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Apanjan in Kolkata: Fish, chips and cutletsBy Sudipto Maity
While on that topic, you must know that no 'adda' is ever complete without a mouthful session of 'chop-cutlet'.
The very word conjures images of Mitra Cafe and Coffee House. And a lot has been written about both the eateries, so, for a change I'm going to look beyond them and pick up my own favourite. Apanjan.
Set in the heart of Kalighat, (yes, South Kolkata...for a change), Apanjan serves all things delectable to the taste bud. (Check the menu!!!)
The Sadananda Road store was opened in 1982 by Prabhas Ghosh and has remained there ever since,
Though their present menu boasts of a series of dishes, Apanjan started off as a radhaballavi and vegetable chop shop.
"The fish items were first started in 1985 and as time went by we added more items," says Ghosh with a smile.
Recalling the olden days, Bimal Mondal, a regular customer says, "We could eat four radhaballavis and four pieces of aloo-r dum for five Ruprees when the started was started initially...it was that cheap."
"But what stands out is the quality...they have never tinkered with that," he adds.
While I fact checked and found that out to be accurate, Apanjan is nothing close to what it used to be in terms of pricing.
You can still get four radhaballavis and aloo-r dum, albeit for a much higher price.
Ghosh also provides a justification when quizzed.
"Look, I never compromise with the quality...and if you have to keep up with that standard, you have got to go with the prevailing prices of raw meat...be it fish or chicken or mutton. If the market price is high, the prices changes here too and if it comes down, I bring it down too."
Enough about radhaballavis already...let's now talk about the real deal, the dish that earned that some mileage...Fish Fry.
Talk about Fish Fry and Apnajan will crop up. (More than willing to bet on it)
But they don't come cheap. The store sells at least three variants of the aforementioned dish (L/M/S), priced at INR 150, 130 and 110 respectively.
Since I have tried them all, what really differs across the price range is the portion...the quality remains intact.
If Fish Fry is the champion from the Apanjan stable, Egg Devil is their most understated performer (and personally my favourite!!!)
At INR 40 a piece, this mutton coated half-egg preparation is a mouthful of goodness.
Apart from the fish and egg preparation (and there's plenty) is meat.
You can also try a plate of Chicken Pakoda or go for a mutton Kabijari or a Mutton stuffed Mughlai Paratha.
Ghosh lists Chicken Fowl Cutlet and Egg Devil as a must try if you're planning to pay a visit to his shop.
The egg devil is a must...you simply cannot risk missing that. Try their fried momo...it's good.
For now it's cash and Paytm (e-wallet), but Ghosh promises to accept cards from next month (February, 2017)
How to get there:
Address: 50B, Sadananda Road, Kalighat, Kolkata
Look for the Kalighat metro outlet (the last outlet) while going towards Hazra crossing from south.
The other prominent location is Tapan Theatre. The store is located few paces away from the theatre.
PS: The store also provides catering service. Enquire for more details...