Bengali পাইস hotel- আদর্শ হিন্দু হোটেল

Being a bengali পেটুক, born in Kolkata, I have a certain mental blockage against eating bengali food at a restaurant. I always calculate mentally which fish costs what at the fish market and what price I am paying for it at the eatery. Solely, due to this reason, I prefer a Pice Hotel than a posh “authentic bengali restaurant” anyday. And , here, I would love to write on one of my favorites in city. 

Now, why its called a pice hotel ? As far as my knowledge goes, this concept started a few decades back, in the era where things were available in paisa and then a full meal here (the basic ones) were available at the cost of a few paisa. Hence, people used to call them paisa hotel- pais hotel- pice hotel. Don’t worry please, these are pretty cheap (commercially) and VFM hotels- even today…….

First things first. Today, I’ll share my experience in one of the oldest bengali pice hotel in south Kolkata- the Adarsha Hindu hotel, gariahat market

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 How to go and when to go ?

Once in Kolkata and especially south Kolkata, you can not miss the huge gariahat market complex. Enter the same and go to the first floor of new complex. Ask anyone for the pice hotels, and you’ll land up here. This place operates on all days and is open from 9 AM to 4 PM and again 630 PM- 930 PM.

The hotel (as they call themselves and not a restaurant)

This is almost a 60 year old place. The owner’s name is Kalipada Maity who is the second generation businessman. They serve you fresh catch of the day from the market below and hence all the ingredients are fresh. Aquaguard water is served, hence you need not worry on that, however mineral water is available at a price.

 

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Rules in a pice hotel

  • There is no formal menu card. You get in a, see what’s available and get your food. Rice, dal, aloo bhaja is standard fare and other items, you’ve to order seperately
  • Do not faint if someone comes and shares your table-space. Here, tables do get shared
  • If you are a vegetarian, you may opt off one such place. The jewels of this place are its non-veg dishes
  • Tip the waiter generously while leaving. He’ll remember you on your next visit (important for the size of the fish piece)

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What I got

As soon as I sat down with my friends, we got served an empty plate with banana-leaf covered and water in earthen bhands. He asked for the standard meal, which we ordered – consisting of rice, dal, aloo bhaja and panchmesheli sabzi (mixed veg).

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The rice was served hot and of a good quality. Dal was pretty good and of a homely taste. We moved towards our next dish- মৌরলা মাছের চচ্চড়ি (A mixed sabzi with pumpkin, brinjal, sliced potato and mourola fish). It was not very spicy but tasty enough to gulp it down hungrily.

mourola machher sabzi

Next came the variety of non-veg brigade for which this place is famous for:

Vetki fry

We were supposed to have this vetki fry with dal and aloo-bhaja and was served hot- fresh from the kadai. Its was approx 150 grm in size and good for sharing between 2 persons.

Tengra kosha

Next was one hell of a Tengra fish. ট্যাংরা তেল ঝোল…. This is a king sized original tengra cooked in a moderately spicy oily gravy. Simply yummy and was finished in no time.

pabda shorshe bata

The পাবদা সর্ষে বাটা (pabda fish in mustard sauce) was good but personally I felt is as less spicy than it should be. Fish piece was good though and the quality was awesome

koi machher tel jhol

কৈ মাছের তেল ঝোল – Now this is one koi fish dish that I really liked. Its cooked in the same onion gravy as tengra but the tengra was more  saunf flavored whereas the koi is more garam masala flavored.

Boal machher jhol
Boal machher jhol

After all these spicy dishes, the stomach needed some rest and the next dish provided the same. Its called বোয়াল মাছের ঝল। The boal fish is cooked in a less spicy manner with potato and is pretty good. The boal was mid-sized and not very oily….. but ok- you can’t have everything.

The next 2 items are extremely popular in any bengali cuisine/ party and is easily recognizable.

chingri malaikari
chingri malaikari

চিংড়ি মাছের মালাইকারি- an extremely popular mild prawn dish cooked with coconut milk and grated coconut. Galda prawn is used here. Again a mismatch. I personally prefer this prawn malaicurry without onion, but this one had onion in it and is oh-ok-s0-what type with me. The freshness of the fish saved the day for me but my partners liked it thoroughly……. well, personal choice !!!

kochi panthar jhol

কচি পাঁঠার ঝোল – Its basically a mild flavored mutton curry with potato cooked with tender lamb- a la bengali ishtyle. The specialty of this dish is it has to be less spicy (yes), has to be with less garam masala and cumin flavored (hell yes) and to be cooked with potato (we are bongs- remember ? )

Well, we are full and probably need a crane to take us out of the table. The bill ? wish all the above items, with 3 veg thali (remember the rice, dal, aloo bhaja …. ) came to arond 720/- . Happy we were and blessed these pice hotel owners. We left for the day- full and happy …..

I can be reached at 9903528225/ indrajit.lahiri@ymail.com

Please feel free to comment and share.

Bon apetite !!!

18 Comments Add yours

  1. ভয়ানক খিদে পেয়ে গ্যালো এই সাতসকালে এইসব ছবি দেখে 🙁 আপনার ব্লগে বেড়াতে আসা ঠিক হয়নি এই সময় 😀

    যাই হোক, নতুন বাংলা/ বাংলিশ ব্লগ দেখে খুব ভালো লাগলো, বাংলা ব্লগের সংখ্যা খুব বেশী নয় কিনা… 🙂 প্রসঙ্গত, আমার দুটো ব্লগ আছে, লিঙ্ক দেলাম, সময় পেলে ঘুরে-ফিরে দেখবেন, শুভেচ্ছা রইল 🙂

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    1. Thanks Maniparna. Thanks for liking it… I’ll check yours and will get back to you

  2. Supratim Sarker says:

    Dada.. i completely do agree with ur “mental blockage” psychology, what u hv mentioned in ur initial write up..
    Amar Sidhesari & Kasturi.. aye 2-to pice-hotel yer experience ache.. due to my office area once.. aye bare dekchi, আদর্শ হিন্দু হোটেল ta oo try korte hobe..

  3. S Basu says:

    Thanks – the detailed info on the location+menu+pics was a big help.

    I grew up close to gariahat market. But being from a well off family, none of my close relatives had actually gone to a pice hotel atleast in their adult life. I had vaguely heard of their existence inside the market and passed by the not-so-inviting roadside equivalent.
    Recently, I needed to frequently have my meals outside home… I first started out with contemporary popular places like Bhajahari Manna, and then through some googl-ing on the “previously heard of pice hotels in gariahat” (mainly to reduce everyday costs), came to your blog.
    I ended up going there…though your blog mentions one place specifically I found a whole bunch of new eateries inside the market. Thanks once again.

    1. Thnx for liking it sir. Pls keep on reading and share if possible…

  4. Sharmista says:

    OMG this is my adarsh hotel. I MUST go here, thanks a lot.

  5. Santanu says:

    Ami jaccchi … agami jonmodin er khaowa ekanaei hobe bondhuder shathe. Thank you Indrajit da for this article.
    Iti,
    Santanu ( a fellow foodie and a bong)

    1. Thanks for liking it… Please share if you feel like

  6. Santanu says:

    I sure will share my experiences here. Waiting for my foodie frens to converge in Calcutta from far-flung lands of Dehra Doon and Bangalore and Chennai. Come June.

    1. Please do. Please share this post if possible

      1. Santanu says:

        I already have.. over mail and whatsapp ha ha .. we are foodies Indrajit da.. cant wait.

        1. Thanks. Much appreciated

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