If one thing that is common in people of Bengal about food, it’s got to be our love for non veg. Even a recent survey confirmed the stats where this region actually surpassed the average non veg consumption of northern India. So it’s not very hard to wonder why it’s so difficult to find a decent vegetarian eatery in the city. I’m not saying the city doesn’t have them. Sure there are quite a lot of options ( Park Street even got Hakuna Matata which serves great cocktail along with mouth-watering food). However once you narrow down your preferred search location, numbers fall drastically. Even South Indian dosas haven’t been spared in the city & have been given a non veg makeover ( Dosa@Twist actually serves great chicken & cheese dosas). Now Park Circus area is highly known for its Mughlai restaurants. The likes of Arsalan, Zeeshan reign the food scene. Ask for a veggie friendly outlet, people will be highly bemused. Not any more though! Hotel Orion, West Willows has recently opened the doors to its in-house restaurant ‘Fork & Knife’ to the general public. Situated in the lane of ‘Mocha’, this outlet is situated bang opposite the ‘Firefly’ lounge. The hotel is a 3 star property falling in the business class segment. The owner Mr. Amit Bajoria came up with the idea of veg only dining keeping in mind the lack of this type of eateries in the vicinity. Not only local, the restaurant with its quality food attempts to make a spot in the food map of Kolkata. Mr. Bajoria recently invited our group to try out the dishes they are serving right now. The menu is quite extensive, & rather being confused by it we settled for items they wanted us to taste.
Mocktails / Beverages:
The restaurant serves only non alcoholic drinks & intends to continue doing so. The banquet hall upstairs is rented out for parties & conferences. Alcoholic drinks along with non-veg foods are served there.
Lots of mint & lemon wedges with lots of ice in this fizzy drink. Perfectly okay.
Ginger Rock Salt:
This one was a bit different. A regular glass tumbler with ginger juice, rock salt & sugar syrup resting at the bottom. The glass was topped with ice cubes & soda. You’ve to stir it yourself before consuming. The taste is reminiscent of masala soda with the added pungency of ginger. Quite likeable.
Delhi Ka Chaat:
This is the popular papri chaat you get at every street corners. However prepared carefully with perfect balance of sweetness & sourness, topped with generous amount of sev, this will leave you longing for more even after you have had a no. of it.
Dahi Chilla Chaat:
This one is one of their experimental chaat dishes. Cold hung curd mixed with minced onion & green chilies, rolled in a rava pancake, & sliced into bite sized chillas for convenience. Topped with generous amount of sev to give the chaat quotient. The Hot rava chilla (reminiscent of dosa) was starkly different from the cold curd. Again the sour card differed from the hot chilies while the onions added a juicy pungent variation. Overall the whole dish was a burst in your mouth goodness. A taste which will bring you back to the place surely.
It’ll be a bit too much calling it a Kebab. Cooked & mashed rice, hung curd, cheese along with some minced curry leaves & green chilies shaped into a patty, coated with bhujia & deep-fried. It’s more of a chop than a Kebab. But what’s in a name? The taste? Well it was again a surprise. The rice & cheese being sticky were in absolute contrast to the crunchy spicy exterior. It was an absolute pleasure munching on this. Surely recommended.
Cheese Chili Cigars:
Chili Cheese Cigars are nowadays fairly common item, available at all major restaurants & cafes of the city. However the preparation has been given a subtle twist. Instead of wrapping the cheese sticks (sprinkled with minced green chili) in wanton or starch sheets, rumali roti has been used. As a result the outer roll isn’t as crunchy as regular cheese cigars, however are very enjoyable nonetheless. Sprinkled with some salt & pepper the spicy cigars are sure to make you fall in love with them.
After the starters we tried out some of the more traditional dishes from the main course.
Garlic Naan & Masala Kulcha:
Both of these were quite good, perfectly prepared without being to dry or burnt at places.
Apart from the added cumin & butter the rice was loaded with shredded coriander to give it a better appearance & somewhat fresh aroma.
A mix of lentils cooked with butter. The dense daal was supposed to be eaten with the roti, but I enjoyed it with the rice as well.
Aloo Do Piyaza:
A very common north Indian delicacy, the Potatoes are cooked in an onion based gravy then topped with crispy fried onions. The fried onions give it a sweeter taste making it enjoyable even more.
This is a beautiful dish to start with. Pieces of soft cottage cheese placed in a minced spinach base. The pieces were separately placed in a rich tomato & cream based gravy. The gravy was finger-licking good, the paneer pieces soft, while the spinach incredibly tasty. Even being a hardcore non-veg person I couldn’t stop appreciating the dish.
A layered chocolate dessert which is going to win everyone’s heart. Prepared by placing a layer of vanilla ice cream between layers of chocolate pastries, then topping it with some chocolate sauce & whipped cream, finally decorating it with a thin chocolate wafer. The whole thing was a choco extravaganza & couldn’t resist asking for a second serving of the same.
All in all this short meal was only a preview of what incredibly delicious items they have in store. Not only North Indian, Fork & Knife also serves South Indian, Chinese & Italian cuisines. That too at dirt cheap prices. As a matter of fact the pricing is so picket friendly I checked the menu twice & asked the manager, whether it is the updated price list! To my utter astonishment, it is the present pricing! Fork & Knife brings the much-needed variation to the non-veg joints around the area. Not only being non veg, the tasty delicacies being served are sure to bring in loads of people who will enjoy the food items being dishes out. Will visit again soon to try out how they fare in veggie Chinese & Italian dishes.
Until then happy eating,