Saturday, April 12, 2008

Food City

16th March: From my travel dairy

Before you read ahead guess which city you would see this?

While were were driving from airport to the Kolkata city we had spotted the "Haldiram Food City". After the visits to Belur Math and Dakhineshwar and all the queuing up for darshan that we did we were tired and hungry, we decided to check it out.

It is a two storeyed building and has a factory in the premises, the manufacturing and packaging too takes place here. You can see trucks being loaded. As we entered we were awestruck at the display of the varieties of farsan, sweets, chocolates, colorful packaging and beautiful gift wraps that won our hearts. We decided to first have our lunch at the restaraunt and then take a look around.

The restaurant had a buffet style service. We checked the day's menu that was extensive. There were two type of Thalis, a special one and a mini. The mini option did not include rice so we decided on the special one. Dad was craving for some authentic chat, remember since last three years we are in SI so when he gets a chance would he loose it? He went for a Rajasthani Dahiwada and mixed chat too. We bought the coupons and requested permission to take pictures for the blog.

The special thali consisted of three veggies of choice or 2 veggies of choice and dal makhani. I chose three veggies viz Paneer Makhani, Gobi Matar and Palak Paneer. The clerk at the counter helped in choosing the rotis, he suggested we choose masala kulcha, stuffed with potato bhaaji. The coldrink choice available was lassi, Badam milk, tea, coffee, slush or milkshake. While we were moving around Thandai was offered to us for a tasting. So we made a special request for Thandai to go with lunch. The last bit of surprise was the packaged water bottle they offered. Wow! I was a fan of Haldiram but loyal one now.

The Thali you see here has....

2 masala kulcha- soft like a stuffed pizza, the size of a phulka
1 bowl of Peas Pulao- Rangoon Basmati rice, lightly flavored and tender peas cooked to perfection.
1 bowl of Palak Paneer- Generous amount of paneer in the palak gravy.
1 bowl of Gobi Matar- Cauliflower and green peas gravy. I think the cauliflower was grilled before adding to the gravy, it had a smoky flavor.
1 bowl of Paneer Makhani- Paneer in cashew nut paste.
Salad of onions, carrots- Fresh and crunchy
Packaged Pickle- mixed veggies
1 small pack of bhujia- absolutely yummy, pack mentions moth flour used.
1 glass drink- Thandai was my choice not served usually. It was holi time so the tasting was available.

This meal is priced at Rs.100, a full paisa vasool.

The Rajashthani Dahi Vada and Mixed chat too was yummy. We had just too much food.

A good Indain meal needs an equally good closure so Dad bought the premade cone of paan for 10 bucks.

The restaraunt is much like a fast food joint not much by way of an ambience but you will defintely take back memories of delicious food cooked in the traditional way.

After lunch we took a walk through all the other sections. The rest of the store has high sealings and pillars that I loved.

I bought a bottle of Thandai syrup for Holi is around the corner though we will be on the train on the day. The Thandai reminded me of Hardesh Aunty who introduced me to it as a kid.

I also bought the dry fruit katli, Aam papad, they had labeled it Mango Katli, pack of cornflakes chivada and Shakarpara just because the pack looked lovely.

After a good two hours at Food city we drove to Science city.

One question was unanswered is the Haldiram, Nagpur and Kolkata the same? May be Stephanie can answer or anyone from Haldiram?

Updated: 3rd May 08

When I sent this post to RCI Bengal I had a doubt if it would make it there. This post is about Haldiram's Food city in Kolkata but not the traditional taste of Kolkata or of Bengal. However we all know how well the Marwadi culture has blended in there. The Food city is just an example of that. Yet Sandeepa included it in the round up, so a BIG THANK YOU!


  1. Well i was right Kolkata.. loved the photos..

  2. I have been to this place too..Every dish was expensive..But nothing could beat its taste..

  3. I was reading your blog. You mentioned Hardesh aunty. Would she be Hardesh Behl who studied in St. Anthony's High School Chembur and would be around 65 years old.
    We are planning a school reunion of old schoolmates.
    Please confirm in this blog.

    1. Kumari, I don't think so. The Hardesh aunty I am talking about studied in Punjab and marriage brought her to Colaba.


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