Lounge 31 A serves authentic flavours of the hills
After a successful stint in the Eastern Himalayan region, Lounge 31A comes to Kolkata with its array of hilly flavours. Nestled at Sikkim House in Russel Street, the 65-seater cosy diner transported us to the snow-capped mountains and freezing lakes of Sikkim with the large paintings adorning the brick façade — a much-needed visual relief with the summers approaching fast.
“This is our first outlet outside Gangtok (opened in 2006) and just as National Highway 31A connects Bengal with Sikkim we intend to connect the people of the two regions with our distinct culinary flavour,” says Yankesh Pant, co-founder of the diner. Serving bona fide delicacies from the area, Nepalborn Chef Suresh Kuwar brings to the table an array of appetising options right from Nepali to Indian Chinese, Thai and Sikkimese cuisine with the menu boasting of trademark Sikkimese pork preparations including the traditional Pork Curry with Mustard Greens; succulent Pork Chops with Rice Noodles; and perfectly marinated Pork with Mushrooms. We highly recommend Thakkali, the traditional Nepali spread consisting of over 15 items served with rice or dhero (buckwheat), flavoured dal, curry, papad and chutney. Though some of the ingredients in the thali had to be replaced with local produce, the chef has tried to replicate the taste to the fullest. We loved the tanginess of pickled lafsi, a fruit native to Nepal’s Mustang region.
Their dumplings too are delicately and impeccably prepared and we recommend the Chicken Jhol Momo for its moderately spicy jhol or curry with sharp notes of Sichuan pepper and local herbs. Also, add 31A to your list for its Thai curries.
The dessert session was a big disappointment in the face of an intelligently curated menu. We hope sweetmeats from the hills replace the run-of-the-mill and small dessert option.
Price for two: ` 1,00