At the very outset, let me clarify that I am not a Bong. However, I was only three when my family moved to Kolkata – and I have, over time, imbibed quite a few typical lifestyle traits and habits of Bengalis. One of these would be my love for good food (like any true-blue Bong, I can’t eat much, but what I eat has to be of the finest quality!). That’s precisely why Park Street – that haven of excellent restaurants in the city – is a place I so dearly love. Some of my favorite eating joints in this locality are:

  1. Mocambo – Near to the place where the Park Street Music World outlet (boy, how I miss it!) used to be, this lovely continental restaurant is located. If you take a car on rent at Kolkata, commuting to Mocambo will become extremely easy. During my (rather frequent!) trips to this eatery, I always order the Chicken Orientele dish. The baked ‘bhetki’ preparation has an absolutely divine taste too. The place has a nice mix of age-old gastronomic charms and comparatively newer dishes.
  2. Arsalan – I am absolutely in love with the spicy mutton biryani in Kolkata – and no one makes it better than the chefs at Arsalan. On every alternate weekend, I take a luxury car on rent in Kolkata – for a family visit to this place. My parents love the various kebabs available at this restaurant too. The prices are reasonable, and the quality of food is…wow!
  3. Olypub – My dad’s some sort of a beer connoisseur – and, on my 18th birthday – he had arranged for a gleaming BMW on rent, and taken me to Olypub for the first time. While he was evidently delighted with the quality and richness of the liquor (it was rather cheap as well!), I sipped on as many as three types of mocktails. The beef steak I had here was extraordinary, and there were plenty of other, mainly non-vegetarian, snacks. A good place for hanging out with buddies.
  4. Peter Cat – If you are a resident of Kolkata and have not yet tasted the Chelo Kebab at Peter Cat, you are definitely missing out on something. One of my Bong friends managed to hire rental car, and took me and three other classmates (this was when I was in college) to this famed Park Street restaurant. It was a holiday, and the crowd over there was unbelievably huge! Fortunately, my friend had booked a table in advance – and it did not take long for us to devote our full attention to the chicken chelo kebabs and other continental side dishes.
  5. Peiping – Old-timers have a lot of good things to say about this budget-friendly family restaurant in Park Street – and from my personal experiences, I feel that Peiping has held on very well to its tradition and quality over time. I had gone to the airport to receive my dad (he had gone abroad for business purposes), and had availed of Kolkata airport car rental services to commute to this elegantly decorated eatery. We had chicken fried rice and prawn manchurian over here – and both the dishes were yummy!
  6. Tangerine – I pursued my higher studies at St. Xavier’s College – and often used to have a bite at Tangerine after my classes were over. If your home is not near the Park Street area, you can consider taking a hired vehicle from any good car rentals company, to visit this tradition-seeped restaurant. The pasta preparations were an eternal favorite of mine, along with the Thai soups. Fans of Chinese delicacies would also love to have meals at the Tangerine restaurant.
  7. Veda – The very first Park Street restaurant I ate at. My parents had taken car hire in Kolkata on the occasion of my eighth birthday, and we had driven to the Park Mansions, where the famous Veda restaurant is located. The chicken tikka and the dal veda (a specialty dish of the place) were the preparations which I really liked. The kebabs were good too, if a tad unremarkable. The vegetable raita was nice though, and there were many dessert items and mocktails to choose from.
  8. Marco Polo – If you love authentic Chinese cuisine, and are prepared to spend a bit – this is the restaurant you should head for. On my first date (again, at college), I had taken a gleaming Innova on rent – and taken my lady love to Marco Polo. The flow of conversation was nicely aided along by the smooth-tasting rice noodles and the delicious chicken asparagus soup. We tried the pork chops at the restaurant too, and were amazed at their tastiness. Five years later, I hitched up with her – and we visit Marco Polo every year to celebrate our anniversary.

I have also been to, and liked, the Tung Fong and the Bar-B-Q restaurants – two of the other premier eating joints in the Park Street neighborhood. For a quick bite, the Park Street KFC outlet is a favorite haunting place of mine. Irrespective of where you stay in Kolkata, if you love pampering your taste buds – take car rental in Kolkata, and visit these restaurants. I, for one, certainly enjoyed eating at each of them!