|(From top) Interiors of Kurry Klub Kankurgachhi; an assortment of dishes on offer at the restaurant. Pictures by Rashbehari Das
To mention KKK in these pages would obviously not be a reference to the Ku Klux Klan, but to Kurry Klub Kankurgachhi, the recently-opened branch of the restaurant on Sarat Bose Road, which, about 10 years ago, was a brave new experiment bringing Italian food to the heart of south Calcutta. Changes in the city's culinary map have been so dramatic that no one would believe that it was indeed a bold move. In a few years from today, if one came across a Sushi eatery in Sonarpur, one might not even bat an eyelid.
Pradeep Rozario, a pioneer of the new-age cuisine that is spreading far and wide, opened this branch in Kankurgachhi, which thus far had lagged behind when it came to eating-out options, despite being an important, densely-populated residential and commercial hub. There are a couple of air-conditioned restaurants in the area that have been serving north Indian fare for the last 10 years or so, and some smaller places and fast food and snacking addresses (there is a Haldiram's), but all this is not nearly enough.
Kurry Klub has answered the need for a place to dine out in style and comfort with a choice of Oriental, Continental and Indian cuisine, which is not as experimental as Rozario's other outlet, KK's Fusion near Swabhumi, but still has a very interesting, well-conceived menu.
It gives guests all the old favourites ' Reshmi Kebab, Rogan Josh, Tandoori Chicken, Paneer Butter Masala, Sweet Corn Soup, Lemon Chicken, Minestrone Soup and Prawn Thermidor ' as well as a wide selection of dishes that are mainstream yet out of the ordinary.
Some of these have been taken off their other menus at Sarat Bose Road and KK's Fusion. Such as the Kebab Platter, which is one of the strongest statements made for fusion food that I have come across. The skewered kebabs are not laid out on a plate, but they hang from a contraption specifically designed for this item, with the base of this providing space for sauces, dips and accompaniments. Diners can help themselves from this when it is placed in the centre of the table.
Chicken Reshmi, the celebrated, succulent, boneless kebab marinated in yoghurt, cream and seasoning and cooked in the tandoor, is part of this platter. Then comes Chicken Yakitori, a Japanese item in which supremes of chicken are cut into cubes, marinated with salt, pepper, honey, Japanese Sashimi Soya Sauce and a dash of nutmeg powder and then skewered and grilled.
There is also the French Fish Brouchette, which is chunks of bekti marinated with lime juice, salt, pepper and mustard powder, skewered shaslik-style with pieces of onion and bell pepper and grilled. Creole Potatoes, a New Orleans dish, also comes with the kebab platter. Medium-sized potatoes are boiled and then marinated with powdered chilli, cumin, cinnamon, thyme, rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper and tomato sauce and skewered and grilled.
Nasigoreng Rice, an Indonesian fried rice cooked with curry powder, soya sauce and vegetables and garnished with shredded omelette, is served as an accompaniment with all the kebabs, while a Mexican salsa is served as a dip. I was told that the intention at KKK was to offer guests time-tested favourites from Calcutta's top three cuisines ' north Indian, Oriental and Continental ' so that most items here are not to be found at the Lansdowne Road or Narkeldanga outlets, but the kebab platter had found so much favour at KK's Fusion that it was included here.
Three other items ' two Oriental and one Continental ' are worth mentioning, and, of course, trying if you visit KKK. Grilled Fish with Pineapple Mandarin Sauce is the first. Bekti fillets are lightly coated with a mixture of egg, cornflour, lime juice, chopped parsley and salt and pepper and grilled in a non-stick pan in sesame oil till golden brown. A sauce made by simmering pineapple juice in a wok with shredded ginger, celery, parsley, lime rind and seasoning and thickened with corn starch is poured over the fish. The dish is garnished with almond flakes and served with steamed rice.
Roast Lamb Peking Style involves marinating boneless leg of lamb in chopped garlic, ginger, oyster sauce, honey, five-spiced powder and seasoning for 24 hours. This is then oven-roasted, sliced and served with a sauce made with very much the same ingredients as the marinade, with the addition of spring onions and crushed black pepper.
Chicken Casserole is boneless breast and leg of chicken marinated with chopped garlic, rosemary, seasoning and olive oil and sauteed with pre-cooked seasonal vegetables and coated with a spicy tomato-based sauce, cheese, chopped coriander and cumin powder. This dish is served with Mexican-style Rice.
The KKK menu doesn't make an attempt to segregate the types of cuisine. Fish Tikka and Conjee Crispy Lamb are listed side by side, as are Dal Tadka and Vegetable Augratin or Sliced Chicken in Peking Sauce and Chicken Tikka Makhani.
Diners can choose from a single cuisine, or freak out and fuse to their stomachs' content from this unconventional presentation, which bears the Rozario signature.