My son, Judhajit and I are foodies who love to experiment and try out new cuisine whenever we can. Last year, we went to Kolkata on a very short trip for some medical checkup of Jagrata. Google Photos popped up the memory of our trip. While recollecting the trip I remembered that we did not blog on our breakfast trail during that trip.
If you are looking for an interesting way to start your day in Kolkata, then head straight to Sun Yat Sen Street for some lip-smacking Chinese delicacies. Popularly known as Tiretti Bazaar, this is one area where Kolkata’s Chinese community lived for long (now the main concentration of Chinese community is in Tangra). The Chinese have contributed to many areas of the social and economic life of Kolkata. And this history dates back as early as 5th Century CE when Faxian (Fa-Hien) visited Tamralipta, a city in ancient Bengal, located on the Bay of Bengal. The Tamluk town in present-day West Bengal is identified as the site of Tamralipta. It was the exit point of the Mauryan trade route for the south and south-east.
The first recorded Chinese settler in India is Tong Achew, a trader who landed near Budge Budge in the late 18th century. Achew set up a sugar cane plantation along with a sugar factory. Achew brought in a band of Chinese workers to work in his plantation and factory. This was the first Chinese settlement in India. Achew died shortly after and the Chinese settlers moved to Kolkata.
Definitely not the usual way of eating out in Kolkata, however, you are bound to taste some of the best street food of Kolkata at the Tiretti Bazaar. It starts at around 5.30 am and melts down by 8.30 am, just before the offices start and the roads turn into parking spaces for the day. We went there to have momos.
My personal breakfast attraction in Kolkata is the English breakfast at Flurys. When you have shortage of time, you try to cover as much as possible. We have been to Flurys many times, but Judhajit had never gone there for breakfast and he was very much interested to have breakfast at Flurys. We started walking towards Park Street after relishing momos. It’s around a 4 km stretch. We preferred to walk rather than taking the metro.
On the way at Dharmatala crossing, we entered the famous K.C. Das, one of the most popular confectioners in the City of Joy. Named after Krishna Chandra Das, the shop is synonymous with rossogolla which was created by K.C. Das’ father Nobin Chandra Das, who started the sweet shop in 1866. We had a couple of famous Rasogollas and tea there.
We continued on our walk and reached Park Street. It was a nice walk but Kolkata is humid always. But that didn’t deter us from our breakfast trail that day.
Started in 1927 by a Swiss-couple by the name of J flurys as a cross between a patisserie and a European style tea-room, it was legendary as much for its cakes, rum-balls, pastries, puddings, and Swiss chocolates, as for its breakfast menu. The outlet changed its management in 1965, when it was bought over by the Pauls, who ran The Park across the street, but its charm and reputation for good food remained intact, especially with tourists and polite society, not just in Kolkata but all over India.
Flurys with its old world charm is often referred to as the “Queen of Park Street”. Do not be surprised if you have to wait for an hour for breakfast on weekends and holidays. That day was neither a Sunday or a holiday, but still we had to wait for getting a table for us. But being a weekday, our wait was short.
The iconic Flurys’ English Breakfast is a must have while I am in town on my own. It comprises some fresh cuts of fruits, two grilled sausages, two rashes of crispy bacon, one poached egg, two slices of bread, one grilled tomato, mushroom, butter, and beans along with tea or coffee.
I used to come here occasionally during my stay in Kolkata while I was undergoing on the job training after joining the bank three decades ago. Amazingly, they have maintained the same quality. After our sumptuous breakfast trail, we returned to our hotel in a Uber taxi. What a delicious morning!