There are three things synonymous with Bengalis: politics, literary arts and food. In fact, let’s just put it out there – Bengalis are perpetually hungry. And with Durga Puja underway, the appetite has increased manifold overnight. The search for delectable Bengali cuisine has only grown fiercer. Away from home, if you are a wandering Bengali in Mumbai, don’t be disappointed. Here’s a guide to your mustard-laden Hilsa and Nolengurer Shondesh. We tell you the pit stops to satiate those hunger pangs as you go pandal hopping.
Bong Bong, Bandra (W)
While many complain about the authenticity of the food at this hole-in-the-wall place at Pali Hill. But the restaurant scores high in the department of being healthy. Far from greasy, they keep the food simple. A small place with a patchy décor, Bong Bong has an old audio system that blares out retro Bengali hits too.
Must try: Nolen Gur Icecream (Rs 119) and Mutton Roll (Rs 155).
Kolkata Callin’, Andheri (W)
A neat little place with a book shelf loaded with literary giants, one feels like they walked right into the hall room of a Bengali household. Quick service and large portions are the USP of this eatery. However, please use GPS, since it can take a while to locate this non-descript place otherwise.
Must try: Jhuri Aloo Bhaja (Rs 90), Chholar Dal (Rs 170) and Chingri Malai Curry (Rs 396).
Bijoli Grill, Powai
This slightly overpriced place takes you to the streets of Kolkata. It’s a good mix of street food and traditional dishes. During this weekend, head to the eatery for their special buffet called Path Pete Khawa – a set menu where servers will personally serve you.
Must try: Pabda Jhal (Rs 180), Murgi Posto (Rs 290) and Gokul Pithe (Rs 110).
Special for Durga Puja: A buffet featuring around 25 dishes priced at Rs 825.
Oh! Calcutta, Khar
Well, this place does not require much of an introduction. Bengali fine dine at its best, although the restaurant will burn a hole in your pocket, your soul will be satiated after the meal. The buffet includes scrumptious dishes such as Aloo dum, Luchi, Railway Mutton curry, Mooger Dal, Malpua and Payesh. Their bar menu deserves a special mention. It’s perhaps the only Bengali restaurant with a bar.
Must try: Topshe Fry (Rs 250), Borisaler Chingri Pulao (Rs 395) and Kal Boishakhi (Vodka with Aam Porar Shorbot) – Rs 250.
Special for Puja: Koi Maach (2 piece) at Rs 395 and Mocha Hilsa at Rs 795.
Hangla, Bandra (W), Powai and Andheri Lokhandwala
Rest assured, you will be spoilt for choice here. Rolls, parathas and truckloads of meat, this is where your Bengali food craving ends. Popular for its take away menu, this can be your quick stop between pandals.
Must try: Nawabi Chicken Roll (Rs 170), Fish Kalia (Rs 180) Mishti Doi (Rs 50).