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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Restaurant Review - Hakuna Matata (Park Street, Kolkata)

This is the first time I went to Park street on Christmas. By early evening itself there were so many people that it was difficult to walk without bumping into unknown pedestrians. I have heard earlier that finding a table at a Park street restaurant on Christmas night is an arduous task, but now I understand how bad it can be! Most of the good restaurants had almost a 2 hour wait time. We decided to eat at Hakuna Matata as they had tables available. The restaurant serves fusion food with small portion sizes. The restaurant itself is not very big and they have arranged the tables very close to each other, which is kind of uncomfortable specially when people sitting on the  adjacent tables are busy clicking "duckface" selfies throughout the time they were there. Also not sure if it was a Christmas special or on regular days as well they play the music so loud. It was so outrageously loud that you can't even hear the person having dinner with you. No wonder I got a headache in just 5 minutes.


For drinks we ordered virgin mojito & kokotini and for food we ordered curd rice arancini, manchurian vada pav & Indian inspired Mezze platter. The virgin mojito was good but kokotini was not served cold and it was too sweet! All items they served looked good but everything that's good about the place ends there!!



First bite of the curd rice arancini seemed promising; but then the filling was not really curd rice, rather it tasted more like tamarind rice/puliogre. Moreover they served the arancini with a dollop of pickle on top which made it so very tangy. I felt that just a hint of pickle would have been a better choice.


The manchurian vada pav was equally bad. The pav was not crunchy like an authentic vada pav would be and the manchurian sauce was again too salty & bland.


The worst of the lot was the mezze platter. The platter had baingan bharta/mashed & spiced eggplant, dal pakoda/lentil fritters, chana masala hummus/chickpea curry hummus, raita, salad and paratha. The lentil fritters were dry; the eggplant and hummus were too salty and on top of it the chef added generous amount of garam masala to it which made it impossible to eat. They named the dish Indian inspired mezze platter, but I have no idea what inspiration they meant by that. The dish was no way Mediterranean nor did it have any Indian flavor!


All in all the ambiance and food were both bad; no way I am going back there again.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Traveling from Boston to Kolkata

Hello from the other side of the world!!! We reached Kolkata! Yay! I am so excited that am not yet feeling tired even after the arduous journey of almost 24 hrs. Pretty sure jet lag will hit me soon!! I slept the whole time in flight. Whenever I take a flight, I feel like I am drugged or something, I sleep so much!  Here is a sneak peak of our journey from Boston to Kolkata. All photos were taken on my cell phone (One Plus 2) camera, so please don't mind the picture quality.

For lunch on Emirates Boston to Dubai, I opted for Hindu non-veg meal. They served a cold orzo salad, bread-butter, cheese, bread sticks & goat cooked with pesto (served with green beans, pumpkin & roasted potatoes). The orzo salad was pretty good, however the goat meat was a little overcooked. Dessert was chocolate cherry crisp which was really tasty!


For breakfast they served omelet with baked beans, sauted mushrooms, croissant, fruits & orange juice.


We had a 6 hours layover at Dubai International Airport. We roamed around the  airport checking out the duty free shops. You will never get bored at this airport as there are so many stores to visit. No matter what time in the night it is, this place is always alive!


Before boarding the next flight, we had to eat something and we had food vouchers from Emirates. It listed restaurants where you can use the vouchers. Obviously D cannot think of anything else if he sees any mention of biryani on the menu. So we had chicken biryani at Wafi Goumet and it was a bad choice! It will be an understatement even if I say that the food was bad.


The 2nd leg of the flight, from Dubai to Kolkata was a much shorter haul of 4hrs. They served only breakfast on this flight. It was spiced scrambled eggs, spiced potatoes with peas, jalapeno bites, fruits, bread & cake. The eggs were so salty and watery, I couldn't even make out that it was eggs!


So finally after a 24 hour journey, we reached Kolkata and you can understand how excited I am. So much so that I am decided to blog about my experience today itself! Please check my Facebook page and Instagram feed for more photos and stories of my travelogue.