Mumbaiya Ishtyle Chaats @ DesiKlub, Kolkata ☺

Whether we happen to be vegetarian or non vegetarian, once in a while most of us like to have a taste of tangy, spicy and tamarind chutney infused Indian appetizers called Chaat.

DesiKlub, the recently opened quirky and relatively economical vegetarian eatery specializes in Mumbai style Chaat items, which are made of authentic, transported from Mumbai ingredients and are served with quirky fusions and/or presentations.

Like any other food item, different regions of India dish out their own unique brand of Chaats, which may be somewhat similar to those of other regions, or may be altogether different. Thus, a true foodie is always on the look out of local and authentic eateries that can satiate his/her urge of specialized food items of other regions.

No wonder, being the flag bearer of Mumbai street food, DesiKlub is the current go to place of most of the veg food enthusiasts.

Location: Upon entering the Magma House Complex, opposite the Post Office at Park Street, the first building that will fall on your left side, houses DesiKlub, the 56 seater restaurant on it’s first floor.

It offers valet parking and constantly plays Bollywood music of the 90’s, which drowns most of the diners into their own sweet wave of nostalgia. It also serves Jain food, as well as, alcohol.

Their menu comprises of the following food categories – Soups, Ghaas Phoos (Salad), Papad, Shuruat (Starters with 30 plus options), Pao-Shao, Rolls, Deshi Chinese, Tava Peejha (Pizza), Videshi (Italian & Msxican), Deshi, Garma Garam (Combo of two dishes), Kuch Meetha, Hot Drinks and Non Alcoholic Beverages (20 plus options).

In-house made accompaniments – Cabbage Onion Masala, Green Chutney and Mango Pickle are served with every order.

Approximately, a month back, they invited me for a food tasting & review session.The food items presented to me for tasting were –

– Beverage –

– Peru & Kalingar (Rs.145 /-): It was a refreshing blood red colored guava based mocktail topped with enough crushed ice.

It was served in good quantity and tasted nice.

– Starters –

– Dahi Batata Puri (Rs. 175/-): 6 pieces of Dahi Puchkas were served, filled with a sprouts concoction and garnished with sev and seasonings.

These Puchkas were not the hand made ones that are sold on the streets. Instead, they were the machine made ones, that are available in disc shaped semi prepared form and are fried just before serving.

The bite sized appetizers were nice and ably set up the mood for the tasting session.

– Alu Tikki Chaat (Rs. 175/-): On a black circular metallic plate, 2 portions of crisp Aloo Tikkis were served, which were topped with chutneys, seasonings, a generous pour of curd and sev and garnished with chopped coriander leaves and fresh pomegranate seeds.

The Tikkis were well cooked and tasted good.

– Mini Idli Skewers (Rs. 125/-): 3 long toothpicks aka skewers came placed atop a big cup of Sambhar. Each skewer comprised of 4 Mini Idlis. The Sambhar cup was made of glass. A small steel bowl of Coconut Chutney was placed alongside.

It was a novel presentation of the humble South Indian Idli. It tasted nice.

– Paneer Roller Coaster (Rs. 225/-): 5 portions of fried Paneer aka Cottage Cheese Puffs were served on a mini roller coaster! The roller coaster had 5 bowl shaped seatings to accommodate the serving of one Puff in each bowl.

The cottage cheese filling was a heady mix of paneer, crunchy onions, green chillies and coriander leaves, which was wrapped in bread, deep fried and served.

It was a tasty appetizer with an amusing presentation.

– Utterly Butterly Baked Vada Pav (Rs. 120/-): A rectangular black tray came beautifully laden with 4 pieces of Vada Pav. Each Vada Pav was garnished with a solitary Chaunki Hui Hari Mirch and a handful of Potato Wafers were placed between every two Vada Pavs.

Usually, a Vada Pav is a Potato Vada served between two halved slices of a Pav. But herein, the Pavs were not halved and the potato concoction was filled inside the closed Pavs as a stuffing!

The Pavs were soft and fresh. The dish tasted good.

