There are those who think that the bacon fad is over. I beg to differ. Bacon is a way of life, no mere fad. If you are in the grip of the bacon mania that has affected millions over the years, here are a few bacon specialties that you must try if you are in Kolkata. From fish wrapped in bacon and creamy shakes loaded with meaty chunks of goodness – there is a range of classics and novelties to choose from. These are a must try.
First up is Bohemian, known for their innovative take on Bengali cuisine. Their bacon wrapped chicken (bundles of chicken tenders) are stewed in a sweet and tangy, faintly pungent, aam kasundi (mango infused mustard relish) reduction. A personal favourite on the menu here, however, are the tilapia fish fillets wrapped in bacon and cooked in spicy gravy flavoured distinctly with ginger and fennel. Served with a fragrant dahlia pilaf and potatoes laced with pungent mustard dressing, this is a winner.
Perhaps, the best dish on the menu at Edesia, a popular breakfast destination in the city, in their eggs benedict. The English muffins are delightfully chewy, the soft poached eggs done just right and the Hollandaise sauce, dreamy, with a drool-worthy sheen. But the star of the show is the bed of Canadian bacon that the eggs sit on. The lightly grilled bacon, slightly salty, comes loaded with flavour, and is delightfully meaty.
At The Corner Courtyard, their innovative menu features another fantastic appetizer. Soft, juicy prawns, grilled to perfection, come wrapped in slightly smoky, and delightfully streaky Romanian bacon. The bacon-wrapped prawns are served with a house-made Thousand Island dressing that ups the drool quotient all the more. Or, try their grilled chicken breast stuffed with bits of meaty bacon and broccoli florets, topped with a faintly tangy, velvety orange cognac sauce, served with char-grilled vegetables.
At Woodstock 1969, a tiny, rock-n-roll themed café in Kalighat, bacon finds its way into shakes and desserts, besides the mammoth, meaty sandwiches. There is a dessert sandwich slathered with thick chocolate sauce, and loaded with grilled bacon rashers, that you could try. Or, try the bacon and chocolate shake, rich with Nutella, butter, some of the bacon drippings, ice cream and milk.
The Hungry Tide, a hole-in-the-wall takeaway joint near Golpark, turns out a few fantastic bacon and egg sandwiches. Fried eggs and bacon rashers, crisp around the edges, and a dash of mayonnaise between buttered bread – this no frills sandwich is a good lesson in keeping things simple yet delicious. While you are here, also try their bacon and ham fried rice – ask for their chilli yoghurt dip on the side). Or, head to Rubi’s Grill, some distance away, to sample their bacon burger. A whopping burger (chicken, lamb or beef) comes wrapped in grilled bacon, between soft burger buns, along with the usual frills.
Finally, a Kolkata classic; the Angels on Horseback at the legendary Mocambo. Traditionally, Angels on Horseback refers to oysters wrapped in bacon. At Mocambo, the dish comprises boneless chunks of chicken wrapped in meaty bacon with just enough fat, served on a bed of sausage studded pilaf of sorts, topped with a sweet and tangy sauce. For sides, there are baked potatoes tossed with herbs, a tiny portion of cold, tangy, pasta salad, boiled peas and carrots. In other words – bliss.
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.