I am sure there will be many more who would have asked Urvika the same question – what next and when do we get a chance to eat your food again? Urvika Kanoi needs no introduction in Kolkata food scenario. She has been running a very successful gourmet food company called The food studio, but her last blockbuster was Bodega Cantina Y Bar, which had an anti-climax end, after some internal problem and then Urvika almost vanished from the scene.
The answers from Urvika Kanoi- The Daily Kolkata
It’s tough to disappear in this present wired world unless you want to. So Urvika stayed in touch personally with Madhushree and me across all social media. I stopped asking the question on social media. However, as and when I met her, she presented me with one of the brightest smiles and asked me to wait. It has been a long wait indeed.
Address of The Daily by Urvika Kanoi
5 Satyen Dutta Road, the lane next to Maharaja tea stall.
Conservatory with a glass ceiling, the walking cat and the co working space at The Daily
I have never been a fan of Cafes till such time I figured out the utility of using it as a co working space. Madhushree and I recently spent a day at 8th day Cafe, where I had a great time. I wouldn’t mind going back but this is all about The Daily. I asked Urvika, why the name? Her answer was that she wants people to make this place a part of their daily lives, they can come every day and spend a good time here. This 55 cover space has the interiors divided into three sections and a conservatory with a glass ceiling. There is a cat who is yet to be named, but it’s heard that if you are lucky enough, then you can see it taking a leisurely stroll on the glass ceiling. If you are cat averse, then do not worry- it cannot come inside.
There are two co working spaces, more of a glass enclosures to allow ample light inside, separate charging points and high stools to make a perfect working atmosphere. Urvika promises to allow her guests to stay as long as possible, even if they order only a cup of coffee. The conservatory has long benches and wooden top tables with a green foliage wall on two sides. The main seating area has a very European look. Bright pink Flamingos over green leaves, hand painted on one of the walls is very beautiful and catches the eye. The rest of the walls and the arched ceiling are white with some muted grey.
Urvika went ahead to win 40 under 40, India’s most exciting chef’s by Conde Nast Traveller at the age of 28
Ethos at The Daily by Urvika Kanoi
Move aside the interiors and co working space, it’s the food which matters and Urvika Kanoi scores a century. Bodega Cantina Y Bar had its food as a game changer and again at The Daily, she lives up to her reputation. ‘Why should the food be any less just because it is a cafe?’, said Urvika with a frown. Urvika wanted to open a cafe, where you get good coffee but you also get world class food. Her focus was and always will be food. While conceptualising, she wanted something brand new. There are so many good cafes in the city right now but she wanted to do something different than others.
Having said that, she is extremely critical about herself. She says that she is yet to reach the standard that she has set for herself and will probably take a few months before she is there. All this will also include taking into account local produce and seasonality. Some of the products she is using is straight from the farmers, a few from companies who are directly working with the farmers. Supporting indigenous produce and Indian farmers is one of her set goals for The Daily. As a Chef, she is striving towards zero waste, sustainability and at a time, when the environment is going through crisis, she yearns to do better and support local farmers.
Let’s talk about the Food
This is probably the only place in Kolkata (other than egg only cafes) to offer so many varieties of classic egg dishes plus their innovations. There are 5 varieties of Egg benedict with an option of brioche or croissant. Salmon, mushroom, spinach, Malabar masala and ham are the different flavours, all of which come with freshly made hollandaise and perfectly poached eggs. There is a whole lot to choose from the omelette with your choice of bread and sides. You also have the ‘KETO’ option of an almond bread with this.
My pick would be the mushroom benedict, where you get a hint of truffle oil.
If you are a scrambled egg person, go for traditionally made Akuri or one with truffle salsa, tricolore or organic duck egg. If you are looking for the Middle Eastern Shakshuka, the very summery Turkish eggs or the Mexican breakfast of huevos rancheros tacos, this is the place that offers all.
Brunching at The Daily
Other than the huge variety of eggs, you also get pancakes, French toasts, sausages, bagels, sandwiches and more. You can go and check out the menu, which is also very reasonable price. From here on, I will talk about the highlights of my experience at The Daily.
You love pancakes ? Then how about a healthier version of the same ? Recipe here
After we had been though the eggs, Urvika suggested we try the Chori- Pan. Who could say no to chorizo. She sources her chorizo from Bangalore and oh my! those chorizos took our breath away. I am talking collectively because the table went silent and all you could hear was ‘ummm…ummm..ummm’. The chorizo comes in a bun with chimichurri along with grilled onion and cheese. The chorizo was rightly spiced, sweet and hot with a beautiful smoky flavour.
The plate changes its colour on different days but the taste remains same everyday.
The Daily Roast was wholesome and hearty
It was one plate with a boneless chicken thigh and breast, luscious soft fondant potatoes, some mushrooms, capers, cherry tomatoes enveloped in a light sauce enhanced with lemon butter. It was so good that while writing this post, we took a quick break and went to The Daily to taste it again. Now I am back and I realise that I have already written some 1100 words and am yet to write more. Probably in the end, I will have to be a tough editor.
Steak and fries was not something we tasted on the first day but today. Brilliantly executed medium well done steak with fries in a flavoursome sauce was the high point of our lunch and all of us agreed, it was the best we could get in Kolkata.
Coming to the desserts, I would say all of them must be good. Blueberry mille-feuille, creme brûlée with an orange saffron sauce and passionfruit semifreddo were the ones we ate amongst a menu of 6 desserts. The Daily pretty much nailed the flavours and the sinful factor in all of them. Visually appealing and impeccable taste in every bite, not having a dessert would be a crime here. The blueberry mille-feuille was almost too pretty to eat.
The Daily is here to stay and Urvika Kanoi has once again changed the foodscape of the city. A week into the opening and I already find it buzzing with happy faces, which speaks volumes about the quality of the food and the experience.