Kolkata: When talking about the Bengali palace, the Ilish fish (Hilsa) is part of the folklore. The sheer variety of what a fish can be made into is fascinating, with one thing in common – if done right, Hilsa can beat most cuisines, whether for fish enthusiasts or fish pickers. as a treat for a special occasion. . For these, a trip to the quaint Chapter 2 outlets in Kolkata is an absolute must, especially with the Hilsa Festival going on at both restaurant outlets, adding a special zing to Kolkata’s monsoon.Also Read – Good news for Ilish lovers in the city of joy, Kolkata’s first ‘boneless’ Hilsa festival is here
We visited the Chapter 2 outlet tucked away in a quiet lane off Southern Avenue in South Kolkata. The place is small and cozy, with tables distributed on the ground floor and a mezzanine. Quite a few tables for a not very big place, but navigation is not a problem.
Another USP for Chapter 2 is the live music they offer. It can get a little loud at times, but the crowd seems to thrive on it.
The Hilsa Festival, currently underway, serves up six delicious versions of the revered fish – the Hilsa Sizzler, Grilled Hilsa Steak, Smoked Hilsa, Hilsa Fingers, Baked Hilsa and Anglo-Indian Mustard Hilsa Curry.
We were served three – the Hilsa Fingers, the Sizzler and the Baked Hilsa. And that was the case where one was better than the other.
Hilsa Fingers were the traditional batter-fried version, with four pieces on a plate, with a superbly flavored dip, a combination of mustard and a special blend of mayonnaise, which combines the characteristic sting of mustard with the creamy flavor of mayonnaise . The fingers are crunchy and full of shredded, boneless Hilsa. Coupled with golden fries, it perfectly prepares the palate for the next dish.
The baking was accompanied by slices of garlic bread and a perfectly browned layer of cheese over the fish, adding to the flavors. The proportion of cheese sauce is just right, without overpowering the taste of the hilsa. The hard work of deboning the notoriously spiny Hilsa was done to perfection in every dish.
The sizzler is steamed, complete with grilled vegetables and a scrambled egg which is added to the mix. The crunchy vegetables and fluffy egg complement the hilsa perfectly. Again, the taste is near perfect and the portions quite good. Our favorite dish among those we have tasted.
The cost of Rs. 950 is a constant for all the dishes and for those we tasted it was good value for money, considering the cost of fish in the market, as well as the time needed to prepare such dishes. Service time can be up to 20 minutes, but then no good thing in life comes cheap or comes quickly.
My recommendation: Hilsa Sizzler
Verdict: A must visit for all Hilsa and fish lovers, may also convert others.
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