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There is nothing better than a leisurely breakfast. But how many of us have the time to have one? Other than Sundays and holidays, a relaxed breakfast over the choicest dishes is simply not possible in today's fast-paced life. I do not know about others, but for me, a Sunday breakfast is the decider of how my day is going to be.
The Bongs love their luchi or kochuri with alur dom on any Sunday, however, if they wanted to explore, the one name that would pop up would be Flurys. However, today there is a host of other joints across the city providing different breakfast options. Many people these days would say that Flurys is overhyped. To some extent, I would agree too. However, Flurys still holds the sentimental value, which sometimes supersedes the value for money quotient. The English breakfast is a delight coupled with some Viennese coffee or a pot of Darjeeling tea. As for me, my picks would be the classic sandwiches or the mushroom cream on toast, which are impossibly rich and delicious.
There are innumerable kochuri places in town, some iconic and some, merely popular; however, hailing from South Kolkata, my favourite kochuri spot is Maharani on Sarat Bose Road. I remember the kochuri being the same over the last two decades, since the time I have been eating from there. All you have to do is drive to the front and park the vehicle. Someone will come and take your order, and you can enjoy the kochuri with alur torkari along with some freshly made jalebis and finally, finish off with a milky, sugary tea in a bhaad (earthen cup).
The Protein Bistro is a new addition in the city. It is one tiny joint with perhaps ten covers indoor and lesser numbers outdoor. That does not stop them from providing real power packed food. To emphasise on the protein factor, every dish in the menu has the same amount of proteins mentioned below it. The eggs are blissful, soft and fluffy and are a must-try, especially the egg white omelette with baby spinach and bell peppers. Of course, the egg white can be converted into a full egg on request, and the omelette is fluffy and divine. Great news for health freaks, they even have protein shakes, fruit smoothies, Yakult drink and detox juices, which are fun to drink.
The Biker's Cafe has become quite a popular joint amongst young people for breakfast and generally hanging out. Try their All-American bacon and eggs, which is a fried egg with crispy bacon, sausages, grilled tomatoes, hash browns and baked beans on toast – the real deal. Or, if you want to go the desi way, you have the options of fantastic parathas, bun maska, bun omelette, kulcha, etc. with some cutting chai.
For a comforting South Indian breakfast, Banana Leaf at Lake Market is a terrific option. Been there in the business for the last 15 years, this quintessential South Indian joint provides quality South Indian food at throwaway prices. A variety of idlis, dosas, uttapams and vadas are available; but their paper dosa is divine. It is super crispy and thin and when coupled with some filter coffee, it is nothing short of wholesome and delicious.
Completely meandering from the so-called traditional is the Mughlai breakfast. It is meant for the strong hearted or perhaps those with strong guts to endure the richness at wee hours of the morning. Yes, most of the Mughlai places sell off their breakfasts by 6:30 am, so one has to reach at least by 5 am to savour the taste. Though, I have never been brave enough to try the Mughlai breakfasts in town, but I am told that the mutton paya at Shiraz in Park Circus and the nihari at Sufiya of Nakhoda Mashjid area is legendary in taste and quality. Apparently, people line up for these breakfasts and some even carry tiffin boxes to fill them up and take home for their families.
The list of good breakfast places seems to be on the rise in Kolkata. The above list is so meagre to what is actually out there; however, the next time you want to have breakfast outside your home, venture out and try something new.