Address: 395 Coldharbour Ln, Brixton, London SW9 8LQ
Phone: 020 7326 4200
Monday to Friday: 5.30pm–11pm
Sundays & Bank Holidays: Midday–5pm
This is the Coldharbour Lane branch of this small chain – there’s just another one in Fitzrovia. The food, says the owner, Shrimoyee Chakraborty, is inspired by her mum’s cooking and the “amazing local cuisine” of Calcutta. We’ve been a couple of times in the evening and been seriously impressed by the exciting cooking on offer. It’s a particularly good replacement for what was previously yet another burger bar.
It’s not like your neighbourhood Indian. There a short menu divided between small plates, described as “Street Food from Golpark” and more substantial dishes, described as being “From my Family Kitchen on Gariahat Road“. On our most recent visit, earlier in the summer, there were three of us and we managed to make our way across a range of the menu.
From the ‘street food’ side we had Beguni (Sliced aubergine, fried in chickpea flour batter) and Mach Bhaja (Whitebait spiced with chaat masala, cumin and chilli, and shallow fried in mustard oil). The chaat masala was the only choice that didn’t receive universal approval, as it was a bit harsh, but the whitebait themselves were fine, having a reasonable degree of heat. The aubergine received particularly high marks, although all of us are aubergine fanatics.
From the main dishes we chose a large portion of Kosha Mangsho (Bengali style, deep, rich, hearty lamb curry), which is described on the menu as being “Calcutta’s answer to a Sunday roast” and a half portion of Kankrar Jhal (Crab curry). The crab is the really standout dish, as well as being by far the messiest to eat. The only way to get at the meat is get stuck-in with both hands. To accompany the main dishes we had 3 rutis (Chapatis) and Amm Dhal (red lentils with green mango). Rutis are essential aids to soaking up all the delicious sauce from the crab dish.
To accompany the food we had a half litre carafe of ciello bianco, which went well with the spicy food. One of us ventured an Aam Pora alcohol free cocktail with green mangoes, black salt, fresh mint and soda – it comes with rum if you fancy something stronger. Overall the cost came to £77.74 including service. So not cheap but a reasonable price for food of this class and we will certainly return to try and complete the menu.