Hangouts

Do you love hanging out? Visit Kolkata restaurants often? Why don’t you write reviews for these lovely places? It’s simple and you can earn a link to your favourite web sites along with an exposure for your writing.

Here’s how to do it:

You have to write about your experience when you last visited the restaurant. How did you like the ambience and the service? What types of cuisine do they serve? Make it your personal note. Write in the first person.

Which dishes did you like? Mention specific incidents like some special gesture by a waiter. Highlight any specific thing you liked about the decor. Anything you feel like telling to a friend about this place.

You should also include a photo of you and relatives or friends at the restaurant (not compulsory but preferred).

Also send a 2-3 line writeup about youyself with a link to your favourite site so that we can give you a credit and a link.

Here are some things you should NOT do:

  • Copy a review from another site and make minor edits.
  • Put up a dull description by taking information from the official site.

Some basic rules:

  • We reserve the right to reject any submission.
  • We cannot link to sites that relate to porn, gambling, hatred, racism etc.
  • Affiliates links are discouraged.

Interested? Send your submissions to ebizindia AT gmail.com. Thanks!

Your favorite blog on Calcutta (ok, Kolkata) has gone mobile. With the help of Webile, the mobile blog people, this blog is now visible on a mobile phone in an easy to read format.

You do not need to remember a new URL – just visit www.CalcuttaRocks.com on your mobile handset (iPhone, Blackberry, Treo, Android phones or even LG, Samsung, Nokia handsets)and you can see all the recent posts. Click (or touch) and read any posts that suits your fancy or read them all, one by one.

Your comments are welcome and don’t forget to contact Webile people if you want your blog to be available on a mobile phone too. Their fee is so low, you might actually fall off your chair.

Bhikharam Chandmal has opened a new outlet at Salt Lake near the City Centre. They are selling sweets and salted snacks as well as North Indian dinner on self-service basis. They have the classic Bikaneri bhujia, chana-chur, namkeens and what not – almost everything you can expect from a North Indian, specially Rajasthani sweet shop.

I love their Kesaria Rabri, Jodhpuri mirch pakoda, mini gulab jamun, almond laddoo with chocolate sauce on top – well the list goes on and on. They even have a hot dishes counter near the front-gate. However I do wish they also carried the Kesaria ice-cream as they do in the Kankurgachi outlet.

In my humble opinion, Bhikharam’s bhujia snacks are better and fresher compared to Haldiram’s and you are well advised to try them the next time you are shopping at the City Centre.

We all love hanging out and eating at a food park. The main attraction is the wide variety of fare served from the different counters. A big group of guys and gals with diverse taste can all be happy and satisfied eating at a food park. Recently I visited a new food park and hang out at Infinity Benchmark in Salt Lake, Sector V – Bytes.

Located nicely, bang opposite the RDB Boulevard, at the ground floor, it has opened very recently and therefore some of the stalls were not even open. But lots of choices were still available. The pasta and pizza stall, the south Indian fare, chats of Kolkata were all there. There is a special counter for shakes and drinks (no hard drinks naturally).

I must specially mention the Biryani and Rolls counter which are the biggest pull for a Calcuttan. Don’t we just love the rolls and mutton biryani.

If you hurry, you can still catch the introductory 20% discount on all items. Check out the place – you should enjoy there.

Filed under Blog, Food Park, Hangouts by  #

Always crazy to try out new hangouts and restaurants? Visit Afraa and get enchanted with the white beauty.

I recently saw in a newspaper that Ambuja Realty has unveiled their new, all-white (Afraa means white) restaurant and got excited to try it out. I was sceptic of getting a quick seat on a Sunday evening, but took a chance anyway hoping that not-too many people have heard about it. I was surprised to see a fairly large number of people already dining out. You can’t keep a good thing hidden for long.

2 things struck me immediately upon entry. The layout is well spread out and there are multiple pockets of a few tables each. You don’t get to see a large number of tables lined up and this gives you a much better sense of privacy. The interiors are simple and elegant and mostly in white to justify the name. I cannot but mention the wall decoration with glass jars which looks quite striking. If you can, try to get a seat with a view of the Kund area of the City Centre – it looks great from up there.

The menu spread was a little sparse and on asking about it, the manager advised that they will be adding several more items once the lounge bar opens by end-March. The choice is varied with Continental items ruling the list. There are a few Indian and Chinese items also. This being a new place for us and because of our strict vegetarian preferences, we asked the floor manager to suggest some good dishes and I must say, we were delighted by the items he got for us.

There was a surprise waiting for us after the dessert – they offered us some really cool chocolate dipped paan. I do not know if this is just an introductory offer or they intend to continue offering these but you should really like them.

