Since 1925 Where The Movie ‘Piku’ was Shot

Mohan Bhandar (Esplanade, Kolkata, India) with Photo of Superstar Amitabh BachchanMohan Bhandar (Esplanade, Kolkata, India) Price ListThe Telegraph (metro) Article on Amitabh Bachchan Visit to KolkataNewspapers Articles on Amitabh Bachchan Visit to KolkataMohan Bhandar at SN Banerjee Road, Opposite Regal Cinema & Bar was established by Mohanlal Saha in the year 1925.

It is famous for Hinger (asafoetida) Kachuri – with green chill and aloo sabzi/chatni, Singhara, Cold Lassi & Sweets.

It is the same place where Indian Film Actor – Amitabh Bachchan visited on a bicycle to buy kachoris & Jalebis in the movie ‘Piku’ – directed by Shoojit Sircar. Photo and newspapers articles about Amitabh Bachchan visit are pasted on the shop’s walls as their proud guest.

Timings: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm (Closed on Holi – festival of colors)

Nearest Metro Station: Esplanade

As we were coming from Dacres Lane after having Egg Devil and Chicken Stew with butter-toast at Chitto Babur Dokan, we at Mohan Bhandar only had Singhara which was awesome in taste.

You – The readers should also visit once if you are going to the Esplanade area. The journey continues…

Maharaj – One of The Best Tea/Snacks Joints in South Kolkata

Workers Preparing Snacks at Maharaj Tea & Snacks (Kalighat, Kolkata, India)Maharaj Tea & Snacks (Kalighat, Kolkata, India) Price ListA Cook Making Kachoris at Maharaj Tea & Snacks (Kalighat, Kolkata, India)Worker Pouring Tea at Maharaj Tea & Snacks (Kalighat, Kolkata, India)Hing Kachori with Aloo Tarkari at Maharaj Tea & Snacks (Kalighat, Kolkata, India)Maharaj Tea & Snacks is situated opposite Monalisa Guest House (Vidya Balan – Indian Actress Kahaani movie was shot here) at Sarat Bose Road, Lake Market, Kalighat, Kolkata.

Vinod Prasad – the current owner’s grandfather established this tea & snacks outlet more than 50 years ago.

They are originally from Muzaffarpur, Bihar.

Timings: 7:00 am – 12 Noon / 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm (Holi, festival of colors – closed).

We had Hing (asafoetida) Kachori, Jalebi, and Kesar Chai (served in a clay pot).

The piping hot Hing kachori along with Aloo Tarkari were lip-smacking.

Impeccable taste, scrumptious with excellent quality.

The tea within the clay pot was refreshing and too good.

Polite staff. The service – fast. The cost – super cheap. Great to be here.

In short, Maharaj is a treat for kachori lovers. Good place for a quick bite at a reasonable price. One of the best street food centers of South Kolkata. Maybe one of the best Kachori with Aloo Tarkari and Tea sellers in the city. A perfect iconic crowded place to have delicious snacks with varieties of tea. Highly recommended at least once.

It accepts Paytm and even delivers via Swiggy.

If you are in Kolkata and have not visited Maharaj – you have missed something. A must-visit outlet for all foodies.

Maharaj – a nice place to have snacks & tea with family and friends.

I personally would love to visit Maharaj again & again. The journey continues…

Hotel Tarun Niketan – One of The Best Pice Hotels in South Kolkata Since 1915

Parno Mittra - An Indian Actress at Hotel Tarun Niketan (Kolkata, India)Kolkata is one city, where there is no dearth of good street food and restaurants.

Hotel Tarun Niketan is one of them but it is not a restaurant but a pice hotel.

Nearest Metro Station – Kalighat.

There were three reasons to visit Hotel Tarun Niketan.

  1. One of the oldest pice hotels in Kolkata – since 106 years.
  2. It was close to Bubble Beds – Backpackers Hostel in Kolkata.
  3. Imtiaz Ali – an Indian film director visited this hotel to try out their curries.

Hotel Tarun Niketan is established by Deenbandho Deb.

Arun Deb is the current owner.

The question arising within was – What is pice hotel?

The owner, Arun Deb of Tarun Niketan enhanced knowledge as follows:

Pice means – every food item is individually priced whether it is rice, dal, alu bhaja, chicken, duck eggs curry, gandharaj lemon, etc., or even the banana leaf where the food is served.

Timings: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm / 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm (closed on Holi -festival of colors).

