London has its newest eatery in the form of Chourangi, with a promise to bring a unique burst of amid an abundance of Indian restaurants dotted across the British capital.
Named after Kolkata’s famous Chowranghee neighbourhood, the new restaurant is the brainchild of friends Anjan Chatterjee and Aditya Ghosh.
Ghosh said: “The restaurant itself is just beautiful and bright and we are really happy with the ambience and food and the team.
“Now we open the doors to our guests to enjoy the unexplored flavours of Calcutta, handcrafted under the watchful eye of Chef Jolly.”
Speciality Restaurants Limited, behind popular Indian eateries such as Oh! Calcutta, have visualised their newest addition as a little slice of Kolkata, previously Calcutta, in the heart of London. The décor is inspired by the city’s architecture and iconic Club in Chowranghee and the menu is courtesy chef-restaurateur Chatterjee, dubbed the “culinary force” behind the uniquely “Calcutta ”.
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Chourangi has had a long wait as the pandemic threw its 2020 opening plans off track, but the team used that phase to work on the finer details of getting the look and feel just right.
“We were almost ready to open a year and a half ago, just when the pandemic hit the world. But in hindsight, everything happens for good and it gave us the time to perfect our cuisine and sharpen our offering,” said Ghosh, an airline and tech entrepreneur for whom Chourangi is a labour of love project.
“We feel ecstatic. This has been a long time coming,” he said.
The idea of the Old Quebec Street was born around three years ago over a dinner chat between two friends keen to bring Kolkata flavours to London.
“London is the food capital of the world. And Londoners are spoilt for choices. There are some great restaurants that serve great Indian food. But none that serve the food from Calcutta,” reflects Ghosh.
“With every ingredient personally sourced by Anjan himself, dishes will feature the best spices from Calcutta (like Anjan’s own five-spice rub and Aam Kasundi mustard), coupled with the finest sourced ingredients in the UK. The menu will feature some hero dishes like Prawn & Crab Parcels, Banana Flower Croquettes, Slow Roasted Kosha Lamb and Aam Aachar Hilsa,” he notes.
Chourangi is designed as a celebration of a unique culinary tradition, which was born as a result of centuries of overseas traders leaving their mark on the vibrant culture of Kolkata. The city’s cuisine is seen as a unique blend of British, Dutch, Armenian, French, Portuguese and Chinese flavours that have been forged over a 300-year history.
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Asked if there are plans to expand these flavours beyond the new London hub, Ghosh adds: “Well, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves! We want to take firm baby steps first.
“But yes, if the initial enthusiasm that we have seen and the rave reviews we have been getting for the food and ambience is anything to go by, we are dreaming already.”
With celebrations in full swing, the bookings in the first week of the restaurant opening have been coming in thick and fast.