Good food needs special shoutout. Some food evokes emotion which calls out for writing and archiving the experience. Many say, who reads a blog these days but I want to archive the experience of this meal. It has been a great journey for Urvika and this year is special. She got featured as one of the young exciting chefs under 40. Like all, she has gone through tough times as a restaurateur and finally, things are looking up it seems. The Daily Cafe Kolkata was one of the last to reopen. This is the second year for winter celebrations for them and it seems yesterday when last year we were introduced to hot chocolate with maple syrup glazed bacon strips on top.
Restaurants for seasons and if it’s winter, then it’s The Daily Cafe Kolkata
Last year it was soups, mulled tea, kahwa, pulled pork buns, chipotle prawns, strawberries and cream in waffles, Christmas roast amongst many more. Last year, there was a pork dog in homemade hot dog bun, tenderloin rice, which had a hearty bowl of rice topped with tenderloin strips, shitake mushrooms and scallions in bechamel and some kind of mildly sweet and tangy secret sauce. Long back in her previous venture, she had done winter specials such as the pumpkin and goat cheese ravioli, slow-braised pork belly, pan-seared duck breast, pepper beef steak with a warm helping of mulled wine or the exciting eggnog. Winter brings in something special in Urvika and it got confirmed this time. There is a reason for that – As a chef, Urvika feels excited about showcasing the fantastic produce of the season on the dishes yet keeps them uber comfortable.
Winter menu at the Daily Kolkata
It was a meeting after 10 months and The Daily Kolkata was one of the last to open doors for dining in. Seats have reduced for social distancing norms, the beautiful crockery, which we always eye as a food prop, has been replaced by disposable plates. The food may lose the instagramable quotient for the influencers but the taste is never a letdown. We started with super spicy noodles and a perfect way to warm up things. The spice level acceptability may vary for different people. However, a bowl of this soupy noodle with garlic, ginger, scallion and chilli soy is a conversation starter for sure. The pink potato arrived in the meantime. The kids and adults alike will enjoy this. You don’t need to be a vegetarian-only to appreciate this. Small pieces of homemade gnocchi came floating in burnt butter sauce with garlic and goat cheese.
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Urvika plays with the flavours here. I missed the original bowls in The Daily and I wouldn’t have thought twice to lick the plate clean. This is one of those dishes which will make you come back. The French Onion Galette is another dish where caramelised onions, jalapenos and goat’s cheese sing a symphony on a fluffy layered puff pastry. The Galette disappeared fast with the aftertaste of sweet caramelised buttery onions. The Christmas roast is a must-try. Thigh of chicken, drenched in a 16-hour porcini juice along with herbed potato mash makes the heart sing. Urvika believes in serving the food which everyone will enjoy and this is one crowd-pleaser. After all, we are humans and both of us have a small appetite. We called it a day, not before giving in to the greed of trying out the strawberry Eaton mess tart and strawberries profiterole.
Urvika and her winter food memories
As Urvika joined us during the meal, some of her winter food memories surfaced. The inspiration for her dishes is natural. It comes from her travels and certain ingredients inspire her. In her own words, she draws inspirations from her travels, the food and the street markets of food filled with flavour bombs. In turn, she wants to take her guests across the globe with the incredible produce of our country. Urvika’s winter food memories are varied from her Nani, to her stays in London to the family time with grills on the tandoor. She swears by the pickles, pappad, ajwain leaf pakoras and gajar ka halwa made by her Nani. Her decision to become a chef was also perhaps from one of the winter evening home parties where amidst the homemade cocktails, cooking with family, the beautiful marinades going into the matti brick tandoors and loads.
Here is to winter, to food and memories created by Chef Urvika Kanoi at The Daily Cafe Kolkata.
On that note wishing everyone a Very happy new year and here is what we had to tell each and every one of you who supported us. Readers of the blog, who watch our youtube channel, who interacts with us on our social media profiles (You can reach out to us at our social media handles Instagram, Facebook or any of our personal Facebook (Madhushree and Anindya) and Twitter profiles), this is for everyone