Today is 15th day of the nationwide lockdown. How have you all been? The lifestyle has changed for an entire nation. The kids are not going to school. There are no more hand shakes post a team meeting. No more hugs between friends, no more movie releases and the list of “no” is endless. Food is essential and food, an integral part of our lives is still there. We haven’t stopped eating and like everywhere else, we are trying to find joy in little things in life.
Speculations of the days to come for the restaurant industry
What is the Kaun Banega Crorepati – 1 Cr question now? When will things return to normal? Before the lockdown only, things were worsening for the hotel and restaurant industry and now – it’s the worst case scenario. For some, it has been more than 20 days the outlet has been closed and there is an uncertainty on it getting reopened. Devoid of any speculation, the right thing now is to cross the bridge when it comes. :Let’s hope it’s sooner than one can think of. In the mean time, there are few restaurants,which have their kitchens running and delivering food.
Should you order food during lockdown? That too in these times?
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Should one order food during lockdown? For the first 10 days, we tried various combinations of different breakfasts like these mangalorean buns , we had an overdose of eggplant or begun and that seems call of the season . Normally one of the meals in a day have been frugal like daal with fish head and rice or khosha bata with rice and daal etc etc. Did we enjoy? Yes, there was a thrill rediscovering home cooked food. Till the 10th day i.e. 2nd April. In between we also made Dalgona Coffee and created few videos for our youtube channel
I had a craving for Kolkata Chinese food since 7th day but Madhushree has been very very reluctant to order food from outside. On 9th day, we started researching on places to order food during lockdown. We zeroed in on Chowman, which now has numerous branches across Kolkata and one very near to our place.
Reassurance is the key of day. Contact less delivery is the new tagline.
Why Chowman and no one else? Tak Heng doesn’t deliver here and one day before, there was a message from Chowman that we are ensuring all possible health safety measures to deliver food at your doorsteps. Finally we ordered mixed fried rice, chowmein, chili chicken, lemon chicken and ginger chicken. The steps thereafter –
- They delivered the food at the main gate of of our residential complex
- The payment was done online
- I picked up the food and carried it back home.
- The food packets were sealed with cling film and I washed each and every food packed with soap in kitchen sink
- I disposed off the plastic bag in which the food was delivered
- I took a shower immediately
We ate the food. That night I was so happy. I stayed awake beyond my bedtime, listened to 90s Kumar Sanu hits and hoped things become normal soon. I prayed for quick recovery of this situation and remembered the note of thanks which I wrote sometime back.
I must take this opportunity to highlight few of the places from where you can order food during lockdown in South Kolkata
Hondo’s – As they say it’s your pocket friendly continental food joint. Check out their burgers which they are famous for and also noodles and pork dishes and the best way to order from here is to check out the menu in Zomato and call 80179 22155. Zomato is supposed to deliver from 8 AM to 4 AM as in normal times the place is open for 24 hours . They have their own delivery system. We ordered here and enjoyed the meal.
Tak Heng – Tak Heng run by the brave man Prithwish Chakraborty who never had his place closed. He made his staff stay at the premises, himself camped at the restaurant and did not go home and provided food for lot of elderly people around the vicinity in times of needs. His penchant for venturing into new business made him buy a food truck . The truck came to best use now.
He started delivering food to health department workers of WB Government . Tak Heng regular menu including combo meals are available in swiggy . In case you want food to be delivered in your offices in Salt :Lake and New Town you can call Prithwish at 9674552273. Kolkata Chinese is to die for here and it’s my craving for his food made me write this post.
Cup E Bong – Amit Halder’s life story can make a film but as of now, he is busy running his venture Cup E Bong and is open for delivery. His delivery partner is swiggy and within 10 km radius of the store, one can order. Some of the dishes which are available are Scrambled eggs and cheese, handcrafted chicken sausage, handcrafted artisanal pork meatloaf, pork sausages, chili pork and some more.
