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While most of the Indian states have imposed a beef ban, we are fortunate to be living in West Bengal, if not for any other reason but definitely since there is no beef ban here in the state. Kolkatans, in general, are known for their tolerance towards all things ‘food’. Eateries serving pork have been extremely popular in Kolkata, even amongst the Hindu Bengalis. So is beef. During the month of Ramzan, hoards of Bongs rush to Chitpur to savour beef delicacies. However, we are yet to have any dedicated cafe or restaurant serving beef. There are a few Mughlai or biryani joints serving Beef Biryani or a roll or a few kebabs. The 5-star restaurants have their tenderloin and other finer cuts. Other than that, not much has been done with beef until now.
Shim Shim is a Himalayan cafe serving a whole lot of beef delicacies from the hills. Started by Doma Wang from the Blue Poppy fame, she used to get a lot of request from her patrons at The Blue Poppy for Tibetan Beef delicacies. This motivated her to finally open the doors of Shim Shim here in Park Circus area. A small eatery, it has quite a familiarity with a typical cafe from Thamel in Kathmandu or in Sikkim, there is a beautiful mural of a monastery on one wall and the others are very neatly decorated with pictures depicting Buddhist culture.
Beef Koftas, Beef Shaphalays, Beef Thukpa, Beef Momos, Beef Fried Rice and many more are available here. Doma di (as she is popularly known as in Kolkata) has ensured to bring in the best quality of beef for the kitchen. She uses undercuts, which is a very lean and expensive cut, even for her mince. So, if not anything, you can be assured of the quality of the ingredients which are simply superior.
One bite into the Beef Momos and if she is around, she will warn you to keep a plate underneath your mouth, since the juices will trickle down. The perfect mix of beef mince, onions and garlic, these beef momos are to die for. In fact, you will find quite a few people with their eyes closed, biting into these meaty and scrumptious dumplings. Most of the food here has a minimalist appeal just like it is supposed to be.
The Beef Thukpa has an ambrosial beef stock with thin slices of beef undercut melting in your mouth.
Mongolian Beef is a soul-satisfying plate of beef slices, naturally tender and tossed in a sweet chilli sauce. The dish itself is quite addictive and is highly recommended. So is the keema fried rice and as the name suggests, it has beef keema in abundance and it’s a simple dish made uncommonly well. Each bite provides a forkful of comfort.
If you are a beef aficionado or such a lover of good Himalayan food, then Shim Shim is the one place you have got to be. Be prepared to stand in a queue outside the door on weekends. And, if you really want to savour into every dish at peace, then go on a weekday.
Shim Shim Address: 31 A, Bright Street (close to 4 no Park circus flyover or behind Quest Mall)
Price for 2: Approximately INR 500 (for an indulgent meal)
Timings: Open from 12 noon to 04:00 pm and 06:00 pm to 10:00 pm
For someone who's run two restaurants, being a baker and cook par excellence comes easily to Madhushree . When she's not eating out, she's organizing her own pop ups or experimenting with regional recipes. Her experiments with food and her recipes are part of Pikturenama , where she's a co founder.