For the love of good food….
Recently, I went to Kolkata for a work trip. Kolkata is a city I am very fond of. It is a beautiful legendary city where time stands still. Walk down the main old city and admire the Victorian style architecture, visit a fish market (the favourite food of the Bengalis) to watch the customers and sellers haggle with passion, go to a football match for an adrenalin-pumping experience in support of the local team or buy a paper cone of sharp, crunchy, mustard-spiked jhal muri browsing through museums or theatres.
When it comes to street food, apart from chaat, the one thing that will pop up with the name of Kolkata and has also been exported to quite a few places is kathi rolls. In quite a few cities, you can also see mobile hand carts selling “Kolkata rolls”. The name kathi is derived from the bamboo skewers that most of the roll makers used in the city. Kathi roll is essentially a parantha wrapped around grilled or cooked stuffing of your choice, making it easy to walk and eat without a hassle. One of the popular and well-known places in Kolkata to get the best kathi rolls in town is Kusum Rolls in Park Street.
On the main Park Street, nestled just inside a big metal grilled gate, is a small yellow-hued 41-year-old shack. At a glance, you can see 3 or 4 people busily flipping paranthas on a huge tawa, spreading them on a slab and filling it in with the stuffing of choice for the queued up orders, wrapping them in a piece of paper and handing it to the patiently waiting crowd. In the background is visible a menu with all permutations and combinations of a few ingredients – vegetables, paneer, egg, chicken, fish and mutton.
To experience the best possible in vegetarian, I chose to go for the Veg Egg Paneer Roll. The roll was huge and served piping hot. The parantha was of a perfect thickness, not too chewy and neither too brittle. Having egg meant that the trademark of Kolkata rolls of a layering of egg on the parantha was followed. The stuffing was made up of spicy cooked onions, paneer and a mix of veggies. Since I had refused the drizzle of sauce in the wrap, there was none of the uncomfortable dribble of juices associated with the rolls. Being a rainy day, the taste was even more enhanced. The roll was very filling but not too heavy on the stomach to make it uncomfortable. While known more for its’ non-veg options, I was very satisfied with my choice as well.
In Kolkata, roll shops are dime a dozen, making it the favourite quick bite of the city. Park Street is the heart of the city with a lot of youth hangouts. In case you do end up going to this cultural city, and find yourself in Park Street, do ensure you pop in at Kusum Rolls for some of the best mobile food that you would have ever eaten.
Name: Kusum Rolls
Address: 21, Karnani Mansion,Park Street Area, Kolkata
Veg/Non Veg: Both
Value for money: 4/5
Food quality: 4/5
Overall rating: 4/5