This post is about a Bengali icon of a different sort. Bijoli Grill (BG). The legendary wedding caterers of my early days at Calcutta … the stuff of the poshest weddings in the city. I was around eight then but knew that BG dinners were special. BG were folks who catered for the lunch of cricketers at the Eden Gardens and the exclusive Club House there. A world we left when my dad passed away. In the more plebeian existence that followed, Bijoli Grill existed in our lives as ‘ice cream soda’, the sweet aerated drink that was a raging hit at Calcutta.
I headed straight for the mutton biriyani. This was phenomenally good. Fragrant, delicately spiced, very artistic, very Nawabi, very Calcutta. The rice long grained, firm, each grain individually caressed by a very loving cook. The mutton bony the way it is meant to be. Pleasantly succulent unlike in Calcutta. The potatoes, added to the Lucknowi recipe when the Nawabs fell on hard times according to Sanghvibiriyani… a British princess gone beautifully native.
The truth is that the chicken chaap served to me at Bijoli Grill was as real as SRK’s love and affection for Dada, an IPL simile that most Bengalis would get. And if you don’t then it’s suffice to say this was a fake chaap.
For the kosha mangsho was meat perfection. It was meat cooked to submission. Tender to the point of driving you crazy. The meat slithering down languorously off the bone. The Mutton Sutra.Without doubt the best restaurant kosha mangsho at Mumbai. To add to the best Calcutta Biryani in town. That’s quite a pedigree.