Like all good things, authentic Chinese eating houses are also shutting down today in Kolkata. A place with minimal ambiance and no-frills professional service- yet people flock there in groups just for the great food with honest price. One such place is D’Ley. When one talks of the Chinatown in Kolkata, we understand it to be the Tangra/ Topsia area. But, the territi bazaar and adjacent area is one place where till date, the famed (or something like that) Chinese road-side breakfast takes place (few shops on weekdays and in a grand scale, on Sunday). The same can be found in my post here… However, couple of places are there which are proud to call themselves eating house, rather than a restaurant. They are mostly operated by families- the items are the traditional ones and sometimes on a special request, the hidden gems and prepared for a few special guests. Apart from Tung Nam (my eternal weak point for me for Chinese food in city), D’Ley is one such place. This is a place of lovelove.
Say, you’re standing in front of Central Metro station at the Road towards Poddar court, Follow the road towards the Poddar Court. After around 5 minutes of walking (that road is a one-way for vehicles – coming towards Central avenue), you’ll fine a blue coloured building on you left- that’s Kolkata Improvement Trust Building- adjacent to the Teritti bazar BSNL bhawan. D’Ley is situated opposite to that building and please remember, its a blink-and-miss kind of place. Please remember, the sign-board is put up on the next shop (as you can find in the photograph).
Enter the place and please be ready to find some 4-5 tables and chairs thrown around and one cash counter with few on-interested oriental faces spending the sweet lazy time at it. There’ll be nobody to greet you, and hopefully you’re not even expecting that. Have a seat. Thankfully, immediately the cold water will be served to your table. Menu cards are already thrown in front of you and remember, you’re supposed to know what you’re going to order.
Do check my blogpost on the Chinese settlement and Indo-Chinese food in Kolkata here…
It’s a long menu card, and trust me, it will be an entertaining read while the food comes. But, here let me suggest you something. There is a dish called Yam Mein in the menu. Its basically tossed noodles. Whereas, in normal noodle preparation, the meat and vegetables are stir-fried and then the noodles come into the scenario, here all the ingredients are cooked together, giving them a slightly soggy feeling but locking the full aroma. Go for that. I normally opt for the Mixed Yum Mein. The portion size is quite decent- 2 portions can satisfy 3 hungry souls, but as a first timer, also, go for their Mixed fried Rice- it’s quite heavy in portion size and light in taste. Needless to say, quantity of meat and shrimps are pretty good in both of them.
Curated breakfast at D’Ley
Recently, we’ve went on a specially curated breakfast menu in D’Ley. The items were pork ball soup, steamed pork bao, Baked pork bao, steamed pork wanton, sticky rice with pork stuffing and Pork Fooyung (steamed omlette with pork). The items were part of a curated menu done by Porkaholic group and most of these items were not part of the regular menu. In this, the fooyung was seriously good along with the pork ball soup. And, please don’t fantasize much, for rest, you’ve better place around. But for a change, the menu and the dishes were pretty good.
Unusual main course with Pork
Now, after so many years, we got an interesting information. We were fed up of the usual pork dishes and asked for suggestion from The Calcutta Porkaddicts FB group. And came to know that upon an advance order to Mr. Kuchi chi@ 9831553502, you can get the below mentioned beauties at D’ley.
Okay, Pork with bittergourd was a new dish for me. and let me tell you, it’s a love-it-or-hate-it dish. The meat taste is subdued with the bittergourd taste. Though it is pretty interesting, but somehow, I personally won’t repeat it. Rather Pork with Aubergine or Brinjal was good. I could figure out the taste of local salty soya sauce, and nothing else. Like any good curry dish, all the ingredients devoted themselves to create this homogeneous dish. this is definitely recommended, and is available at their regular menu. Next was Pork with Rajma or Kidney Beans. It is plan old rajma curry (without the Punjabi dollop of butter and with addition of probably five spice powder) with chunks of Pork. Good taste- recommended. The steamed egg with pork, a.k.a Pork omlet is damn good- light, fluffy and with an underlayer of minced pork. Sprinkle some crushed pepper and you’re good to go. The typical D’ley problem is definitely there. They use pork with a high fat content (50″50). you may, or may not like it…
Honestly, these dishes are good for an adventurer. If you are looking to taste the homely unusual pork dishes beyond the Chilly Pork, you’re most welcome to try them at D’Ley. But be cautious and come with an open mind. D’ley won’t disappoint you.
So, this is my tryst with D’Ley- another old school Chinese eating house and hope you like it too. But, one word of caution. Unlike Tung Nam, these guys are not very consistent in food preparation and not that they care a lot. On a good day, they can give the biggies a run for their money and on a bad day, your friendly local Chinese joint is better than them- but then when you get good quality pork in all the Kolkata localities ?
Bon apetit !!!
Comments and critics welcome.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org