READING TIME: 2 MINUTES
India is primarily a tea-drinking nation, but recently the cafe culture has become part of our lifestyle. The coffee culture is not new in Kolkata, where it has its oldest coffee house at College Street, founded in 1876. Global coffee chains transformed the concept of coffee houses in the country with air-conditioned spaces and cozy ambiance. A wide selection of coffees and teas available served with light snacks and simple dishes, perhaps with an extensive range of pastries and cakes.
In Kolkata, there are so many cafes cropped up lately, maybe a global or a local chain. Cup e Bong is a story of a boutique cafe that might not have a plushy interior, but the ambiance reflects the comfort of our living room—just a perfect place for adda.
The cafe is managed by Amit Halder, who himself is an abundance of positivity and cheerfulness, carries on his shoulder the burden of struggle he faced to reach this feat. Till today the only single-handedly managed cafe in Kolkata. A journey from a corporate professional to a restaurateur.
The cafe has a selection of the best of Arabica coffee beans and the finest tea leaves to feature in his menu along with an ever-evolving food menu.
What do I like to order?
Fish and Chips
Fish & Chips is the dish I first order when I step in a cafe. The good old British recipe is prevalent in this part of the world. A perfect cafe dish goes so well with my double-shot espresso.
The fresh bhetki (barramundi) fillets wrapped in a light crispy beer batter fried to perfection. The outside was crispy and had a golden brown color. The inside was popping hot, soft, and super tender. But I prefer thick white fillets to get a bite full. The perfectly crispy fried masala cladding potato wedges make a perfect combination with the tartar sauce.
If there is one dish for which I will keep on visiting the cafe, that will be the Pork Meatloaf.
Pork Meatloaf is simple but full of flavor. The ground pork, spices, and veggies then baked in the oven. A very traditional Austrian dish is probably the best available in the city. To make it a little saucier, I prefer to have it topped with the tomato ketchup or barbecue sauce. Must relish this with the aromatic cold brew.
Made from select cuts of pork and a unique blend of seasoning and fat makes a perfect Pork Sausage for the sinful pleasure. Again an ideal espresso washes it down with its alluring aroma.
The filling of the sausage makes the difference. A perfect balance to strike with ground pork, spice mix, onion, green chilies, chopped parsley, and diced fat. The sausages release their juices, seep liquid fat and some very heavenly aromas! The sausages are not chewy due to the usage of goat intestine casing instead of a pig.
The Chili Pork prepared in this cafe is unique on its own. Amit makes this with a lot of love.
A perfect cube of juicy pork belly retains a 70:30 meat and fat ratio. Semi cooked meat is stir-fried with garlic, soy sauce, onion, and capsicum. The chili pork can be a standalone dish, or enjoy this with steamy rice as a rice bowl combo. Do not forget to get your cold brew to soothe your taste buds after having this fiery preparation.
Why do I keep coming back?
Amit’s passion lies in cooking every individual dish with care and utmost attention that goes into recipes, sourcing ingredients, live-cooking, and so on. The taste is not like a commercial kitchen but reflects the simplicity of homemade food. Here is the only place where I prefer to have my coffee because of the freshly roasted coffee beans picked from Chikmagalur and keeping the price affordable. Always inspects, accepts feedback, learns, and adapts. A true craftsman inside the kitchen and every preparation have stories behind building his small businesses.
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