Situated in one of the many by-lanes in Ballygunge, an eat-out at Bohemian is indeed a culinary adventure to say the least. The yellow walls with an ensemble of tarot cards and rock music boards coupled with neatly arranged wooden chairs and tables immediately recreate the aura of a European cafe. Then the moment you make yourself comfortable in the cozy ambience of the place, the fusion (English rock + Bengali) music in the background sets the tone for the rest of your time in Bohemian; and the primary reason why one should be at Bohemian – the food – aahhh!!
The food at Bohemian is created with a quirky mix of the western and the quintessential Bengali ingredients like kashundi (Bengali mustard paste), radhuni (pungent spice mix), panchphoran (Bengal five spice: mixture of five whole spices like fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds and black cumin seeds) and kolmi greens. The place offers a wide selection of fishy and meaty appetizers. My three course meal kick-started with the ‘vodka soaked prawns dipped in grilled garlic aioli’ (essentially French mayonnaise) priced at Rs.449 per plate. The perfectly cooked tender and juicy prawns exuded the right balance of sweetness from vodka and the tanginess of mustard from the aioli. The next few pages of the menu contained a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian salads followed by their ‘drink-in-between-meal’ section rightly termed as the ‘palate cleansers’. The correct mix of freshness from lime, mint and honey with the seasonal fruits is sure to refresh your taste-buds before indulging into their mains. Their mains consisted of many different fish, mutton and chicken preparations. Their elaborate fish preparations encompassing a variety of fishes from bhetki, tilapia, prawns and pabda are surely going to leave you confused. I was however longing to have some meaty indulgence and headed straight to my favourite meat form-pork. The slow cooked ‘pork chops in a slightly sweet cheesy apple sauce’ perfectly complemented with bread rolls and tossed vegetables was the one to die for. The juicy and succulent pork pieces immediately melt into your mouth leaving a cheesy after-effect from the sauce. You just cannot stop saying wow!
The most enticing part in the Bohemian menu is however the ‘desserts’. A glance at the menu and you would gasp at the strange experimental concoctions but nevertheless you would like to have a bite from each one of them. I however had to restrict myself to two only. The ‘chhana (cottage cheese) and panchphoran mousse’ is the most experimental dessert I have had till date. The smooth texture of the mousse with neither the chhana nor the panchphoron being too overpowering was absolutely heavenly. ‘Death by chocolate’ (priced at Rs. 299) on the other hand with the rich blend of dark gooey chocolate, rum and a layer of chocolate cake in between was just perfect to bring an end to the magical eating experience at Bohemian. Malpua cheesecake is another Bohemian speciality which I am yet to try.
In recent times, multiple restaurants have popped up in Kolkata serving authentic Bengali cuisine but what sets Bohemian apart from all its other contemporaries like 6, Ballygunge Place and Oh! Calcutta is the fact that they are constantly experimenting with their food and the twists and turns that they come up with at regular intervals never tend to disappoint. Their menu features new items every month and so if you are referring this place to a friend and want to go back and check out their menu in order to recollect what you had at Bohemian a couple of months back, it is hardly ever possible to do so. Be at Bohemian if you love experimenting with food. Be there if you like to think out of the box and are not too traditional with your tastes. Be there if you love good music accompanying your food. Bohemian provides a totally satisfying eating experience serving generous portions of food at a reasonable budget. The only flip side of this otherwise brilliant food place is that it is pretty small and does not have sufficient sitting capacity. Just wish that they will overcome this short coming too in the near future.
Address: 32/4, Old Ballygunge, 1st Lane near Bondel Road, Ballygunge, Kolkata.
Lunch: 12:30 pm till 3:30 pm
Dinner: 7:00 pm till 11:00 pm
Pocket Pinch: Rs. 1800 approx. for two people plus vat and service charges.
Why Bohemian?: Best Bengali fusion food in Kolkata. They do not compromise on the taste and the quality of the food served.