Kolkata has always been a city of contrasts. The tillotoma who takes you by the hand and shows you life’s beautiful ironies.
A few days back I came across somthing called the Singara Chow and I knew I had to try it. So one early wintery morning my friends Nirban, Niladri and I set out for Kolkata’s China Town to get a first hand taste of this dish.
The shops that sell this particular dish are unnamed and unmarked hence reaching the place may seem difficult but fortunately it isn’t so. Just make your way to the Chinese Kali Bari (more contrasts!?) by using Google Maps or the old fashioned way of asking dada’s and Didi’s. From there just ask anyone about this dish and they will show you a red door surrounded by people selling rice liqour on the streets!!! (Oh my!)
There are two shops selling singara chow. The first one we entered sold only the chicken variety. For 50 bucks you are served a full steaming bowl of clear soup, a bowl of fresh hand pulled noodles topped with really tasty and salty chicken bits and the singaras i.e. singara shaped dumplings! I have never had a more heartwarming meal.
After polishing off part 1 of our breakfast, we asked for directions for the pork singara chow shop from our little server and landed up in front of another red door.
This shop’s “decor” is heavily inspired from Victorian age Japanese horror! With 3 scattered mismatched tables surrounded by benches, stools chairs in a mis-shapen room full of junk on side and mongoloid people inside frames breathing incense sticks on the other end!
We ordered the only two items on the menu chilli pork and the pork singara chow for Rs. 120 and Rs. 50 respectively.
Here, you can actually see the noodles being made and then comfortably cooking and settling down in your bowl with the pork (comfort food, you see!).
The dumplings (singara) arrive in a separate plate here along with the clear soup. The chilli pork here gives you a glimpse of a good household pork dish prepared with no fuss but tasty nonetheless.
A meal of singara chow is nothing less than nirvana in plates and bowls and is a must try.
P.S. A special Thank You to Indrajit Lahiri and his blog.