Sometimes you just remain blind, even though the object of your desire is right in front of your eyes. No I am not talking about the ideal life partner, though in a way it could be that too. I am talking about Hanglaatherium, the restaurant I visited for the first time a few days back. I came to know about it from Indrajit Lahiri’s post a few months back. Yes, the moha-mushkil man who makes our living mushkil with his first-rate food adventures. Next Hanglaatherium came up in Foodka’s biryani review episode. Lake Gardens is a stone’s throw away from my place. But I am too bad with locating places. So I remained unperturbed. Finally the Universe realized some intervention was required and suddenly a lunch was planned at Hanglaatherium with foodie friends.
The location of the restaurant is prime, being diagonally opposite South City Mall on Prince Anwar Shah Road. It’s however not visible from the main road since it’s on a parallel road connected by a broad lane (location on google map).
I was the first to reach and got Sunando Banerjee to tell me the story of Hanglaatherium. Sunando is a top job holder in softwares and a passionate foodie. The restaurant was born out of the working couple’s and their friends’ unhappy experiences with takeaway food. This was 6 years back and there was no food delivery app at that time. On one such evening, when the critical comments were pouring in, Piyali, Sunando’s wife, suggested jokingly – “why don’t you guys start your own joint?” Sunando liked the idea. Hanglaatherium started its journey with an induction cooktop in a one-room rented place. Soon the tiny takeaway kitchen had to grow into a proper restaurant as the customers went crazy over the food. Piyali and another partner now commit full time to Hanglaatherium while Sunando creates amazing recipes in the kitchen whenever he is not travelling around the world on work. In its 6 years of growth, Hanglaatherium has retained its first day customers and each and everyone thereafter. And I was about to find out why.
My friends had arrived by then and so did the starters. We had ordered mutton galawati kebabs and chicken kaali mirch. Galawati kebabs come with complimentary parathas. Kolkata has recently awakened to galawati big time and I have had it in too many places. What makes the Hanglaatherium version stand out is the infusion of charcoal smoke. The smoky flavour and delicate spicing enhanced the taste of the finely minced meat ten times more. Large in size, slightly crunchy outside because of charcoal grilling, and succulent and melting inside. I literally had to force myself not to ask for another one as I knew I had to keep my appetite alive for the main course. Chicken Kaali Mirch was another wonder. Boneless chunks of juicy chicken heavily spiced with freshly and coarsely crushed black peppers. Now I do not know of any foodie soul who wouldn’t submit to the aroma and taste of excellent quality black peppers, and I happily did. It takes a certain level of expertise to mute the hotness of black peppers to a desired degree. Chicken Kaali Mirch at Hanglaatherium lets you enjoy the flavours of black peppers in full blast without hurting your taste buds even a little. By that time I had understood I had come to a place where food was worshipped.
The main course comprised Butter Chicken a.k.a. Dilli 6, tandoori lachcha paratha, mutton hanglabari, chicken pasanda, malai kofta and mutton biryani. When Dilli 6 arrived, we kept our cutlery aside and start eating with hand. Licking our fingers, eyes half-closed, mind half-hypnotized, we listened to Sunando’s story of how he got Aslam Bhai of Old Delhi give him the secret recipe. As a tribute to Aslam Bhai’s crazy good butter chicken in Chandni Chowk, he named the dish Dilli 6. When we finished this bold, rich and sexy ‘dish de resistance’, the bowl was wiped clean, not a drop of the liquid gold gravy was left.
Chicken pasanda, an acclaimed dish from Pakistan, was a gastronome’s delight. Shredded chicken was slow cooked in smooth almond paste gravy and I was happy to balance the calories with guilt free tandoori lachha parathas. Mutton Hanglabari was vintage kosha mangsho revived to its full glory. Dark and gloriously delectable. Competing with meats, malai koftas were mercilessly good. Thinly coated cottage cheese balls cooked in cashew and fresh cream based gravy and garnished with shredded cheese. I made a mental note to taste a few more vegetarian dishes on my next visit.
At this point, my tummy signalled protest and even after pampering it with fresh lime water, I couldn’t make it to give in to the seduction of mutton biryani. I tasted a spoonful but couldn’t analyze beyond good. My friends said that the dish made it to the list of outstanding dum Biryani. I could see large and tender pieces of mutton. The deep fried onions or beresta on top was something you rarely see in Kolkata.
We ended on a sweet note with the classic Phirni (Don’t judge! There’s always a secret space for desserts in my tummy).
Food at Hanglaatherium doesn’t compromise. I can’t remember when was the last time I had food made with such pure and grade 1 ingredients and experienced recipes created with such abundance of love. When you eat here, you can feel that the people behind this restaurant love food, celebrate food, and this restaurant is a tribute to their love. Another remarkable fact is, to experience such excellent food, one doesn’t need to have deep pockets. Now my question to you is why are you still here? Get dressed and head to Hanglaatherium or pick up the phone and start ordering. Be shamelessly hangla and don’t fear being judged. Because at Hanglaatherium, everybody believes #hanglamibhalo.
- Address: 188/3/1A Prince Anwar Shah Road Kolkata 700045
- Phone: 09830581024
- Location on Google Map
- Hours: 12 – 10:30 pm, all days
- Home Delivery: Zomato, Swiggy
- Pocket pinch: Rs600 for two (approximately)
- Facebook page
Biryani lovers do check the biryani review episode of Foodka, a popular vlog, on youtube. Hanglaatherium has been featured in this episode.
Link: Foodka Episode 2