June 25, 2005
We were surprised or, rather, shocked to see the dilapidated state in which the building was. We were standing outside a government institute which might have seen better days. The person at the counter was not especially interested in us, the reason, as we came to know later, being that the there were no vacant rooms. I just entered and told him that we had come all the way from Raichak to have a good Bengalee dinner, and is it the right place. He immediately retorted about why we had doubts. I said that the government staff these days are not dedicated, and if they make the dinner in a hurry, we would all be disappointed. He said that we must try.
The dining hall was dark, slightly dirty, and had big old tables and wobbling chairs. The prices in the menu were looking high for the settings. We kept our fingers crossed and told him to bring whatever was good and readily available. He brought mughlai parottas, fried bhetki fish, stuffed 'padol' (a green vegetable), gurma (gravy), potatoes with 'khus khus (poppy seeds), a chicken gravy cottage cheese in white gravy, rice, and fish curry. One look at the food, and our spirits rose to the levels they needed to reach. The food looked heavenly. One dip into the gravies - the taste was as best it could be. I have never tasted anythng which comes close to the taste of this food. Everything in it was perfect. We ate to our hearts' content.
Unfortunately, the place doesn't serve any desserts, but in Bengal, there is no dearth of sweet shops.
From journal A Fortnight in Raichak