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'Chef Joymalya Banerjee' and his much talked about restaurant needs no introduction. It has been some time that Bohemian has been a must try for Bengali food in Kolkata for visitors across India and worldwide too. Unconventional uses of traditional Bengali spices and ingredients and playing with flavours has been his main forte, with which he has made a name for himself. His last menu change happened in 2015 when it was called Second coming and now he gives a revamp to the restaurant and to the menu also.
Bohemian is now called Club De Bohemian and the interiors and the theme has changed. The Glocal restaurant and Club Bar, as Joy loves to call it, has now got an exhaustive menu and new dishes which are a testimony to Chef Joy's innovation and creative out of Box thinking.
The menu is divided into several segments trying to offer an option of the different palate and portion size eaters. There is Boho Lunch which is on weekdays between 12:00 pm to 03:00 pm. This is a variant of working lunch, where the food is served in tiffin boxes like the dabbas of Mumbai and there is Soya Keema Matar, Kosha Murgi (slow cooked chicken) served with Kolkata Butter Toast and obviously Kashundi Machh, which is served with Steamed Rice.
When one starts exploring the menu further, one finds - Halka Phulka (which are the small plates of finger foods or a perfect snacking option), then Dil Lagaa Ke (the large portions ), where you get in the mood of a lavish meal and community eating options for families or group of friends - Oneke Milay . It is a herculean task to over simplify the menu in 4 or 5 sentences but this may give you an idea of what will be between the pages.
The cocktails are extremely popular and impossibly reasonable. However, do not expect any regular starters to go with your spirits. Rather, halka phulka brings in winners like Malai Mutton Chaat, Luchi Tacos and more. Malai Mutton Chaat has tender mutton pieces flavoured with chaat masala and chopped onion with sev sprinkled from top. One can also choose from, Phiss Phingers, Bombil Fry, Bacon Wrapped Malai Kebabs, Soft Pork Belly and Dalle Pickle to name a few. If you prefer more traditional ones and tele bhaja (fried snacks), then try out Lanka Chingri Batter Fry. Perfectly done prawns with a mystery dip of Aam Tel with Mashed Potato and Orange and Coriander Salad will sing to your heart. For vegetarians, there is Saboodana Pakora Basket, Ghoogni Chaat, Luchi Alur Dom Tacos - yes you heard it right luchi in the form of tacos.
Club De Bohemian is not meant for one time visit. The unique name will invoke enough curiosity in you to come back time and again. Drawing inspiration from real-life characters and their cooking, Chef Joy considers the menu as a flip through his personal album, where memories of his Dad, his guest house caretaker, his college; all have been converted into food. Machher Jhol is a very popular Bengali dish which has become a representative of Bengalis as a whole but Chef Joy is offering Maccher Psychedelic Jhol, there is Pagla Mama's Biryani, which is his take on Kolkata Biryani. It comes with Alu, a pair of Soft Boiled Eggs with Runny Yolks served with Saoji Mutton Keema Chutney. There is Pork Khichudi, which has dices of pork in Khichudi. The list is endless and will need some time to explore Club De Bohemian completely. One of the easy ways can be, to focus on fish/ mutton/chicken/pork or vegetarian also for that matter.
The price points are now slashed so a meal for 2 should not cost more than INR 1500.
A true blue Kolkata foodie, Anindya loves cooking and eating his Kosha Mangsho. Anindya weaves stories around food as he believes exceptional food is an emotional experience. Previously a restauranter, now a passionate photographer and traveller, he runs a successful blog called Pikturenama and contributes to other publications.