Once you enter the hotel and had a seat, one person comes and puts on the banana (plantain) leaf, the salt, and the gandharaj lemon slice. Next, the person taking your order will place whatever is available hot for the day.

We were two. We requested – Rice, Moog Dal, Alu Bhaja, Chicken, and Egg Curry.Rice, Moong Dal, Egg Curry, Aloo Bhaja and Gandharaj Lemon at Hotel Tarun Niketan (Kolkata, India)The chicken curry and moong dal were just perfect in terms of texture, flavor, and taste.

In totality, The food was absolutely basic, soul-filling, non-spicy, and succulent.

Loved the clean ambiance. Very cordial hospitality. One of the oldest and best pice hotels in South Kolkata – no doubt.

Was my stomach upset?

No.

How much amount did I pay for 2 people meal at Hotel Tarun Niketan?

Rs. 244 only.

In short, an age-old pice hotel, serving good quality traditional home-style Bengali cuisines at affordable prices.

Interiors are simple. The tables are wooden, marble and chairs – plastic.

The menu (lots of varieties especially fish) – handwritten via chalk in the Bengali language.

Chalkboard Menu at Hotel Tarun Niketan (Kolkata, India)Menu Board at Hotel Tarun Niketan (Kolkata, India)Like me, if you are unable to read the Bengali language, talk to the owner or the waiter about the menu available for the day.

Note: Their dishes have no onions, no garlic except fish, meat, and egg preparations.

No Onion, No Garlic - Notice Board at Hotel Tarun Niketan (Kolkata, India)You can see several newspaper cuttings pasted on the walls, bearing the name & review of this pice hotel.Article About Hotel Tarun Niketan by Kolkata on WheelsArticle in Bengali Language About Hotel Tarun Niketan (Kolkata, India)Newspapers Articles About Hotel Tarun Niketan (Kolkata, India)Newspaper Article About Hotel Tarun Niketan (Kolkata, India)Article About Hotel Tarun Niketan (Kolkata, India) Overall, it’s a good experience. Recommended at least for once for sure. One of the best value for money. A simple dining place for Bengalis and Non-Bengalis for budget lunch/dinner reminds of a by-gone era.

Hotel Tarun Niketan is Kolkata’s heritage for sure. The journey continues…

Eau Chew: 85/86-Year-Old Authentic, Traditional Chinese Family Run Restaurant in Kolkata

As per internet search results – Eau Chew, Kolkata’s one of the/maybe the oldest, traditional family-owned & run Chinese restaurants recently received the Culinary Heritage Award by INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage).

My Kolkata friend and I decided to visit following Google maps.

Nearest Metro Station: Chadni Chowk

Eau Chew Restaurant is 5-7 minutes walking distance from Chadni Chowk metro station situated opposite Bank of India (right-side) and on 1st floor just behind a closed petrol pump (left-side).

Timings: 12 noon – 3 pm / 6 pm – 10 pm

Sunday morning & Monday evening the restaurant was closed earlier but since lockdown, there are no holidays.

What is the meaning of Eau Chew? – I question Joel Huang (born and brought up in India).

Europe.

As there were Britishers around here during the pre-independence era, about 85-86 years back, my great grandparent (originally from China) opened this restaurant and named it Eau Chew.

My grandfather, my father, and I was born in India. I am the fourth generation.

What is Josephine Noodles? – another query.

It is noodles in the name of my mother – Josephine.

One day a customer, Deep Roy Chowdhury, about 15-20 years back, visited our restaurant and requested noodles. My mother made it and it was very much liked by Deep da and he named it Josephine noodles. That’s how it gets the name.

What are Eau Chew’s signature dishes?

Chimney Soup, Clear Soup are our signature dishes since starting days of the restaurant. And also Josephine Noodles.

We don’t make Indian-Chinese food. It’s not an Indianised Chinese restaurant. We make Authentic Traditional Chinese Food. Nowadays my mother, my wife and I take care of this restaurant. Mother and I prepare meals for customers. Hence, you can rest assured about the food quality. We don’t employ any cook. Last year we received a Heritage tag from INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage – Calcutta & West Bengal Chapters)

We don’t do home deliveries.

Thank you Joel for enhancing our knowledge. Thank again.

And we requested Josephine Noodles (Rs. 550) and 1/2 plate Garlic Chicken (Rs. 270 – 6 pcs.)

Authentic and flavourful Chinese dishes. Homely food – almost.