At the end, we took a prevew tour of the fabulous lounge below and I will be talking about that in a future post. Meanwhile if you are thinking of visiting Afraa, it is on the 7th floor of the G-block (the block with Fern and Petals near the car entry gate). Enjoy and do post a comment here after you come back.

As you know, we discuss Calcutta Hotspots on this blog. Well, we just got 1000s of hotspots. Any guess?

Ok, let me tell you the open secret πŸ™‚ I am talking about the thousands of Durga Puja pandals that have sprung up on the roads, in the parks, in the various complexes and even private houses. These are heavily decorated, themed and house the Goddess supreme, Ma Durga who is always reminding us the good always wins over evil.

Almost everyone who lives in Calcutta or is here on a vacation, is out on the streets, hopping from one pandal to the next, appreciating the themed decoration and the blessings that Mother is showering on the devotees. Children are busy buying toys and street hawkers and roadside stalls are serving fast food for the hungry souls who have walked miles and miles forgetting the tiredness in the excitement.

The TV channels are vying with each other to cover the largest number of Pujas, and conferring a variety of awards to the deserving and the smart alecs are cashing in by running in SMS contests.

Do you miss the Puja fun and frolic? The community food, dressing up and roaming the streets all night, the adda and sneaking a look at that flame? Share your feelings with us and lighten up. We will pass these on to Ma Durga.

Mcdonald’s finally opened an outlet in Calcutta at 55, Park Street (where Blue Fox once delighted it’s fans) and has got  crazy fans queueing up. Lovers of Big Mac and all sorts of veggie and non-veggie delights are going ga-ga and sinking their teeth in the favorite items that has the world rooting for the family restaurant, McDonald’s.

Sorry I have not visited this outlet yet, so I cannot give you a first hand report. If you have been there, why don’t you share your experience with us by posting a comment below?

Gautam’s on Bypass is an excellent place for drive-in coffee or tea sip and as well a great hangout with friends. It is on the right side when you drive towards Ultadanga from Park Circus.

The best part about Gautam’s is, it is open late nights also. So in case you want to go for a drive with friends, cousins or family and want to sip coffee or tea then Gautam’s is the ideal place to be. It has got number of shops lined up. Coffee out there is amazing and along with it you can go for some good snacks as well.

Go there with friends or cousins and you come to know what fun you can have.

N.B: Gautam’s is very much addictive! So watch out before going. You may land up going there quite often!

Filed under Blog, Hangouts by  #

Want to hangout with friends at some coffee shop or just spend sometime with your loved ones? Barista is the ideal place for you to be.

Barista is my favorite hangout when I am with friends and it is again a favorite hangout for people who wish to spend sometime with their loved ones and no one else!

Barista has got a number of outlets in Calcutta but my all time favorite remains Park Street outlet just opposite to Oxford Book Store or the Park Hotel. Recently they have come up with a new outlet next to the back gate of Forum in Elgin road.

The two hot coffees, Café Mocha and Cappuccino out there at Barista remains an all time favorite. And how can I forget black forest and the brownie with ice cream?!? They are simply irresistible! And the sandwiches available there are even good bargain for the amount of money you give. Try out the iced tea as well but lemon flavor. Other flavors are not that good.

The ambience at Barista is so soothing with the soft music being played in the background that you don’t at all feel uncomfortable sitting there and spending time with who ever he/she might be!

Mind you: At Barista, you have to help yourself.

Filed under Blog, Hangouts by  #

Pizza Hut takes over the city of Calcutta!

Well not literally πŸ˜‰ but it has really created a storm in the pan. The other pizza shops like Domino’s and Giovani are feeling the heat and a big competition from this international hot favourite. All set and done for PIZZA LOVERS like me….

I really recommend getting the treat offers. Best is treat for 2. You get 2 personal pan pizzas, 1 garlic bread (+cheese for +rs10), 2 cokes and 2 scoops of ice-cream.This whole deligthful package is available for a cheap Rs.150/- (+tax)!!! (Editors note: Please verify with Pizza Hut – rates can change any time and they are not obliged to let us know).

I simply love Cheese Garlic Bread out there and Exotica Pizza. If you wanna have Pizza with a little Indian Touch, then the Indian Pizza with Paneer is not a bad bargain. One of my friends… she loves it. Or you can go for Spicy Indian –  it’s a HOT pizza.

P.S: Don’t take your friends on a birthday treat at Pizza Hut unless you can take all the fun and hoopla they create in the right spirit. They will make you stand on the middle of the table and sing a very good Birthday song for you and then will ask you to have ice cream from a bowl without a spoon and as you try having it…. that’s the end!!! The entire ice cream is on your face!!

Have fun!