The Kolkata gastronomic scenario has adopted many a food items from the foreign individuals who’ve migrated here, gave them its significant special touch and embraced them. One such considerably popular item is momo. And if its Kolkata momo, The Blue Poppy is an extremely popular joint- often termed as the best one. This is my experience in the blue poppy, salt lake, sector 3.
How to go and when to go ?
This joint has got multiple outlets in kolkata. The one in discussion here is in salt lake sector 3. The formal address is LA-4, Sector 3, salt lake. But actually its pretty easy to recognize the place, Its the canteen in the Sikim House, salt lake. The building is bang opposite to the SAI sports complex, main gate in saltlake stadium. The joint is open from 11 AM – 930 PM on all days (except the last saturday of the month). But, please remember, the items tend to get over by 830-9 PM. So, be there early. It has got a good parking facility.
Ambience and service:
This has got a pretty good ambience considering the fact that its the canteen in a state house. place has got decent table-chair and the mandatory AC. Waiters are not that trained and you get a homely touch in the service here. They often mistake your orders but immediately acknowledge the same with a broad smile. Hence, you feel no offence. But, please do expect to wait for your food to reach your table after order.
The starter time:-
This place is primarily famous for its sikimese and bhutanese cuisine. By sikimese cuisine, we normally understand momo and thukpa, hence they were the standard orders here. But here they serve a whole gamut of momos.
The first one to arrive at our table was the regular pork steamed momo. They serve 8 pcs of those succulent, heavily filled beauties in a portion. They were perfectly steamed and as we dig our teeth in them, pork fat woozed out and it was pure bliss.
Along with the steamed momo, we ordered one bhutanese starter. It was called Ema Desi or cheese with chilly. Its a strange dish which we never encountered before. Its much like the cheese fondue. Here melted cheese and white sauce is ive, spiced by green chilly and some unknown spices. The cheese naturally melted in the mouth and was extremely heavy for the apetite. One portion can easily be shared by 2-3 persons.
The next one we ordered was the bhutanese version of the momo- its Pork Kothay. This is momo- one half steamed and the other half shallow fried. The taste can be described as ‘best of both the worlds’. The slightly chewy taste (due to shallow fried cooking style). Nice and a new revelation.
The next item was the very standard Fried Pork Momo. Its the usual fare, except being perfectly deep fried. Crispy outside and juicy inside.
Next was again a bhutanese dish called Pork Phalay. Its basically a meat stuffed, deep fried flat bread. The edges are hand-designed beautifully and the inside is very, very less spicy yet juicy. One portion consists of one such bread and can easily be shared among 2-3 persons. My sincere apologies, I couldn’t take a photo of the same, cause before clicking one of my friends started having the same. But, I’ll definitely add the same later.
The last starter of the day was the mandatory Mixed Thukpa. Thukpa is primarily a tibetan noodle soup consisting of noodles, various types of meats, prawn cooked in mild garlic flavored thick meat stock. The thukpa served here is normally a meal by itself and sufficient for a full meal for one person. Taste-wise its mild yet having a predominant flavor of garlic. As per our request, the happily divided the thukpa in separate bowls and it was heaven.
Next was the time for our main course. Now, at this point of time, I must confess that we were a pretty big group and that’s the only reason we could order for the main courses after such a long list of starters.
For the main course, we ordered Mixed Mei-Foon and Pork Shapta. Mei foon is pretty average rice noodles (hakka styled) except being heavily portioned and seasoned with lots of meat and prawn. One portion can easily be shared by two.
Pork Shapta is the bhutanese version of dry chilly pork. Its sliced pork stir-fried with capsicum, diced onion and green chilly. Its devilishly hot and spicy in nature. So, weak-hearted people may easily avoid it. The meat is partially lean with a heavy layer of fat – my friends liked it but somehow I like the lean pork more than the fatty portion.
The next items that we ordered was prawn chow-chow rice with hot garlic pork. Readers, please do not get confused by the term chow chow rice. Prawn Chow Chow Rice is steamed rice covered with a sticky light gravy with a huge portion of vegetables and medium sized prawns. The gravy is a little excess sticky in nature (as per my preference) and its a complete dish by itself.
Along with the mild-tasted chow chow rice, the accompaniment was Hot Garlic Pork. Now, it does not justify its name. Its a rather sweet-ish dish with sliced pork (again those fat-layered sliced pork) flavored with garlic and tomato-chilly. Personally, I like fiery spicy dishes- hence this dish was not really of my type. But, for people who like non-spicy-yet-hot-dish, this dish is heaven.
We are full and almost unable to move from out chairs. But, we missed another famed dish of this place. Its the non-veg nepalese thali. Apart from the standard fares, it has got 2 rare-to-get dishes – Gundruk and Kinema. Gundruk is a dry, fermented leafy vegetable cooked in traditional nepali style and Kinema is a type of fermented soy bean- typically nepalese household regular food. This thali is a must-try here. But warning, they tend to get over pretty soon.
Its an extremely VFM joint where we get the unusual north-eastern fare. If you’re someone who’s eager to venture beyond momos and thukpas in sikimese cuisine and are game for the lesser-known bhutanese and nepalese cuisine- then this is THE place in Kolkata. For 2 persons, the bill should come within 350/- with a portion of coke/mirinda put in. Hence, blue poppy is very very popular among the students and office goers in this region. They do home-delivery within salt lake area. So, what you’re waiting for ? Go ahead and gorge in.
Bon Apetite !!!
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