Roy guides the epicure in you through the eating joints of India, city by city. If you are travelling to India, bookmark this site and check out the joints when you land up. This page visits the choicest eateries, tells of the famous pubs and also lets you know of the budget restaurants all over India.
If you have landed at Calcutta, be sure to check out the Park Street. In the colonial days, this was touted as the "the best street to the east of Paris. Though the former glory of the Raj is long gone, you can still find sparkles of what made India the "Jewel in the crown".
The Park Street stretches from the Chowringhee Road to the Park Circus. I suggest you enter from the Chowringhee Road end.
The first restaurant you will encounter is Peiping. As the name suggests, it is a Chinese joint. Food is here is good and affordable (I had one of the best rice noodles out here), but I personally feel the place could do with a facelift and a better service.
After you cross Peiping, there is a road towards right which houses the "Floriana". It has a bar and restaurant, and provides one of the best ambiences in the locality.
Right after Peiping, you will find The Park, one of the foremost hotels of Calcutta. It has a five star rating. It houses Someplace Else (discotheque), Zen (Far East), and The Atrium (Coffee Shop).
The disc at Someplace Else has a western decor, and starts at 9. Though a male cannot get in without a lady in tow after 9, one can get in before 9 and stay back, resulting in a predominantly male distribution in the minuscle dancing floor.
The Zen serves Thai and Chinese food. The food is sumptuous and the ambience inviting. The lobby on the first floor in front of Zen has a live piano playing. Gonzales is beautiful on the piano, and will play your requests for you. It makes worth your while sitting in the lobby just for the pleasure of listening to him.
The Atrium is the 24 hour coffee shop.
The ground floor of The Park is rented to a few other reastaurants, which includes The Trincas, The Ming Room and The Kwality.
The Trincas is a lively bar with live bands playing. Many musicians have risen to glory from this joint. Notable among them are Cliff Richards, Usha Uthup, and Lois Banks.
As the name suggests, The Ming Room serves Chinese cuisine.
The Kwality serves excellent food and is almost always crowded. It is popular with parents of prospective grooms and brides; they often send their siblings to meet here and talk one-to-one. The space is a little cramped and
Magnolia, is a veg joint, just opposite to the Park Hotel. Magnolia got a facelist of late and I hear the owners have done a good job at it. The restaurant also runs a fast food joint on the sidewalk.
After The Kwality, on the same side of the road, you will find the Olypub, lovingly nicknamed "Oly" by its patrons, mostly college students and office goers from the locality. This is one of the most affordable watering holes in entire Calcutta. This is one place where one can afford to let his hair down. You can booze to your hearts content and break into a song with a total stranger, nobody's gonna give you a dirty look. However, clealiness is not one of the virtues of Olypub.
After Olypub you will encounter the Starlit Garden and the Moulin Rouge. Promoted by the same management, Starlit is the cheaper alternative, but it is invariably more crowded. Moulin Rouge, with the decorative windmill, has a high good ambience.
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