Snacking – This cafe is delivering from 12 noon to 10 PM everyday. Some of the must order items here are Bilinis, Grilled Bhekti fish, Salads etc. They are delivering through Zomato and Swiggy both . A part of the menu is here –
The game changers for future? You can order food during lockdown from biggies also
Hyatt Regency Kolkata – This is the one whose news reached me first. They have started home delivery and as they say – Stay In as we satiate your cravings for your favourite food from the award winning restaurant of Hyatt Regency Kolkata . You can call at the numbers -033 68201157 or 6292196216 for delivery at doorsteps within a radius of 10 km and a min order value of INR 1500. It’s available on Swiggy and Zomato both.
The Park Kolkata – Since the time they have started their Home delivery, Area Food Director Chef Sharad Dewan confirmed that Chicken Biryani is selling like hot cake as are Chinese items like Chowmein, Chili Chicken and momos. There is also fried jalebis, club Kachodi and aloo sabzi, for the evenings there are aloo tikki chaat and others . Some of the residential societies have allowed them to come and deliver for a cumulative order, however they are delivering to most of the places in and around Kolkata. Its available on Swiggy and Zomato both or you can call up 8335010101
JW Marriott Kolkata – From our heart to your home The menu comprises of appetizers, rolls and sandwiches, Pizza, choice of Indian and Western dishes. There are also selections from Vintage Asia Kitchen and desserts and breads from JW Bakery.
Breads – The essential breakfast ingredient
It has been sometime that I have baked a bread. I have been planning to do that now and might do it soon. Like a God sent angel, Flurys started delivering in our residential complex as it’s doing in most of the places. They also have few outlets open across Kolkata and you can call and check if they are delivering near your vicinity. The below mentioned stores are open for walk ins between 8 to 11 AM and then one can order via Swiggy and Zomato
P.S. – My conversation with most of the restaurant owners here in this list has confirmed that they are taking additional measures for ensuring the hygiene and safety part. A lot of responsibility lies on the delivery partners to ensure that they maintain the same standards while delivering, to complete the chain
A Few Must Try Places
- The Blue Poppy Thakali – You can order your favourite momos, Nepali and Chinese food via swiggy or zomato. If they don’t reach your ares, you can order via swiggy genie. They will try to keep their popular food, however, with supply chain issues, call up the restaurant and check before ordering. Chicken momos, cheese momos, Nepali alur dum, hakka noodles, roast chili pork, Popos fried rice are some of the must try dishes. Call 9674380952 for details.
- Chowman Multiple Outlets- Chowman is open for delivery in the non red zone areas and they are maintaining all the hygeine protocols. A few dishes that are must order from Chowman are hakka noodles, chicken lemon coriander thick lemon soup, crispy fried wantons, dry chili chicken and more. You can order via swiggy or zomato.
- Aminia Multiple Outlets- The original Aminia with their 6 outlets in Kolkata are opem for delivery. They not only deliver via swiggy and zomato, they also have their own delivery logistics. Aminia Golpark and New market are our favourites and one must order biryani, phirni, mutton khada masala from them. They are doing special combo meals at very reasonable rates during the lockdown. Check the restaurant before ordering, since the run out of ingredients.
- Balaram Mullick and Radharaman Mullick Sweets- All sweet shops are open in Kolkata as per the government directive. Amongst these, Balaram Mullick is tied up with swiggy and zomato an they are doing some wonderful combo meals which are worth a try, other than their baked roshogolla.
- Oh Calcutta- Oh Calcutta and Mainland China are delivering food with packets mentioning the temperature of the chefs, the delivery boys and all sorts of hygiene factors. Their food is expensive but undoubtedly good in quality and taste.
- Bhojohori Manna in South Kolkata- They have prepared a small but exquisite Bengali menu for the lockdown period. Bengali pulao, kosha mangsho, echorer dalna, pabda shorshe and some more dishes are there for order via delivery apps. They have their own delivery logistics as well. Call on 9830559006 or 9674845527 for details.
- Chilekotha- This nostalgia ridden Bengali cuisine restaurant has some special dishes like robibarer mangsher jhol, gondhoraj chicken, hansher dimer bhapa, baked daab chingri and so much morecan be ordered via delivery apps. Call the restaurant and check for the availabilty before ordering.