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From Cutlet to Moghlai Parota, Here's Why You Need To Vist These Cabin Style Places Before They Die Out

1903 Interested |

It’s time to try something old to experience something new. How about the cabin restaurants that once reigned Kolkata with finger-licking food and sectioned cabins with curtains? Back then, the cabins were mostly for the privacy of women who came out in public spaces. These cabin restaurants were great for college romances as well. Some of them are still around, though the separate sections are gradually disappearing. Hit these places up for delish old Kolkata snacks and a dose of nostalgia.

Basanta Cabin

Once an adda haunt of the iconic Bengali superstars Uttam Kumar and Basanta Chowdhury, Basanta Cabin was set up as early as in 1890. Of the five cabins that once delighted movie stars and commoners alike, the last remaining bastion stands today in College Street. The interiors may be lacklustre now, but the delectable smell of fish kabiraji still entices the passers-by. And if fish doesn’t make the cut for you, then don’t give the Basanta special thin Mughlai paratha and aloo dum a miss.

Mitra Café

Set up in 1920 by Sushil Roy near the Sovabazar Metro, this one literally translates into ‘Friends Café’. Bengalis with their love for all things chop and cutlet can’t get enough of Mitra Café’s brain chop and mutton cutlet. The queue outside the cabin has not dwindled since its inception because their kabirajis, Afghanis and do-pyajis are to die for. While it had regulars like Uttam Kumar and Anjan Dutt in its heydays, it’s still a popular joint among city goers who like to take a trip down memory lane and enjoy delectable food.

Dilkhusha Cabin

If you are in Kolkata’s ‘boi para’ {aka College Street} and you’re craving a good old Kolkata snack, head to Dilkhusha Cabin. Where else will you get the famous doi chicken {chicken prepared in curd gravy} or the equally delicious devilled eggs {desi version of scotch eggs}. This century-old restaurant has ripped down its cabins to accommodate more guests, but it continues to be a popular stopover for foodies.

Allen’s Kitchen

If you dig prawns {well, honestly who doesn’t!} then a must try is the fluffy prawn cutlet of Allen’s Kitchen. The serving of whole butterflied tiger prawns dipped in batter and fried in pure ghee is best enjoyed with lime wedges and Bengali mustard sauce {aka kasundi}. Set up originally by a Scot gent Allen {who later passed it on to Jibankrishna Saha}, this is the place to hit up for chops and cutlets.

Fern Cabin

This is one of the few places which has held on to its separate cabin enclosures complete with plaques saying “Ladies” nailed to the entrances. You will find its wide open blue doors close to the Gariahat crossing on the left {when you walk towards Ballygunge station}.  On the walls are framed photos of various celebs at Fern {Swastika Mukherjee, Rahul Bose, and Mithun}. The chop-cutlet kind of snack items come in post 4pm, but they also do filling and delicious meals for lunch and dinner.

Anadi Cabin

A thoroughbred Kolkatan will know that if New Market is the hero of the city then Anadi Cabin is definitely its wingman because without either of them the essential Kolkata experience is incomplete. One of the oldest restaurants of Kolkata {begun in 1925 by Balaram Jana and named it after his son Anadi}, Anadi Cabin stands in the heartland of the city, Esplanade. Now, we don’t know, for certain, if the Mughals ate this kind of
minced-meat and egg stuffed square-shaped paratha, but Anadi, for certain, is known for its mouth-watering Mughlai paratha and fish cutlet. The cabins are now mostly open spaces and basic wooden furniture dot the restaurant. But trust us when we say, the charm is not lost and the food is still mind blowing!