Kolkata's BG Bar & Restaurant offers a happy spread of exotic global cuisines
We don't know about you, but binge-worthy international platters, smooth summer cocktails, live retro music, and a scoop of filter coffee ice cream — that’s all we need for our post-work dinner haunts. If you’re looking for the same, and haven’t made any reservations for the weekend yet, let us guide you to BG Bar & Restaurant, which has a very convenient assemblage of all of our culinary favourites.
We dropped by on a warm Saturday evening at the 48-cover diner, located on the ground floor of the Priya Cinema building in Rash Behari, and we were glad to find the eatery to be agreeably set up, with mood lights. “The menu has a diverse variety of flavours. There’s an excellent European spread, and you’ll find Mediterranean dishes and Italian specialities too. There’s some American comfort food — we make amazing burgers and roasts. Our pork numbers are wildly popular. We also serve a range of Chinese and Thai dishes, but we do want to introduce some more Oriental options from Burma and Vietnam. Our customers have also been consistently asking for the same,” says Gavin Baptiste, of BG Bar & Restaurant.
BG Bar & Restaurant features three kinds of layouts. As you walk in through the main entrance, you’ll find the general seating area, with woody, earthy tones, contrasted with creatively exaggerated pop art. Beside the bar, where the joint hosts live music gigs a couple of days a week, is a mezzanine space accessorised with groovy neon lights, which can double up as a private dining area. Posto & poppy seeds Soon after, we were offered BG’s signature cocktail, which is easily one of the best numbers we’ve had this season. The Posto Bata Gondhoraj Ghol is a stunningly conceptualised concoction, made with vodka, gondhoraj lime, lychee juice, and of course, poppy seeds. It’s served in a drinkable fishbowl glass with chunks of floating ice. The drink is delicious and has just the right amount of a sharp flavour hit; you can taste the lime and get familiar whiffs of posto, which really makes it the ideal summer drink.
We also tasted some of the Frozen Mango Coconut Daiquiri, served chilled with slices of mango, and you can clearly smell the coconut notes, which makes it such a draw. As we browsed through the specials board, we were served the first entrée for the night — an inviting bowl of Seafood Aglio Olio. The spaghetti, made with prawns, shrimp and squid, was tossed with some essential Mediterranean herbs, but noticeably not too many spices, to retain the flavour of the fresh seafood. It’s not an overworked number, it’s simply cooked and greets you with the faithful Italian relish. We also found ourselves some Paprika Pizza with Rio bell peppers, jalapeño peppers and olives. Baptiste tells us that it also includes some homegrown chillies to give it a desi edge — and we have to admit, it worked. Peri-peri good
The restaurant also has an amazing vegetarian spread, and is perhaps one of the very few South Kolkata eateries that has the memo on how to get globally inspired green gourmet dishes right. Considering the rise of veggie-loving Kolkatans, this is certainly a welcome addition. The next item on our list was the Mushroom Burger, served with peri-peri fries. The burger was traditionally made with tomatoes, onions, lettuce and a fresh mushroom patty. We have to mention the creamy consistency of the mushrooms, which was different than what we usually find between our burger buns.
It’s safe to say, their signature Burnt Garlic Fried Chicken, served with a coriander dip, has raised the bar for binge food to an unrealistic level. The fried chicken dish is crispy and wholesome, with a hint of exotic spices. It is also light, which makes it all the more appetising, and a better option than most fried chicken numbers. We ended our adventure with scoops of tender coconut, salted caramel and South Indian-style filter coffee ice cream. The latter is our dreamiest discovery yet. The taste is a blend of biting intense dark coffee and mellow cream, and is sure to get you hooked!
Price for two: Rs 1,000