Here’s what to order for breakfast at Kolkata’s Tiretti Bazaar
Tiretti has it all and at just Rs 100 you can have the heartiest breakfast of your life if you simply know where to look.
The early breakfast at Kolkata’s Tiretti Bazaar is unmissable on all counts; between 5-9 am every morning the old Chinatown’s pavements get dotted with quirky, efficient makeshift stalls where local home cooks sell freshly made Chinese breakfast numbers. Rustic desserts, forgotten recipes, even delicacies from ancient Chinese cultures, you can find many novelties. This beloved breakfast bazaar is essentially a neighbourhood market where vendors sell their wares, alongside family-run stalls that prepare piping hot breakfast.
Tiretti offers a range of comfort picks, from fish and meat momos, to warm broths, meat dumplings and baos. Then there are the more coveted delicacies that are still only found in very few kitchens in the city, or only found during festive pop-ups. Tiretti has it all and at just Rs 100 you can have the heartiest breakfast of your life if you simply know where to look. So, the next time you’re at Tiretti Bazaar, look out for these prized delicacies
Red meat pao
Doughy Chinese street-style buns are steamed and filled with juicy, red roast pork (often curried in red bean paste). They’re quite sizable and chunky and are styled like a taipo (or tai po); they’re quite packable, easy to carry around and also travel well. One serving usually includes a single-serve bun, priced roughly between Rs 25-40.
One of the biggest hot-sellers at Tiretti Bazaar, these deep-fried Chinese breads sell out within minutes and are priced at just Rs 5 apiece. A youtiao is a lightly salted Chinese donut that is crisp on the outside and fluffy and airy on the inside. It may look like a churro, but tastes doughier and it’s essentially a finger bread made with leavened flour dough. Fun fact: A youtiao dates back to the 12 century and originated in the Southern Song dynasty as a breakfast staple.
This Sichuan delicacy gets an adaptable do-over at Tiretti’s breakfast fare; homemade fish balls are served in a steaming bowl of flavourful broth. The fish balls aren't intensely fried and usually feature tender minced fish cooked on medium fire, they’re delicate but quite filling. You get two fish balls with a bowl of soup at each serving, and it’s usually priced around Rs 20, and the warm broth should be ideally paired with a simple meat bun.
Tiretti’s handmade sausages have a cult following; it’s different in consistency from usual German meat sausages. Chinese sausages are known for their rich, emulsified texture which makes them juicier; so the pork sausages at Tiretti are delicate and chewy, with very subtle sweet notes. You can even buy raw sausages to fry at home or shop for the ingredients to make your own sausage from scratch.
Fried meat pies
The chicken and pork pies at Tiretti are styled almost like oversized wontons, and it’s one of the few baked breakfast numbers you’ll find in the bazaar. It’s hearty and well-seasoned and features a medley of meat and cooked veggies. The Tiretti-style pie is also difficult to source in any other part of the city, especially at just 40 bucks!
This beloved Chinese dessert is a novelty on all counts, and almost impossible to find in Kolkata. It’s a seasonal dessert and you’ll only find it for around 4-5 months, starting September. Moon cakes are tender, dense pastries enveloping a thick, sweet filling; Tiretti’s version simplifies the format and makes it more versatile with a filling made of raisin, dried cherries, pumpkin candies and nuts. They’re lighter than traditional mooncakes since they don’t feature bean-based or seed-based pastes, and also work great as a snack. Pocket pinch: Rs 80