Kosha Mangsho from Golbari- ahhh a dose of nostalgia for any self-respecting Bengali. But is it still good? Still worth the hype? Let me share my experience …
Idiot: “good morning sir. I was planning to ask something to you for a long long time. What’s your opinion about kosha mangsho ?”
Person 1: “That’s the exact reason people call you an idiot. Who doesn’t like Kosha mangsho ? It’s just like liking somebody else’s wife. Everybody knows it’s a sin, but still, they lust for it”
Idiot: “But sir, what’s the reason? The gravy is burnt, the meat is super stiff … so, why this lust? “
Person 1: “I didn’t understand really. Where did you have it ? “
Idiot: “Sir, you may think I am an idiot, but I also do my research on Google. And, I’ve been to the most famous Kosha mangsho joint, Golbari, Shyambazar crossing. “
Person 1: “My goodness ….. And, do tell me more about the experience. “
Idiot: “Sir, so, once I reached the place, luckily, I could get in. And, do you know what I’ve seen? A small, small shop with few chairs (suitable for your 8-year-old son) and few people running around. “
Person 1: “But that’s nostalgia, Idiot. “
Idiot: “Right you are sir, so, as I found out, I can’t fit my big-a#$ in those chairs, I planned to pack the items to be consumed at home. And, even as they charged for the chutney, voila, it was packed in a saal leaf. “
Person 1: “Forget that Idiot, tell me about the taste.
Idiot: Please wait, sir. And, as I was about to go out, somebody told me about the other famed shop on the opposite footpath- Rupa. And, like some person under a spell, I went there. The gentleman somehow was much more polite and customer friendly than your Golbari. Though the shop was empty in the afternoon, still the mutton kosha was over and he suggested me mutton keema and mutton liver Kosha.”
Person 1: “ahhh, you’ve done rightly Idiot. And, I guess, you’ve packed food from there also. “
Idiot: “Right you are sir.”
Person 1: “Okay, enough is enough. Now, please tell me about the taste of the items- it must have been hard to determine the superiority between the two famed ones. “
Idiot: “yes sir, HARD it was and both the shops thought of democracy in a respectful manner. The dishes were cooked in such a way, that, forget about the restaurants, it was almost impossible to distinguish between the dishes even… And only a trained, seasoned eye like yours, could’ve done justice. “
“Both the shops had the gravies almost similar ” Idiot continued … “And mutton, liver and keema hard and under cooked. How I wished they could’ve provided an ax and at least a small saw with the parcel to cut the meat. And, for any mediocre home like us, another day’s meal can be cooked with just the oil floating on top. Being healthy definitely is not an option here “
Person 1: “There’s always a bad day at work, Idiot and you, of all the persons, should be knowing it”
Idiot: ” I know sir but this had been my experience after 2 consecutive visits. The keema and even mutton liver, however, is better than the hard meat and is recommended”
Person 1: “Errr ….. is it really? From your pics, I can hardly differentiate between them “
Idiot: “That’s what I am telling you, sir, avoid them and please don’t refer them to anyone”
Person 1: “But what about nostalgia? They’re the heritage of the city and they pride among themselves to have not changed … “
Idiot: “In that case, let them be sir, let them rest in peace … “
The actual story
New Punjabi Restaurant or Golbari as it is popularly is known, is a 90+-year-old shop opened by Mr. Ratan Arora and now taken over by his son, Kishen Arora. The idea was to serve spicy, delicious meat to the locality. Though they serve fish fry, chops, and few other stuff, the joint thrives on their Roti (more like a lightly fried Parota) and Kosha Mangsho combo and the signature Tamarind chutney. And almost no self-respecting Kolkattan has been able to skip that joint, at least once in their lifetime.
Rupa is an equally famous joint just across the street. But, denial to change with time and arrogance have been spoiling the food experience there over time. And, being a Kolkattan and city-loving-glutton, it actually hurt me to have this substandard dish – some hard chewy meat floating in oil- and thus this imaginary story. The intent is to reach the owners (and not to hurt anyone) so that they can revive the original magic and bounce back. We seriously cherish good, old joints serving good food and we can’t lose another, hence …..
Bon apetit !!!
Comments and critics welcome.
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