Date of Visit: Thursday, 7 September 2017
Darjeeling Express started as a supper club at home, serving Indian food lovingly cooked from family recipes,
The food is a true homage to founder Asma’s royal Mughlai ancestry and the busy streets of Kolkata, where she grew up. An all-women team of housewives run the kitchen at Darjeeling Express, and have been doing so from day one. What you will taste is home-style food, cooked with passion and love.
The decor of the restaurant does resemble the cause and laid back environment of a modern living room.
I visited with my parents as I like to take them out every now and then.
The Menu is concise and features a very well thought array of dishes with a balance of meat, fish and vegetable items. The printed menus themselves are small! My dad had trouble reading them.
Tangra Chilli Garlic Prawns
Kolkata is the only city in India with a Chinatown (Tangra) and these prawns are infused with all the Indo-Chinese flavours of the region (5 pieces)
A simple dish that packed solid flavours balanced out with sharp garlic and heat of Chillies. The texture of the prawns were great – soft and fresh, melt in the mouth kind of stuff.
Papri Chaat (v)
Spiced potato and black chickpeas on a bed of crisp papri dressed with tangy tamarind chutney garnished with sev and chopped coriander (5 pieces)
Once again, a simple dish was done well with balanced flavours and textures.
Bihari Dal Phulki (gf) (v)
Lentil fritters with chopped red onion, coriander and green chillies
We were kindly sent a dish on the house by Asma as our table was right in front of her workstation.
This was actually my favourite starter. So moreish. I loved scoffing these down. The accompanying sauce went perfectly with it as well.
Goat Kosha Mangsho
Slow cooked Bengali goat curry with the occasional potato
This was one of the most authentic dishes I’ve ever had outside of eating at home. Allow me to digress here. I’m of Bangladeshi heritage, I was in Bangladesh earlier this year, while I was there I visited my Aunty (mum’s sister) who I hadn’t seen in years. She made me my faves, slow cooked beef, what we call Bhunna at home.
This dish just brought back those memories. It tasted very similar. A deep rich layered flavour of species in each mouthful. Think of a beef rendang, it’s very similar.
A Bengali Speciality of delicately spiced tiger prawns cooked in coconut milk
Hyderabadi Tamarind Dal (v)
Tangy lentils tempered with dried red chillies & curry leaves
Gajjar ka Halwa (v)
Carrot halwa, garnished with pistachios and served with cream.
I have to thank Asma for really looking after my parents. I spoke to her after dinner and she told me she loves it when the young generation brings their parents, she made an effort to make sure they had a good time by sending some items that she wanted us to try. They also helped bridge the slight wait between starters and mains.