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What will happen if you and your partner are both foodies and out on a day-long date in Kolkata and the partner is visiting Kolkata for the first time? Here is a plan which is a failsafe. You get to visit Kolkata and 5 foods which one cannot miss while on a date in Kolkata.
Phuchka - The panipuri, golgappas and even pani ke batashe can take a backseat, if in Kolkata then Phuchkas are the best. Many a love story has culminated over a round of Phuchka and be it teenagers or senior citizens, the phuchka and the neighbourhood Phuchka seller has been witness to so many hearts coming together.
Recommendation: The overall standard of Phuchka in Kolkata is at such a great height that you can almost try anyone but the best ones are at Vivekananda Park, Vardaan Market and Victoria Memorial
Momo - There is always a close contest between Momo and Chow mien on which one is more popular with the Bengali without being a Bengali food. A plate of steaming hot momos with a bowl of soup and some spicy red hot chilli sauce is what love is all about - spicy, steamy and hot. Love is also about sharing and share a plate of momos between you and your partner. Momo is sharing love over food.
Recommendation: There are old cult joints where it has been few decades that people have been going for a momo date like Orchid, Hamro Momo at the Panditiya Road and then there is Thakali as well as Blue Poppy in Middleton Street which perhaps serves the best Momo in town. If you are game for Beef Momo then try out Shim Shim.
Roll - If you have not had a roll in Kolkata, then you have not visited Kolkata. A small innovation for a quick takeaway from a cult place Nizam's at Hoggs market set the city on fire. Thin, flaky parathas wrapped around chunky pieces of chicken/ mutton has surprises in every bite just like it happens when you fall in love.
Recommendation: It is a tough call to identify the best one but some of the places which are reputed for consistency and very rarely would have a bad day are - Hot Kathi Rolls, Nizam's, Kusum Rolls, Bedwin, Campari, Anamika Roll Centre are few which can be tried anytime.
Biryani - If you are alone or if you are with your gang, then debate and devour over how and why Aloo came in Kolkata Biryani. If you are on a date, then order the special plate of the biryani with 2 pieces of mutton and aloo and if that special aroma cannot do the magic, then nothing else can. Kolkata Biryani is special and so is that person with whom you agree to share the plate of Biryani.
Recommendation: There are legendary places like Aminia, Royal Indian Hotel, Sabir's, which are serving from a long time and then you have Arsalan, Shiraz and a whole lot of other places which will serve you a biryani to make your date perfect.
Roshogolla - R for rolls and R for roshogolla. A perfect ending to date is the promise for the next date and hope for a lifelong association of love and laughter. It does not matter who owns Roshogolla but what matters is how much you love this quintessential Kolkata dessert and how many you can have in one go.
Hat tip: In order to have more in one go, avoid the sugar syrup and extract as much as possible before eating it.