Frankly speaking, recently, this restaurant has been making quite a stir in the Kolkata foodie circle and I’m one of those poor souls who have not visited it. So, when it was time for one of my family dinners, I just looked no further and straightaway called them asking for a table reservation. The entire process was super smooth and I was happily surprised to receive an SMS confirming my table reservation along with time. I was happy- these guys meant business. It was my mistake, I didn’t ask for the parking scenario, but parking on the Little Russell Street was a breeze during the dinner time. As Gabbars is almost opposite to the US consulate, the road didn’t allow vehicles to be entered unless for the some specific reason. But we reached the place.
Let me tell you, at around 0830 PM, the place was bursting with clients- like literally. Our table was not set and was set up promptly withing 10 minutes of us arriving and all was going fine. Maybe, it was a rush day or for some other reason, service on that day was damn slow. Now, whoever reads my blog, may remember that I’m slightly (well, not slightly….) finicky about having water on my table and it was the usual same problem here. However, let me focus on the positive sides. The interior was done brilliantly- walls with pictures/ punchlines, fancy crockery and the slightly extra dim light… but what was problematic to me (maybe I’m a bit old for that ) was the loud loud music. I went there for a family meal and the place was positioned like that and not as a lounge. We couldn’t actually hear us talking, but however, we got our hearing senses adjusted to that. Oh, forgot to mention, as soon as we settled, we were given their icy caramel lollypop as a complementary item and my son just loved it.
Our first dish arrived along with the mocktail. It was Balam Puchkari – the sooji Puchka with vegetarian stuffing and those 2 test tubes of pourings. The presentation was great, smoke was coming out of the pot and my son was amazed. Taste-wise, hmmmmmm….. okay-ish. Did the chat-wala in front of CC1 made a better one ? We were slightly confused. The mocktail, watermelon basil mojito was served nicely- in those bulb-shaped containers. Though the fizz was less than what was expected, still okay.
Being a bong, I couldn’t survive much longer without non-veg food and I admit, that’s one of my weakness. Murgh Reshmi Tikka and Chicken Potli Kebab reached out table. Both were good. The Chicken Potli Kebab had a garlic over-dosed mutton mince stuffed inside those soft breasts and tasted pretty good. Presentation and visual appeal, as usual was awesome. I must say, this place is seriously, a food photographer’s delight.
Again, I’ve heard so much about their Papri Chat V 2.0, so ordered for one portion and at last it arrived. One chef came and did some mixing of the chat, again smoke was coming out of the bowl (nice looking it was …. ) but we were again confused with the end product. The Chat-wala in front of the CC1 performed some black magic on us- probably. Rather, my son came out to be wiser. He straight-away went for his pizza. Now, whether it’s having rumali roti base or just a normal thin crust, it tasted good and thankfully, no smoke on it…
Maybe, either those who visit the fine dining joints don’t eat as much as we mango people do or we ordered wrongly, but after all these dishes, we were actually craving for some real food. And when the main course came, we were ecstatic. Sadly, the butter chicken had only 4 (pretty decent sized) boneless meat chunks and was only enough for 2 persons. The mixed fried rice and Kung Pao chicken (or some distant cousin of it) saved us – quite literally.
Finally, fed up (pun intended), it was the dessert time. We had the Parsi Kulfi (again smoke…)- a moderately thick and tasty medallion of kulfi (couldn’t understand what is parsi about it though- my incompetence) and nolen gur cigar (surprise, smoke again). The latter one was probably the best dish of the day. Good portion size, good looks (but all of then are) and definitely recommended. The final dish was The Jalebi Bai. It’s basically caviar or boondi made out of Jilebi batter and served with a thick rabri (mandatory smoke was there too…..).
As least, having the usual late service (may be a bad day for the service team) and scarcity of drinking water, Gabbars taught us the value of money. With the above items with some soft drinks thrown in and no alcohol, for 4 and 1/2 persons, the bill was 5870/-. The experience was pretty good and the food really is visually pleasing…. I’d definitely love to visit again, but on somebody else’s treat- Hami gorib admi achhi !!!!!
Bon apetit !!!
Comments and critics welcome