– Chitthi Aayi Hai (Rs. 240/-): Presented on an press iron shaped wooden dish, 5 portions of square shaped Roomali Roti Lifafas filled with spicy Paneer filling were served, topped with a scoop of Waldorf Salad and further garnished with coriander leaves. A small steel bowl of green chutney came placed alongside.

The Lifafas were soft and well cooked. The Salad had an excess of mayonnaise and not that many fruits, perhaps to pair better with the taste of the appetizer.

The dish tasted nice and filling.

– Chinese Bhel (Rs. 140/-): Placed on a mini wooden cart with four black wheels, a mound of spicy crispy noodles, infused with sauces and garnished with spring onions was served.

The dish tasted crispy, tangy and nice.

– Papad Bhel (Rs. 155/-): A long and slender paper cone filled with Kichiya Papad Bhel was served on a similar kind of mini cart as mentioned above. Three steel bowls containing Papad Chura (crushed Papad), Chilli Paste and Tamarind Chutney came placed alongside.

The idea was to pour the Bhel on your respective plate, add the desired proportion of the accompaniments of your choice, mix it all well and consume.

It was an intelligent take to save the Bhel from turning soggy before the actual consumption.

– Main Course –

– Maharashtra Chi Shaan (Rs. 186/-): It was a combo take on Misal Pao, the popular Maharashtrian dish, wherein a big boat shaped bowl filled with Misal curry came accompanied with two portions of Pav placed on it’s one side and two portions of Mini Kulcha placed on it’s other side. The Misal was garnished with enough Farsāṇ, finely chopped onions and a solitary slice of lime.

The Misal was spicy, the Breads were soft and fresh and the Farsāṇ had that unmistakable tangy-sweet taste that one gets in the Gujarat-Maharashtra belt.

The dish tasted good.

– Ghar Ki Baat (Rs. 245/-): Served on a mini charpoy or khatiya, it was a homesome and nostalgic meal comprising of two medium sized steel tiffin bowls of Dal Khichdi and Gujrati Kadhi, accompanied with small steel bowls of Papad Chura, Ghee and Pickle.

The dish was hot, flavorsome and tasted excellent.

– Do Dil Mil Rahe Hai (Rs. 305/-): An oval shaped sizzler plate came half laden with Tava Noodles and half laden with Bhaji. A cone shaped Papad filled with finely chopped onions was inserted amidst the Noodles and 3 Pav buns were placed upon the Bhaji, along with a lime roundel.

Most of the kid party menus that I have come across have the mandatory inclusion of both the aforesaid dishes. So, I expect this dish to be a hit amongst the kid brigade.

The Noodles were slightly spicy and did not contain too much vegetables. The Breads were soft and fresh. The Bhaji was mashed enough to appear like a puree and was quite ‘maska maar ke’ i.e. laden with butter.

The dish tasted quite good and quantity present therein was more than enough for one person.

You also get the option of additional cheese with this dish.

– Sizzling Chelo Kebab (Rs. 325/-): A similar sizzler plate as described above, came laden with Creamy Rice, topped with 4 portions of Paneer Tikkas with spicy marinations. One half of the plate was bordered with French Fries and the other half was bordered with finger sized and sautéed in butter carrots and french beans.

Rice mixed with cheese based sauce paired quite well with spicy Paneer Tikkas and Sautéed Veggies. French Fries were a nice and crunchy side dish to be nibbled in between.

It was an interesting combo. It tasted good.

The food items presented were a combination of Mumbai special Chaats and other dishes, as well as, popular dishes of other regions. But most of the dishes had quirky and interesting names.

Since all of their spices are directly purchased from Mumbai, by default most of their dishes taste slightly spicy. However, if required, you can request them to tone down the spices and they will happily oblige.

The staff is courteous and service is fast.

Till you wait for your order to arrive, you can amuse yourself with their funny interior, that comprises of – a crockery rack made out of a scooter, the front of a truck embedded on a wall, a long list of rules, which amongst other guidelines, states ‘No dumping girlfriend or boyfriend’ etc.!

Overall, DesiKlub is a nice and comfy place with good spicy food and chilled out ambiance.

Timing: 12 noon to 12 midnight



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