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There is hardly a dessert menu worth its salt (err sugar) which does not feature a cheesecake these days. And, nine out of ten times – it is a blueberry cheese cake you will find! Of course, that is a classic, it is evergreen, but why should that be all. If you are looking for some adventure or at least an extra dose of decadence on your cheesecake platter, try out these places in Kolkata that take the cheesecake way beyond the blue (berry).
Start off with Café Swiss, Swissotel Kolkata’s round-the-clock coffee shop. They turn out particularly good desserts in general and their mammoth cheesecake made with Swiss cheese comes topped with shards of Toblerone. This is a classic with an amped drool quotient. The tart raspberry sorbet served on the side makes for a delicious contrast, and takes your cheesecake experience a few notches above.
Expat chef Lian Yun Lei who has been at Taj Bengal’s Chinoiserie for almost a decade now is known for his penchant for adventure. It is not surprising to find baked cheesecake that comes with a longan (a tropical fleshy fruit) and caramelised dates – quintessentially Asian elements – on the menu here; it is a combination that will blow your mind. Elsewhere, at Baan Thai, the Oberoi Grand turns out a citrus cheesecake infused with lime, which comes accompanied with chilled lemon cream, fresh fruits and delicious berry compote. It is luxurious and refreshing all at once.
Or, sample the malpua cheesecake, one of Chef Joymalya Banerjee’s star creations, which has survived many a change of the menu at his Bengali fusion restaurant – Bohemian. It comprises alternate layers of traditional malpua and fluffy cheesecake, spiced with fennel, black pepper and star anise — he uses cottage cheese or chhena instead of the traditional cream cheese in the cake, and the result will leave you asking for more. Incidentally, The Square at Novotel Kolkata also has the malpua cheesecake on their menu and this one comes with a drizzle of nolen gur syrup (date palm jaggery).
Hop over to Aaira, the Pan-Indian restaurant at Myx on Park Street to try out another fantastic attempt at fusing quintessentially desi desserts with the classic cheesecake. Their menu is studded with quite a few signature originals, but the most stunning number on the menu is easily their baked cheesecake that comes topped with a mound of mini gulab jamun and a generous splash of thick, velvety pineapple rabri. Talk about decadence.
And now – some cheesecake to drink. Yes, Chef Rahul Arora turns out an outright delicious mango basil cheesecake smoothie at his Café Pranah – a health and soul food outfit in Ballygunge. Basically, it is a smoothie made with fresh mangoes, cream cheese, oat cookies and basil seeds. You can choose your base – yoghurt, vegan cream or vanilla ice cream! This one is packed with goodness, and is drool worthy.
A few other cheesecake renditions that you must try in the city includes the red velvet cheesecake at the Paris Café, owner and Chef Sneha Singhi’s signature creation – a mammoth slices of red velvet cake with a subtly lemony cream cheesecake centre (in the shape of a heart!); and the chocolate and hazelnut cheesecake at M Bar Kitchen – a treat for chocolate lovers and Nutella addicts alike.
An independent journalist based out of Calcutta and a dedicated food enthusiast, she writes mostly about food and travel, and has worked and written for publications India Today, The Telegraph, Live Mint as also Lonely Planet India’s website. She also loves to experiment in her kitchen and runs a food blog – allthatsdelicious.com. But mostly she eats, frets about how much she eats and then eats some more.