Tintin and the Brussels Club, Kolkata's only Belgian eatery, hosts special Red Meat Festival
Tintin and the Brussels Club, the city's only fine dining joint serving authentic Belgian dishes, is celebrating its first birthday on March 30 with a week-long Red Meat Festival. This one year has also seen several cafes and food joints dotting the Hindustan Park area -- where the diner is located, too -- folding up business no sooner than they opened. So, what's the recipe for success? "Our food has been loved by the city gastronomes and we already have a loyal set of patrons, who gorge on every bit of Belgian delicacies that we serve. I think original ingredients, authentic taste and understanding the customer's taste have helped us survive despite stiff competition," says Barnali Ghosh, owner of the eatery.
As we glanced through the festival special menu at the 40-seater diner decked up with iconic pictures of Tintin painted on bright yellow walls, we ordered Bitterballen or beef meat balls, a popular finger food in Belgium, which is not available in the city. The flour, egg and bread crumb-coated and deep fried crispy balls made with mashed, roasted beef, was scrumptious to say the least. The accompanying in-house sweet chilli honey sauce simply added to the flavour.
The speciality of Belgian meat is that they are soaked in dark beer overnight, informs Barnali, adding, "Keeping in mind the Indian palate, we use lesser amount of dark beer since the meat tends to acquire a bitter taste. Instead, we blend in a little wine with it, which our guests love,". We also tried the bacon wrapped chicken from the starters and the thick piece of chicken was well cooked and went well with the barbeque sauce tossed bacons.
The Stir Fried Liver Belgian Style, popular in Ghent, Brussels and Spa, is made with chunks of mutton liver soaked in dark beer and tasted heavenly. The soft pieces were not smelly and had taken the flavour of roasted herbs well.
The Lamb Goulash was the next dish to arrive at our table and we recommend this highly as a complete meal. The dish made with chunks of lamb, carrots, whole potatoes and onions is a great option if you are famished and want something wholesome. The garlic bread that comes with it is made by the house chef and is oven fresh. They use lamb imported from New Zealand to ensure that the meat is soft and doesn't smell. The lamb was well-cooked and succulent.
"All the dishes in the festival menu are new and will be included in the main menu depending on the demand. Going forward, we plan to include dishes in the menu according to customer feedback," adds Barnali.
We ended the meal with Belgian Rum Chocolate and every bit of the dessert was decadence. The bitter sweet taste of the cake infused with rum will simply sweep you off your feet, making you beg for more. You can also try their pork dishes, including Pork Spare Rib, Pork Stroganoff and Pork Sausage Sizzler, which fly off the rack faster than the others. The Grill Tenderloin is also a must-try.
The Red Meat Festival will be on till April 5. Meal for two: Rs 800