Ping’s Cafe Orient, Park Street, Kolkata

Ping’s Cafe Orient was in my bucket list from the time it opened. And when I finally could make time for a lunch there, I realised it was worth being in the bucket list.

Park Street is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in town because of its old world charm. Ping’s Cafe Orient, though is a new kid on the block, has a contemporary look but has the spell of the old world. The decor with old things, like the postbox at the door, the fox candy’s tin up-cycled as tableware holder adds an ‘X’ factor to the place. It’s the perfect balance between both the worlds and delicious cuisine with responsible cooking and service.

 

They use only heart-healthy oils such as soyabean, extra virgin olive and sunflower, maximizing the nutritional goodness with fresh ingredients but not compromising on the richness of the flavours. Each taste lingers in your mouth, urging you to visit again for a guilt free dining experience.

I was bowled over by their attempt to be environmentally conscious by trying to use eco-friendly bio-degradable materials. What impressed me most were the ever-smiling hospitable employees.

We ordered for, to start with, Spicy Chicken Dumpling with Thai Lemongrass Cooler and Apple & Ginger Collins. For the mains, we had Chicken Hakka Noodles with Chicken with chilli and fresh mushrooms. The dishes had the perfect amount of freshness of the ingredients and the mixture of the flavours. We signed off with Poached pear with caramelized walnuts & vanilla ice-cream. This is one of the best poached pear I had till date, soft yet with a crunch and every bite of it leaving a taste in your mouth. We were treated in the beginning with some crackers and at the end with some chinese jasmine tea. The quantity and quality of the food here, is top notch.

The attention it is receiving is well-deserved. Everything at this place would make your heart crave to go back again.

Energy-Packed Pancakes

If you are looking for a healthy breakfast option or a energy packed meal after workout, this is going to refuel you and the needs of your body.

Ingredients:

Wheat Flour: 1 cup

Strawberry: 1/2

Homemade Cottage Cheese: 2 teaspoon

Grated Coconut: 2 teaspoon

Milk: 1/4 cup

Eggs: 2

 

Procedure:

  1. Chop the strawberry into pieces.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients with a hand blender or in a food mixer. Add the strawberries to it.
  3. Heat frying pan on oven top. Add a drop of olive oil/white oil.
  4. Pour or scoop the batter onto the frying pan.
  5. Once the side is golden brown, flip it.
  6. Once, even the other side is golden brown, the pancake is ready.

Serve the hot stack of pancakes with maple syrup or honey. If you find nolen gur (jaggery), you may serve the pancakes with the same. Nothing like eating local and seasonal.

 

Sienna Store & Cafe ~ Bluetiful

I am the Bong who loves the Portuguese and the French influences, that the old colonial culture has left in the city. I love everything Bengali adulterated with the European colours. After a long wait for a laid-back cafe, Kolkata lastly has its perfect cafe. I am so much head over heels in love with this cafe & store in blue, that I find everything beautiful about it and my term ‘bluetiful’ suits it aptly.

   

Situated in the by-lanes of Hindusthan Park, Sienna Store & Cafe is a boutique store and cafe with shuttered windows, doors, mosaic-tables all in blue. It is beautifully decorated with handmade decor items and fairy lights that give the place a magical charm. It sells sustainable clothing, accessories, homewares and paper stationery. I have a few of them in my collection and are few of my favourite things. I love that they maintain the colour symmetry in everything. The notebooks that the store sells, the cover is made of ‘gamcha’, which is a thin coarse tradition cotton towel found in India. Everything about the place speaks of tradition, colonialism and an old-world charm.

Coming to the food, I love the sandwiches, simple but served like a dream. If you want to find the best pasta in town, the one that Italians would be proud of, you should order the pasta here. My favourite is the one with sundried tomatoes. The lebur jol, the juices are served in canisters and the thing that you cant beat is they have copper straws, if you want any. The thing that you would die for are the cakes. Its very difficult to name one, because the goodies baked in the kitchen is not only a delight to look at but even is a treat to all the senses. You could smell the spices wafting into the air, the lusciousness of the baked goods in front of your eyes and when you taste them, each flavour sends a gastronomic revolution inside you.

If you want to work, catch up with some reading, or spend hours over music and good food, stop thinking and hit this address. If you have wondered about the picturesque cafes in the other part of the world, this place is your location to check-in. If you want to collect things that would not only be a statement but echo sustainable living, this is a must visit the place. Sienna store & cafe will make you think about re-doing your home decor, about. The best part about this place, everything is raw, everything is left as it is, imperfect, but the beauty oozes out from there. In every way, it speaks of the ‘Wabi-sabi’ aesthetics of life.

 

JW Kitchen, an experience

Being a foodie since time immemorable obviously urges me to try out new places in town. But, being a social vegan and selectively choosing to go out is quite contrasting to the whole scene.

I love the brand JW Mariott, and I had to try out their food. So, I made sure to head out for lunch with my folks. Pleasantly surprising was, it was the 1st anniversary of JW Mariott in Kolkata. Along with the brand, we celebrated its 1st anniversary with food and cocktails at JW Kitchen.

 

I always feel special when the chef or the manager comes to the table and asks about the food and the hospitality. This makes you feel royal. But it’s more about the hospitality than me feeling royal.

Though I am a food goblet, yet it is practically impossible to try out everything in a single lunch. My favourite was the cheese section, where they have an international selection of cheese. The prawn cocktails and the salads are really great and you should not miss it. I literally had 3 plates of different selection of breads and salads. The chicken and parmesan salad is a treat to all the senses. I think I would go back one day only for the desserts, which had the low sugar carrot cakes, apple pie and a wide array of selection. I ended my trip with an espresso with the hazelnut cake.

I bite my nails because I do not have enough pictures, but trust me, it’s more of an experience. And particularly for this day, I wanted to soak in the experience, the sight of the food, the generousness of the employees and the taste that leaves you numb in that gastronomic pleasure. That leaves me with another day to go back to this place to freeze edible moments and memories.

I am not a food blogger within inverted commas, with due respect to all. But, I blog for the experience, I write to read memories. And for that reason I would not discuss the price, you can obviously find it out from various sources. But one thing I must mention is that I was pleasantly surprised that 28% GST wasn’t charged, I thought food and beverage at a 5-star is 28%, but we were only charged 18%. For the price, it’s more than worth it, I recommend you must visit JW Kitchen once, for that fine-dining experience. You go to a place, not just for the food, but for the experience and I could see that sense of relaxation in my parent’s smile. The brand stays loyal to its name and principles in every sense.