Blue Poppy @ City of Joy

(Itiriti: I invited Madhurilata to write about Blue Poppy, one of my latest hanging out places in City of Joy.   Madhurilata Basu  is a student of Political Science and is an independent researcher. She loves to travel and enjoys her food.  She takes you on a guided tour into the indoors of Blue Poppy.)

What is the shortest way to someone’s heart? While you keep on guessing, I would give my answer. It is always good food. But in today’s world good food comes with a big price and it becomes a rare occasion, when one can experience the unadulterated joy of having good food at a good price. But courtesy Blue Poppy, the exception has been changed into the norm. Embracing students, young professionals with their wide range of dishes and reasonably priced menu, it is located in Sikkim House in Middleton Street, near Loretto College and Gorkha Bhavan in Salt Lake, near City Centre I.  Young Calcuttans are lucky to have a place which serves Nepali, Bhutanese, Tibetan, Indian and Chinese cuisines under one roof and that too at a great price.

You can start off your gastronomical journey with Momos and if you are health conscious , you can also opt for the wide range of soups they offer. You can safely order Mixed Thenthuk or Mixed Phaktu. These Tibetan delights are homemade noodles served in a hot mixed soup.  However, my personal favourite is Pork Kothay , which is half steamed and half fried Momos. Do not forget to ask them for their famous chilly chutney, which should only be tried by the brave hearts for it is a sure killer. Instead of treading in one direction, my suggestion will be to have a mixed menu. A must have dish is Ema Dasi, that is cheese with chilly, and you can have it with steamed rice. This Bhutanese dish can be followed up with Pork Shapta (a Tibetan dish) or Pork with vegetables. The Nepali Thali is also worth trying.

One thing that is guaranteed is that Blue Poppy will definitely bring a smile to your face. A not-so-posh eating house but packed with young people is sure to make you smile. Blue Poppy opens at 8 am  and also serve breakfast like Egg and Toast or Puri Bhaji, for the boarders at both the Sikkim House and Gorkha Bhavan have breakfast there. Another good news is that owing to its popularity, it has started home delivery services in Salt lake only. However, in order to have the good food in your home, you have to wait till 5 pm.

College students flock the Blue Poppy in Middleton Street in great numbers. Owing to its proximity to City Centre I, where youngsters, in the absence of proper adda places in the region, have addas, for obvious reasons come to Blue Poppy to satisfy their hunger if they have extra cash in their pockets. The staff of Blue Poppy are friendly and their service is satisfactory. Do not be amazed if you find a long line outside. Just be patient, for it takes really less time for the good food to get over and before you can count till ten, it will be your turn to grab a table.  A meal for two can cost at around Rs 400. However, Blue Poppy’s food tastes best, provided you have a good company. Non-stop adda over the food is of course, free.

For menu of Blue Poppy

http://www.zomato.com/kolkata/the-blue-poppy-russel-street/menu; Accessed on 14 February 2013

©itiriti

Advertisements

Trails of a Momo Maniac

Last evening musing over my culinary journey in Nepal I fondly made a statement that “Everybody should visit Nepal to eat momos”.  Nepal is a momo-maniac’s paradise.  Having spent my formative years in bustling North Campus of Delhi University – which houses some of the city’s best and cheapest momo joints my taste buds were introduced to this delightful dish in a small Tibetan joint near Rabindra Sadan Metro Station Kolkata.

When I moved to Delhi, outings with friends meant going for momos. I remember fondly our first visit from our paying guest accommodation on a fatal Tuesday evening to spare ourselves the torture of “Puri( fried bread) and Chchole(Chickpea curry)” all the way to Knags( Kamala Nagar) a shopping place close to North Campus, University of Delhi for a plate of momos with our seniors. Momo’s Point clearly has stood the test of the time. Many places have come and gone in this lane of Kamala Nagar but it has never matched to the popularity of this joint which is famous among people across ages in North Campus. Mostly frequented by students, Momo’s Point serves momos of three different fillings: chicken, pork and vegetarian. Though I have not tasted the vegetarian momoes because I think they taste the best in Kalimpong bus stand, a hill station on the way from Siliguri to Darjeeling rest of the momos are heavenly. The momos are served with a fiery red hot sauce.

Momo’s Point is housed in a lane close to Mac Donald’s if you come from Hansraj side. Tell any rickshaw puller from the university that you want to go to Momos’s Point he would take you and drop you near Macdonald’s from where you will walk into a lane where either a cow or a bunch of flies will graciously greet you on your way to Momo’s Point. This lane is hugely popular among students. Though joints have come with Tandoori Momoes I like steamed momoes and Kothey (half steamed and half fried). If you want to taste a special sauce that goes well with momos; you have to visit Noodles nestled in the same lane as Momo’s Point. Along with the fiery red hot sauce they also serve a mild sauce which cools the hotness of the red sauce.

I was hugely disappointed when Belle Momos (a momo joint hugely popular in Kathmandu) made a quite entry and exit from Delhi. They served momos with mustard sauce and fiery red hot sauce. In Kathmandu there are several places where I gorged on Momos but my favourite picks in Kathmandu are Belle Momos, Durbar Marg, Kathmandu and Dhokaima Cafe, Patan Dhoka Lalitpur. Unlike the momoes that I have eaten in Kalimpong, North Campus, Delhi University and Tibetan eateries in Majnu ka Tila ( a Tibetan Settlement in North Delhi) the momos in Nepal are not only served with mustard and the red hot fiery sauce but also the fillings are pre-cooked. Belle Momos is primarily a momo- cafe and serves more than 35 varieties of momos from our very familiar chicken, mutton momos, pork momos to even low cholesterol momos. And there are lot more exciting options for vegetarians as well. Check out the link to believe it

http://www.cafereena.com.np/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/pg4-momo.jpg

As I finished a meeting with a group of colleagues and friends they decided to satiate my momo appetite they made me walk for 20 min to reach Dhokaima Cafe, Patan Doka nestled in the heart of Kathmandu and yet far away from the madding crowd.  It sits pretty with open air cafe, a book store, an art gallery and even a bar. When you walk into Yalamay Kendra you enter a different world. And Dhokaima Cafe sits pretty with an old world charm. The official web portal of the cafe tells us that the building was built in 1920 and it was used as a store to a Rana’s palace. Well, one of my close friends from Nepal had told me that apparently he had heard from somewhere that the cafe actually used to be a horse stable. Well kings have various fancies and kings had horses so they needed horse stables. But whatever it was the cafe has been beautifully re-done by architect Siddharth Gopalan to reflect the old world charm. Even though their website menus does not mention of momos they do serve momos and some amazing fresh summer juices which are absolute heavenly.  Dhokaima Cafe is a place where you can unwind your day with a plate of momos and your favourite drink. For details on Dhokaima Cafe visit the following link.

http://dhokaimacafe.com/index.php?page=about-us

So, it’s time when you are next in Nepal go beyond Thamel to Durbar Marg and Patan Doka to these two places to gorge on Momos.  If you are a momo maniac and if you have the money and desire for momos give yourself a momo holiday in Nepal and combine it a trip with Pokhra to shred those extra calories. And for all those who made fun of my travel plans to Nepal for momos should remember that the most exciting historical voyages were about the trail for spices. So, momo maniacs it’s time we head towards the momo city of all times- Kathmandu.

© itiriti