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Will it be an exaggeration to say that there are so many common notes between Nepali and Bengali food that The Blue Poppy Thakali will see many more food-loving Bengalis flocking to this place soon? I truly believe that good food speaks above everything else.
'Doma Wang' is the undisputed Momo queen of Kolkata who started as a home chef and then wooed the city with her momos through The Blue Poppy Thakali in Middleton Street, famous for Shapta, Shaphalay and Momos, recently opened Shim Shim which is perhaps the only Beef cafe in town serving lip-smacking Beef Momos, Mongolian Beef and Thupka and then The Blue Poppy Thakali opens up at 4/1 Middleton Street.
Situated inside the Sikkim Commerce House, this 52 cover restaurant has a very comforting decor and the eating place is split into 2 parts. Half has the formal way of sitting with tables and chairs and the other part has more conventional Nepali way of eating food which is sitting on the floor.
The classics of The Blue Poppy Thakali are present here in the menu, so, if you are a fan of the Prawn Chips or Chicken Wings or Pork Ribs or the Wanton Soups or Phalays, then you will find them. From the Nepali section, start the meal with some open momos - Pork and Chicken both are available and then try out Chicken Choila which is like a smoked chicken salsa with small smoked chicken pieces are tossed with finely chopped onion and tomato. There are other options of La Phing, Sadeko Wai Wai, Alu Thupka or Alu Wai Wai.
Rice is a favourite staple for the Nepalese. So for the main course, there are thalis which come in four variations - Veg, Pork, Chicken, Mutton and Egg. In thali, one gets 'Black Dal', 'Saag', 'Papad', 'Salad', an 'assortment of 3 authentic Nepali cuisines' and a 'curry' their choice from the options they have selected.
In the a la carte section, there are a plethora of choices like Anda Ko Jhol, Sungur Ko Masu with Rai Saag (Pork Curry), Khasi Ko Masu (Mutton Curry), Mutton Liver Curry, Alu Bori Tombo and many more. As a lunch would not be called lunch in Kolkata if there is no rice, so order for rice which is a fine basmati served with ghee. Also, ask for Alu Ko Achar which is small pieces of alu with golden fried onions made in white sesame paste. From the mains, my recommendation will be Khasi Ko Masu or the Mutton Curry which in many ways is similar to the quintessential Bengali Sunday Mangshor Jhol Sans The Alu and also if you are a lover of Pork, then order the Pork curry with Rai Saag. Rice can be replaced with Sel Roti, which is Nepalese traditional round bread. Formidable portion size makes this meal shareable amongst the dining partners and also makes it economical.
There are many options from Blue Poppy which are available in the mains like the Pork/Chicken and Mutton Shapta, Noodle Soups, Prawn Balls etc.
Many years ago the Chinese started with Chinese food and Kolkatans embraced with open arms and rest of the country became fond of a new cuisine called Kolkata Chinese. Is not it strange that a cuisine of a neighbouring country which has many similarities with Bengali cuisine took so long to open up in Kolkata? Let us hope that this survives and paves the way for others to open up.
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.