Josephine noodles – Good-sized prawns & veggies are the main attractions including noodles.

Please Note: Order very carefully because we were only two and the dishes were sufficient to satiate our hunger.

And If you ever want to taste authentic Chinese cuisine at the heart of Kolkata, you may visit Eau Chew.

It was a nice experience. The ambience is good and the food quality is sumptuous and it was not spicy and less salty.

The staff is courteous. Cleanliness maintained. The owner is friendly.

In short, it is an air-conditioned hidden gem. If again I visit Kolkata, I would definitely visit Eau Chew to taste other dishes.

Cost: I would say Rs 1,000 for two people. If you share your order Rs. 15 will be extra charged. The journey continues..

Laxmi Narayan Shaw & Sons (since 1918) – Netaji’s favourite Telebhaja Shop in Kolkata

Menu of Laxmi Narayan Shaw & Sons (Bidhan Sarani, Kolkata, India)Dainik Jagran (West Bengal) Article on Laxmi Narayan Shaw & Sons (Bidhan Sarani, Kolkata, India)The Telegraph (North Calcutta, India) Article on Laxmi Narayan Shaw & SonsThe Statesman (Kolkata, India) Article on Laxmi Narayan Shaw & SonsWeekend Article on Laxmi Narayan Shaw & Sons (Bidhan Sarani, Kolkata, India)Famous Visitors to Laxmi Narayan Shaw & Sons (Bidhan Sarani, Kolkata, India)Famous Visitors of Laxmi Narayan Shaw & Sons (Bidhan Sarani, Kolkata, India)Nearest Metro Station: Shovabazar Sutanuti

After visiting Swami Vivekananda’s Ancestral House, we reached nearby Laxmi Narayan Shaw & Sons.

Upon request to enhance our knowledge about this historic shop, Keshto Kumar Gupta – the current owner narrated the history as follows:

Khedu Shaw – Grandfather was originally from Gaya (Bihar), opened this shop in 1918 in the name of his son Laxmi Narayan Shaw.

Khedu Shaw used to supply telebhajas (fritters) and tea in the secret meetings of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose during the pre-independence era.

Telebhaja is a crispy, salty, finger-licking Bengali morning/evening snack consisting of potato, onion, vegetables, coated in gram flour batter, and then deep-fried in oil, best eaten with puffed rice.

Telebhaja was Netaji’s favorite. Netaji studied at Scottish Church College. While returning he used to stop at our shop to have telebhaja.

Since 23 January 1942 on Netaji’s birthday till date, as a mark of respect, we started distributing telebhaja for free to children (2 pcs.) and adults (4 pcs.).

Timings: 8 M – 12 Noon / 4 pm – 8 pm (7 Days Open except Holi and Dussehra holidays).

Wonderful shared knowledge. Thank you – said I.

We requested for piping hot telebhajas.

The best was – Though it is deep-fried in oil still you won’t find it oily with no smell of oil. This place has its own charm.

In short: pocket-friendly/very cheap and the owner a very nice human. Fantastic place to have fresh & hot morning/evening snacks.

A must visit place for fritters aficionados. Good, we visited too. The journey continues..

What is The Most Expensive Sweet You Have Ever Eaten To Date?

A few days back I visited one of the Sweet Bengal outlets in Mumbai Suburban and saw the most expensive sweet on the display.

I decided to have it one day.

Today was the day when I re-visited the Sweet Bengal outlet and had – Gurer Malai Chomchom – the most expensive sweet.

The cost?

Rs. 95 including SGST/CGST.

Upon query, the staff of Sweet Bengal and my Kolkata friend enhanced knowledge about Gurer Malai Chomchom.

  • Gurer is Gur (jaggery).
  • Malai is thickened milk.
  • Chomchom is somewhat like Rosogolla – not syrupy/spongy/airy but soft & smaller in size.

Agreed. There were two small pieces of Chomchom dipped inside the Malai that were delicious in-taste. More than Malai, I liked Chomchom. Now a personal favorite. I was happy. I had the most expensive sweet to date. The journey continues..

T-Shirt Quote About Being Nut

This photo was taken nearby Sharma Tea House at Bhowanipore, Kolkata.

The person in the picture is Mahendra – having 30 years of driving experience but nowadays a little paralyzed.

Upon request, he happily agreed to click his t-shirt photo.

A small amount of donation was offered to him for his generosity. The journey continues..