When you mention Park Street, a cherubic smile lights up most people’s faces. It is synonymous to Peter Cat and an afternoon/evening of lip-smacking food extravaganza. Whether it’s lunch or dinner, Peter Cat has been flocked by Calcuttans – old and young, emigrant and resident Bengalis and innumerable tourists visiting the city. Our memories have been synced to Park Street by the mention of this restaurant. We’ve had NRIs doing a touchdown here as a part of their annual pilgrimage to Calcutta. Being such a favourite, Peter Cat rules Park Street and our hearts.
The Decor – We decided to try our pre-Christmas dinner here. Since all of Park Street is pretty much decked up like Oxford Street in London, it was a lovely ambiance. I don’t think Peter Cat did much to the decor though. Just a few stray red balloons and streamers at the entrance. But that doesn’t make a difference to the Christmas spirit. The interiors are otherwise medium well done (much like a steak, looks dry but is juicy inside). The lights are dim, tables are stacked at appropriate gaps, there’s a mezzanine and a ground for seating. I loved the lamps, as usual, here’s a snapshot.
The Ambiance – Since it was the festive season, Peter Cat was choc-a-bloc. We had to wait for a good fifteen minutes to get in. Everyone seemed to be happy at their own tables, few of them teeming with non-Indian nationals, tourists presumably. Overall it was a warm ambiance, better than most restaurants I’ve been to.
The Food – Ah, the food! It was the crescendo of our visit here. We always tend to begin with cocktails and the menu is very interestingly chalked out for beginners. With doodles, cartoons and captions, you’re bound to fall for some. I tried the Bloody Mary while M, not too fond of cocktails, chose a Whisky Sour. They didn’t disappoint us at all, especially the whisky one, which is bloody difficult to mix into a subtle taste and flavour.
The starters came a tad later – beginning with the delicious Dum-Ki-Raan. I confess this is the first time I savoured this beauty and it seemed flawless to me. The mutton into semi-shreds, probably marinated a lot and cooked into a juicy gravy was a delight. The portion is enough for two though we shared it among three and still it was good. There was a chicken kebab (forgot the exact name) too, which was better than most places I’ve eaten.
However, there is one dish at Peter Cat that everyone orders and we weren’t an exception – Chelo Kebab. Now there’s a little trivia involved into this wholesome dish. It is an ensemble of Chicken Seekh (2 pieces), Chicken Grill with vegetables (1 piece), a ladle full of fragrant rice topped with a dollop of butter and an egg poach on the rice. There was a grilled tomato too, much to my liking. For the uninformed, Chelo Kebab is the national dish of Iran and is available at its best in Peter Cat. I’d say it was amazing as I had it for the first time. The kebabs were grilled to perfection, the rice was perfectly fragrant and enough for one, the dollop of butter added cream and richness to the rice, the poach was neatly done and not runny, and the tomato was succulent. It fills you up with morsels of joy as you tend to gulp the pieces down one by one. Would surely go there for more.
The Service – One of the best in Calcutta. Trust me, I’ve been to restaurants where the waiters hate their customers (will elaborate later). At Peter Cat, the elderly gentleman suggested Dum-Ki-Raan to us, for which we’re much grateful. The others were prompt and suggestive on the portions and dishes to order. Much satisfactory, I’d say.
My Rating – 4.5/5
Zomato – 4.2/5
Burrp – 3.4/5
Address – 18A, Park Street, Kolkata – 700071. Phone – 033- 22298841
Have you ever been here? Let me know how you liked it.
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