The Production Design department for the upcoming film Detective Byomkesh Bakshy leads us through Kolkata with recommendations on everything from Rs 15 lunches to a boarding house with Bengali meals that served as a visual reference for the film. Buckle up!
Where To Eat:
Aminia New Market or Golpark: They have the best Mughlai food in town. Try mutton barbecue chops. 6A, S N Banerjee Road, Near Elite Cinema, +9133-22651318.
Oly Pub: Try the steak; you can guzzle beer and cheap whisky too. 21 Mother Teresa Sarani, A.J.C. Bose Road, Park Street, +9133-64520472.
Dilkhush Cafe and Coffee House: For an evening snack after a day of hunting for books. Insider tip: the cutlets are delicious. Building 88, MG Road, near College Street Crossing, +9133-22417375.
Kalman’s: They sell Hungarian sausages, bacon and spiced pork by the kilo. 18, Free School Street, Taltala, +9133-22526701.
Beer Garden: Lager fans head here. 13/A, Sudder Street, New Market Area,+9133-22521510.
Paramount: A 200-year-old sherbet shop, must-visit for any serious sherbet lover. Bankim Chatterjee Street, College Square, College Street, +9133-22192433.
Authentic Chinese Breakfast: From 5 am to 7 am every day, Chinese families make and sell yummy homemade breakfast. It's the most authentic Chinese food you will ever eat. Behind Poddar Court, Bentinck Street.
6 Balygunge Place: Head over for posto cutlets, they’re to die for. DD 31A, Sector 1, Salt Lake, +91-9748606000.
A must visit: Presidency Boarding House, the place where Saradindu Bandhopadhyay lived and wrote some of Byomkesh. We used this boarding as a visual reference for the one created for the film. It even runs a kitchen where you can buy a home cooked Bengali meal.
Tangra: It’s an area known for Chinese food. Beware, there are two Tangra’s in the city, one has absolutely nothing to do with Chinese food. So always specify the food when asking for directions.
Suruchi: This is a small eating-house run by destitute women. Bengali fare only. 89, Elliot Road, near Park Street, call +9133-22291763.
Pro tip: You can eat some really yummy lunches worth Rs 15 at stops where the rickshaw pullers eat. Just ask your rickshaw puller for a suggestion.
What to See:
Old Chinese Temples: The Toong On Church, Nam Soon Church, Sea IP Church. Bentinck Street.
Spice Shops: Stella's Spice Shop, Pou Chong Sauce and other tiny Chinese eateries in the area. Near Tiretti Bazaar.
Presidency Boarding House: The place where Saradindu Bandhopadhyay lived and wrote some of Byomkesh. We used this boarding as a visual reference for the one created for the film. It even runs a kitchen where you can buy a home cooked Bengali meal. 66, M G Road, Bara Bazar, +9133-22419464
Society Theatre: For the most stunning art deco cinema hall still existing in Kolkata. B-26, Market Street, Esplanade, New Market area, Dharmatala, Taltalam, call +9133-22441002.
Dig deep into the collection at Karan Fabrics and you will find some fabulous outdated weaves and designs.
The maze of streets around North Kolkata: A place at once stunning yet melancholic, for it crumbles a little more with each passing day.
Bow Barracks: We recreated Chinatown for the film here.
National Library: One can get a free day-pass and read the whole day or stroll in the sprawling lawns in winter. Belvedere Road, Alipore, call +9133-24792968.
Where to Shop:
Weaves and designs: Dig deep into the collection at Karan Fabrics and you will find some fabulous outdated weaves and designs. 214/216 J L Bajaj Street, Burra Bazaar.
Old LPs & EPs: Scourge for some ancient currency, old LPs and EPs, but beware, some may be fakes. Free School Street.
Books & Comics from the 1930s: Strike a heavy bargain, don't feel shy. Lane behind Calcutta University.
Antique musical instruments: You can find some real gems on the street behind Lal Bazaar.
Antiques and furniture for rent: Victor Brother’s Auction House, 59, Park Street, A.J.C. Bose Road, Park Street Area; The Russel Exchange 12 B, Anandilal Poddar Sarani, A.J.C. Bose Road, Park Street, +9133-2229 8974; New Cornwallis Exchange, 21, Russa Road, South 2nd Lane; Young Bengal Decorators, 81, Old No: 47, Chandi Ghosh Road, Tollygunge, Ashok Nagar, +9133-2411 4540; Mahamaya Props, Opposite Tollygunge Studios, Tollygunge.
Detective Byomkesh Bakshy releases on April 3, across theatres in India.
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