Three, four years back baos were not something that was widely available in Kolkata. I remember trying them first at Territi Bazaar and honestly didn’t quite like them. Little bits of meat and a whole lot of bread was not my thing! The first time I had good baos (really good ones) were at a certain Tibetan/Asian styled cafe alongside our friend, philosopher and guide (or ‘Mama bear’ as we would much rather call her) Rukshana. I remember Rukshana reminiscing about baos from the Fatty Bao in Mumbai which according to her was the best baos she has ever had! After The Fatty Bao opened it’s doors in Kolkata it had long been on my wish list. I finally made it to this place (call it coincidence or destiny!) along with Mama bear herself in the fourth anniversary of the Kolkata Food Fanatics last month.
Located in the 8th floor of the fort Knox building on Camac Street , this place with it’s stunning view and lovely lights create a quite magnificent backdrop for your meal.
The dimsums were up first. The edamame dimsum was fabulous! You expect good dimsums to be paper thin and bursting with flavour and texture and the edamame dimsums were just that. The chicken variety lay forgotten!
The sushis started coming in one by one and they were like the most comforting things ever! They would make you close your eyes and forget everything else. Bliss! The crab meat and tobiko sushi was the one we loved best!
Next came the much anticipated baos! If the sushis were comforting and relaxing, the pork char siu baos were thrilling and orgasmic. Soft adequately aerated buns and perfectly cooked and seasoned pork belly. Brilliant stuff indeed! The chicken and egg plant baos to me were like a desperate attempt at consolation for people who do not eat pork. But to be fair, the non pork eaters loved their chicken variants no less. (Personal opinion disclaimer : If you ask me, baos mean pork baos and pork baos only! )
I had the massaman curry with Jasmine rice for main course. And it was another treat to the senses.
Avra had the seafood ramen which he loved. Nothing fancy. Perfectly simple, this dish that just let the taste, texture and flavours of the squid, prawns and scallops create a masterclass on your tastebuds. In fact I, who is not really a ramen person enjoyed it thoroughly. It was simple yet beautiful.
Notwithstanding how good the food was, the one area where they need improvement is in their cocktails.Bring a gastropub, they fall woefully short of the mark when it comes to alcohol. All their cocktails are insipid, bland and extremely uninspiring both in presentation and taste! I sampled their Risky whisky, Manadala Bay and Bora Bora . All of them tasted weirdly similar (just the glasses looked different) and were basically different versions of nimboopani without the nimboo!
The desserts comprised of the Japanese Cheesecake and the zen forest. They were fancy and Instagram worthy for sure. But for me neither reached the lofty standards set by the food. The Zen Forest was the more appreciated of the two amongst all the guests.
Disclaimer : Team Hungry Hallows were at The Fatty Bao as part of the Kolkata Food Fanatics 4th Anniversary celebrations and the entire meet was at a special price of 1000 INR for the KFF members.