Popular Bengali supper club Little Kolkata has found a permanent home on Covent Garden’s Shelton Street. The restaurant will open in June, specialising in the Bengali cuisine that co-founders Prabhir Chattopadhay and Biswajit Deb Das have showcased so successfully at their events.
The menu and restaurant reflect Chattopadhyay and Das’ backgrounds: Chattopadhyay moving to London from Calcutta in 2006 and Das growing up in Bangladesh. As such, the menu promises an assortment of Calcuttan and Bengali specialities, including maacher cutlet — cod served with kashundi, a fermented mustard seed condiment that bears no relation to the ketchup-esque kasundi currently adorning many London brunches. There will also be lilish maacher deemer, a fish egg fry made from ilish, or hilsa, an oily fish indigneous to the waters of the Bay of Bengal and so highly-regarded that it was recently reported to be at severe risk of overfishing. The menu also promises a couple of dishes pitched at cross-over luxury, including a truffle paratha that will sit alongside chicken liver paired with Bengali spices and fresh chillies.
Sharing plates and sides will aim to bring the communal atmosphere of the supper clubs into the new restaurant, while the interior — by French designer Meedhi Larouci — aims to capture “the diverse culture and quirky decadence that sits at the roots of Calcutta.” An open book, then. The restaurant also promises a private dining room, either for those who wish to bring supper club intimacy even closer or to escape it altogether; there will be themed evenings dedicated to certain elements of Bengali cuisine. The news follows Asma Khan opening Calcutta Canteen Market Halls, and looks to be an interesting new addition to London’s thriving and diverse portfolio of Indian restaurants.