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Winter is elusive in Kolkata. Despite the folklore of a Bengali Bhadralok wearing a monkey cap and wrapping a muffler around his neck from early November, the cold in Kolkata cannot hold a candle to the cold waves in northern parts of the country. There are few days in the year when the cold prevails and one of the best ways of enjoying the weather is devouring into some seasonal winter special dishes beyond the Roll and Biryani.
A small eatery in a quaint lane, this place is the go-to place for Burmese delicacies. Run by Chanda di, who is a name in herself for her mouth-watering Khaukswey and other pork and even quail dishes, this year for winter, she is dishing out a Chicken and Rice Congee. It is a typical Burmese comfort food to be had in winters. A porridge-like consistency with flavours from chicken stock and other spices, this dish is topped with the goodness of fried onions, fried garlic, fried noodles, some chilli sauce, fish sauce and crunchy spring onions.
Price: Rs. 250 per bowl
Like every year, this year too, Taj Bengal is celebrating winters by Grill By The Pool. Chef Sonu comes out with brilliant dishes from fresh winter ingredients, some local and some imported. Amongst many of such dishes, Bhune Bhutte Ki Ras or Charred Corn and Coriander Broth is especially inviting in the chilling winters by the poolside. One can also add chicken to the same. For a meaty choice, one could go for Steak On The stone with options of duck breast, lamb rack, pork chops, fillet steak and spring chicken.
Price: Rs 2500 for two approximately without alcohol
Monkey Bar with its envious rooftop setting is the perfect place to enjoy winter delicacies with some alcohol while enjoying the Kolkata skyline. The One Bowl Winter at Monkey Bar calls for friends and families gathering together for celebrating the season. It is nothing out of the way but simply comfort food at its best. There is something for everyone, be it a Rajma Chawal with Chili Pickle, Papad And Sirka Onions or Kadhi Chawal with Karare Bhindi and Tawa Aloo or maybe a local delicacy of Panch Phoron and Kasundi Mach with Gobindobhog Rice, there is something from the length and breadth of the country. For some International experience, one can dig into a bowl of Bibimbap from Korea or a Moroccan Vegetable Tagine or maybe some Sesame Teriyaki Chicken bowl.
Price: Veg bowls: Rs. 280 plus taxes onwards;
Non-veg bowls: Rs. 380 plus taxes onwards
Khao Suey needs to introduce to the people of Kolkata. It is one of the delicacies and in recent years has caught up with the city taste buds. The preparation often varies from place to place. The Khao Suey at JW Kitchen, if put into a single word is simply 'outstanding'. A chilling winter night calls for a bowl of warm Khao Suey with condiments on the side. The broth itself is subtly flavoured with chicken stock, coconut milk and other spices. The toppings of garlic, onions, boiled eggs, chopped green chillies, lemon wedges slurped with noodles is what makes the dish a crackling one.
Price for Khao Suey: Rs. 650 plus taxes
The latest entrant in the city, this hotel is all set to impress the foodies of Kolkata. Winter always calls for a variety of roasts and they are doing a fabulous Oven Roasted Spring Chicken for this season. Cooked to a moist consistency, this roasted chicken is served with sides of Hasselback potatoes, snow peas and winter garden greens. The chicken itself is flavoured with lemon and thyme, a classic combination. The sauce is made with the drippings from the roasting.
Price: On request
This Bollywood themed restaurant has come out with dishes focused on winters and is calling it 'Chillin' with the Villains'. Amongst many of their dishes, what catches everyone's attention is the Bajro No Rotlo or the Gujarati Bajre Ki Roti served with Baingan Ka Bharta, Gujarati Kadhi, Gur and Lasoon ki Chutney. Shakaal Ki Shaan brings in Sarson Da Saag served in a fondue pot with nachos style Makki Di Roti. Couple these with Shaitani Sharaab (mulled wine), it is a perfect way to rejoice the nip in the air which is so short lived in the city.
Price: Rs. 1200 plus GST approximately for two
This upmarket Dhaba style restaurant with multiple locations is the ideal place to savour some North Indian winter delicacies in the city. Other than their delicious Kebabs, the winter special menu covers the quintessential Sarson Da Saag with Makki Ki Roti and dollops of butter. If rice is your comfort, then go for the Fish or Prawn Biryani or even the Akbari Pulao.
Price: Rs. 600 plus tax for two
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.