“Kebab and Veg ???” was my first reaction when I received the invitation from Casa Kitchen for the Kebab and Beer festival. But from my past experience with these guys (https://mohamushkil.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/summer-soiree-casa-kitchen/ ), my inner self felt some confidence that there may be something worthy in their veg kebab menu. And frankly any kebab paired with beer goes well with me (I am a beer guy- see ? )
How to go and when to go:
Its just beside the French motors showroom near minto park. Basically, its opposite to Gorky Sadan and besides Tewari’s in that area. Enough said. Its open from 11-11 on all days. But the kebab festival is from 10th July- 2nd August only.
Decor and ambience:
Its a fine-dining restaurant and pretty much up-market in decor. Comfortable, traditional seating arrangement and nice big windows on all sides. If you can find a seat besides the window, nothing like it. Grab a beer, order the kebabs and let the world pass by- bliss !!!
As soon as we (myself and Anirban Halder) settled down on a nice window-side table, we were hit by the bad news. The day was the day of Rathyatra and Eid and hence a dry-day, implying no beer. But, they make some mean mocktails and we knew this from our past experience. We went for Cucumber-curry leaves lemonade for me and summer cooler for anirban.
Now, the chutney they serve here, is kinda unique. Everywhere, we are served with coriander chutney with kebabs and everybody is quite used to it. But, here, other than that, they served us a bowl of not-so-spicy mustard chutney (A toned down version of kasundi) and was definitely a welcoming change.
What followed next was a bombardment of various kebabs on us- its not that we didn’t like it. But, it started like this…
The first item was peri peri paneer tikka alongside hare mattar ki tikki. Peri peri is a Ghana-Uganda-south-africa based chilly variety with a scoville score of (50,000-1,75,000), so we can safely assume its pretty hot. And naturallyI expeced it to be so. But, here, the spice quotient is toned down a lot and the marination containing the same, wrapped on paneer was quite an unusual thing- pretty good in fact. The second item was a green peas tikki (flattened shallow-fried kebab) with a stuffing of cheddar cheese giving it as distinct taste. I personally liked it very much.
The next set was 2 varieties of tikkis. The kale chane ki tikki and regular veg shami kebab. The veg shami kebab was pretty much run of the mill, whereas the kale chane ki tikki was interesting. Its basically indian herb-flavored dry pea tikki. The taste is kinda bland, which, I felt, should go really well with beer.
At this point, we both strongly felt the need for another round of mocktails (dry day- remember ? ). Its a cucumber-curry lemonade again for me and tangy guava cooler for Anirban.
The next item was what we were waiting for, some mushroom dish. Somehow, I strongly feel, Kolkata restaurants are lacking on this vegetable items (a lack of demand maybe…..) and here they made it just perfect- The badshahi khumb. Its basically onion-cheese stuffed button mushroom coated with another layer of standard marination with cheese, skewed and served on a metal skewer. The result with melted cheese oozing out was awesome.
The next round was chilly makai sheekh kebab and peshawari paneer tikka. Frankly, I both loved and hated chilly makai sheekh. Loved it because the american corns in it were distinct and gave the perfect crunch, hated because, it was not that spicy, as probably it should be. When spoken to management, we were told, the spice factor was toned down on public feedback- hence, guest is god- sigh !!! Wherein Peshawari paneer tikka was pretty good. Small chunks of pineapple were stuffed between 2 paneer chunks with a cashewnut-yoghurt marination and was grilled to perfection.
Maybe I am not supposed to write it (as I am supposed to focus on kebabs here), but the final item was the best and for which I’ll have to come back to this place. It as the Dal Makhani and Plain naan. Naan was ordinary but man, what a dal it was. After Peshawari, ITC sonar, probably these guys make it best in Kolkata. Perfectly balanced, with the right creamy texture and the required subtlety, this was the best item of the day and we were literally licking our fingers. A definite try here and surely not to be missed item.
Finally it was dessert time and we were served the chocolate mousse with the liquid chocolate base. Its good- very good in-fact, but I personally was still drooling over the Dal Makhani. Please pardon me for such gluttony.
Needless to say, we were full and happy. So, final verdict, veg-lovers and not-so-veg-lovers (like me), go for it and DO NOT MISS THE DAL MAKHANI…..
The kebab festival goes till 2nd August, so hurry. Average cost for 2 persons without drinks, around 1000/-. And these guys are offering free-beer with kebab offers. So, halla bol !!!
Bon apetite and cheers !!!
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