New Menu Launch at Cha Bar, Oxford Book Store, Park Street, Kolkata
New Menu Launch at Cha Bar
Oxford Book Store, Park Street, Kolkata
The Oxford Book Store (managed by Apeejay Surrendra Group) at Park Street, Kolkata has been my favourite hunting ground since my school and college days in St. Xavier’s School & College.
Especial during my BCom days (1993 – 96), when my college got over at 9:40 am, I was often the first person to step inside the iconic book store.
I spend hours inside the Oxford Book Stores gazing through countless volumes of books. My favourite was the travel section and and I spend hours reading the Lonely Planet guides.
I was already a veteran traveller, but it was probably the hours I spent at the Oxford Book Store in Park Street inspired me into the world of Travel Writing & Photography, an inspiration that I am able to keep alive for more than two decades.
I remember feeling hungry during my long stays in the book store and I often thought a small cafeteria would have done justice to hungry soles like me.
I never approached the book store management regarding the issues but strangely with 4 years of my completion of my BCom course the Oxford Book Store in Kolkata came up with a small tea and snacks outlet called the Cha Bar.
The Cha Bar provided the book lovers with the opportunity of leafing through the pages of their favourite book, over a cup of tea. The varieties of tea served at the Cha Bar in Oxford Book Stores comes from the gardens of Apeejay Surrendra Group, who also manages the iconic book store.
With the passage of time I started getting associated with the Oxford Book Store in Park Street in more than one way.
On 19 July I was part of QnA with Rangan Datta a blogging session hosted by Kolkata Bloggers at the Oxford Book Store, Kolkata.
This was probably the first ever non book lunch event held at Oxford Book Store, Kolkata.
On 23 August 2015 I was part of a Wikipedia workshop titled Wikilearnopedia at the Oxford Book Store, Kolkata.
On 10 Jan 2016 I lead a Literary Heritage Walk of College Street, Kolkata. as part of Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF).
On 16 Oct. 2016 I lead a Bengali Literary Heritage Bus Tour as part of Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utsav (ABSU).
On 20 Oct 2016 I was invited for the at the Cha Bar for Flavothon a food lovers meet on multi dimensional cuisines, pair with exclusive teas.
The Flavothon was hosted by Nitin Warikoo (Head Cha Bar and Business Development), who came all the way from Delhi, to carter to some of the best food bloggers of Kolkata.
The session started with towering glasses of iced tea, a welcome relief from the extended summer of Kolkata. The menu consisted of a series of veg and non – veg sandwiches, wraps and pavs.
The first to arrive on the table was the Smoked Chicken and Mustard English Tea Sandwich a typical English affair. A plate consisted of a single sandwich cit into two horizontal pieces.
This was definitely my favourite with the large chunks of apple wood smoked chicken blended perfectly with the English mustard and paired perfectly with the two pieces of brown bread.
Next came the Celery Chicken Club Sandwich. A plate consisted of four pieces of triangular sandwiches along with a handsome serving of crispy french fries.
Here also the crispy celery and grilled chicken blended perfectly with the bread and mayonnaise. The french fries were a perfect time pass allowing the book lovers to spend hours over their favourite book.
Next to arrive on the table was Nitin’s favourite Chili Chicken Wrap, an Indo – Chinese food. Over the last few decades the Chinese food in Kolkata has been given a Indian, or rather a Bengali twist, to suit the local taste buds.
The Chili Chicken Wrap, is Cha Bar’s latest twist to the already Indianised Chinese food. The spicy Kolkata Chilly Chicken was wrapped in the traditional India roti. I personally would have preferred the wrap in a romali roti, that would probably make the dish more lighter.
Next to arrive on the table was the Three Chilli Cheese Toasties. A desi version of pizza, where a triangular piece of bread is topped with a genorious helping of cheese, probably not mozzarella.
The cheese comes in with a mixture of Jalapeno, green and red chillies. Also it contains a dash of capsicum including red and yellow bell pepper.
The three chilli cheese toasties was followed by the Bun Kebab, a desi version of version of burger.
It consists of a mutton kebab patty sandwiched between two slices of bun. It is served with a spicy mint chutney.
Last but not least was the Barbequed Chicken Sausage, cocktail sausages flamed with barbeque sauce and spices. Being a hardcore carnivore it was definitely on my must have list. The portion was large enough to serve at lest two.
In fact the large portions seemed to be a draw back of the Cha Bar, people browsing through books should opt for small portions. The prices were high and reminded me of my college days and probably I could not have afforded the price during my college days.
I think serving small portions at a lower price could attract more people, especially the college going crowd. But overall it was a amazing experience and the food tasted great with an even greater ambiance.
The evening ended with a goody bag from Oxford Book Store, consisting of a Cha Bar coffee mug and a assortment of green teas from Typhoo.