I had heard the name ‘Blue Poppy’ numerous times from my brother in the context of pork. Going by whatever I had gathered from our discussions, I had presumed, and wrongly so, that Blue Poppy is a canteen that only serves pork curry and rice (because that’s all the bhai keeps raving about). Evidently not. It has been twice so far, that I have visited their Salt Lake outlet, and was fairly happy with the food. Not ‘floored’ as many Kolkatans I have met seemed to be though, but ‘happy’ is the safe word I want to go with.

Happy, because a) the Nepali style pork curry has succulent fat pieces that melt in your mouth, b) the cumin flavoured curry is slightly different from the usual curries we are used to, c) when you are hungry, nothing could be more comforting than a curry like that. Why I am not ‘floored’ however, is because a) the service could have been better and more attentive given the number of servers, b) the in your face take-it-or-leave-it attitude does not go down well with me when I go out to eat, irrespective of how little or how much I am spending, c) many of the items we requested from the menu were unavailable. Not because they ran out of it, but just because. We were not given a reason, we only presumed they never made a Nepali thali for example, perhaps because they wanted to focus on the more popular items. Now ‘that’ is where my problem lies. Firstly, if one consistently doesn’t intend to serve it, they should strike it off from the menu. No offence to the stereotypical Chowmein-Chilly chicken lovers, but if they think authentic Nepali items would not sell, maybe they are underestimating the elusive yet omnipresent culinary explorers. I looked forward to sampling Nepali delicacies but was disappointed on that account, apart from, of course, the pork curry.

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The Nepali Pork Curry
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Pork Shapta (Tibetan style pork gravy)
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Chinese style Chicken with vegetables

That is not to say we did not order other items. We did order for stir fried greens (which was good, despite being a little too oily), crisp bottomed pan-fried pork momos which were nice and juicy, and other assorted Chinese items I failed to acknowledge or remember. In short, I will never complain about the quality of food at Blue Poppy. I would, however, be ‘happier’ with better availability of Nepali dishes.

P.S. We recently happened to visit the Blue Poppy at Sikkim house (Russel Street), ordered for the Nepali thali and voila, there it was. No questions asked, no excuses made, the thali was served and gorged with enthusiasm and savoured for the taste. And yes, it was neither a surprise visit nor was my identity as a blogger revealed.

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