This Kolkata cafe serves authentic Belgian food and is a Tintin lovers paradise
While Chinese cuisine has become a part of many restaurants in India, European cuisine still remains largely unexplored in Kolkata. In fact, Italian cuisine has, for the longest time, been in the spotlight, with many restaurants serving up pasta, lasagna and more. But the trend seems to be slowly changing, as Tintin & The Brussels Club in Hindustan Park is now serving Belgian food that is more than just waffles. The restaurant is themed around the popular character Tintin, who was created and popularised by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi.
Bhetki chowder, anyone?
The 40-seater space is divided into three rooms, named after key characters from the comic series — Professor Calculus, Tintin and Captain Haddock. Colourful décor and comics from the series aside, we especially love the figurines of Tintin and Snowey — sourced all the way from Brussels. “We decided to start the restaurant because all of us love the character, and he is really popular among people of all ages here,” explains Pinaki Manna. Manna co-owns the space with his wife Brinda Chatterjee Manna, and friend Barnali Sensarma Ghosh.
As for the menu, put together by staff trained by a chef from Brussels, expect continental cuisine sprinkled with Belgian specialities. We sampled the Seafood Chowder — a creamy soup cooked with squid, prawns and bhetki (Indian sea bass), making it a perfect start to the winters in Kolkata. Next up, we tried the Belgian Express, a salad with mushrooms, assorted bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, zucchini and crushed peanuts tossed with roasted chilli, Na Pla sauce and parmesan cheese. While the cuisine might be Belgian, it is noteworthy to mention that a Bengali palate has been kept in mind, with a good amount of seafood options. So, the fact that the Fish and Friets are made with bhetki is no surprise. We also recommend the beer-battered fish with spiced French fries as an accompaniment.
Waffle lot of good
“A lot of Belgian food is made with alcohol, and we have tried to replicate that here, to give people an authentic taste,” Barnali tells us, as the Belgian Beef Stew arrives at our table. While there are several variations for the preparation, this stew is served soupy with delicious chunks of beef cooked in a broth of beer that is bitter, but with a sweet aftertaste. The beef and noodle combo makes it a perfect one-bowl meal, if diners can’t decide what to order from the large menu. Dessert, meanwhile, includes choices of the famed Belgian waffles — available with chocolate, nutella and honey with ice cream. We took ours with spoonfuls of honey and vanilla ice cream, ending our meal on a high note.
Meal for two is Rs 1,000 plus taxes.