Wooing patrons with their signature dishes, Amber turns 60 in Kolkata
AT A TIME when the city’s food map is changing drastically with new diners and cafés popping up in every corner, offering the sumptuous treats from different parts of the world, Amber completes 60 years.
The restaurant’s rich legacy is marked by not just its signature items on the menu, but also its high profile patrons. From politicians to cricketers and big names from tinsel town, Amber has treated gastronomes to its North Indian and Continental delicacies. Aradhana Khullar, th e third-generation owner who has been running the business along with her father Sanjay Khullar says, “My grandfather and his brother started the business in 1957 and it was just a 30-seater restaurant back then. We were amongst the select few restaurants offering Continental food along with North Indian delicacies in Kolkata. From politicians like Rajiv and Indira Gandhi to famous cricketers, they all have been fans of our chicken bharta and daal. Amber’s USP has been the food and service, and our staff and patrons have brought us this far.”
Khullar who acknowledges that the industry has its ups and downs says, “It’s a challenging industry in ter ms of competition. Restaurants and cafés are coming up every day. For us, it’s been this and nothing else. We put in a lot to stand out, to maintain tradition and yet to innovate to attract crowds. People do come for their absolute favourites but we try and create something new every single day.”
On our trip to the restaurant spread over two floors at Waterloo Street, we sampled an array of dishes and delved deep into nostalgia. We started with their popular Tomato Soup topped with crunchy croutons. The freshly made soup’s consistency and balanced tanginess can make anyone a fan. A selection of kebabs landed on our table next and we loved the pronounced burnt notes in the Mutton Barra Kebab.
Later, we sampled their sought-after Daal Makhani, made to perfection, and the flavourful (chickpeas) pairing them with kulcha and butter naan. Their Chicken Bharta has many admirers and the secret is the soft bite-size pieces cooked in the rich gravy. From the Continental section, we picked up Baked Fish and loved the balance of spices. The last item from the entrées was the Mutton Moti Biryani. Less greasy and flavourful, the meatballs in it are a delight. We had to save some space for simple guilty pleasures and the Tutti Frutti Ice-cream with cherries, jam and macerated fruits, satiated a foodie’s soul.
Meal for two `1,200 +