This is an old photograph that i came across while browsing my folders. Realised i had never shared it on this blog. I also recalled a writeup i had put up on another blog (back in the time, when i did ‘Write’ long posts). Thought of sharing it here, till i get decent enough photographs to populate the blog:)
April 12th, 2008 : Flurys has been conquered, FINALLY.
Everyday while passing outside the Flurys outlet, when I was working in and around Park Street, Kolkata, I used to watch with envy, firangs and desis alike, eat their way to glory, a hallowed breakfast. It always made the foodie in me wonder, when the hell will i eat ‘The Breakfast!’ Having stayed in Kolkata for 8 months and not having visited Flurys for a breakfast was blasphemous.
The hard part involved convincing my friends here to join me! If that was done, then the rest, as they say, would be bacon and chicken along with juice and coffee.
I mean c’mon its no mean task to convince people to wake up early on a weekend, and go all the way from Salt Lake City to Park Street for something as trivial as a breakfast. On top of that, spending a BOMB on it.
Flurys – Five Generations of Fine Confection – goes the tagline. It’s been around in the famous food district of Kolkata, Park Street, for a good eight decades. Founded in 1927, by Mr. and Mrs. Flurys, Flurys introduced the cafe culture in Kolkata. It was, and still is, famous for the European delicacies it has on offer. Creamy Pastries, Crossaints, fabulous cakes and a variety of exotic breads form a key market segment for Flurys, with regular customers who visit to collect their regular quota of bakery products. Come Christmas season, and one is bound to find serpentine queue outside this institution. However, the place is quite reknowned for the one thing i was there for that day, The Breakfast.
The first thing that one will notice when he/she enters Flurys is the ambience. One has got to hand it to the interior decorator who has renovated the old Flurys to the present day beauty that it is, without killing the soul of the place. Outer glass walls with the Flurys insignia printed in a calligraphic pink font, makes it stand out amongst the other restaurants in the locality.
Brown is the color theme inside, which is followed to the tee. The light and dark brown chequered pillars leading to the main pastry counter stand strong. The warm lighting adds to the charm of the place, and the chandeliers seems straight out of some Maharajahs palace. On the wall to the right side, are sepia – toned photo frames, showcasing various aspects of the place from the customers to the kitchens. The brown colored wooden chairs with a slightly curved strong back are instantly relaxing. Finally, completing the colour theme, are brown liveried waiters wearing a white apron.
The seating arrangements by the glass walls is the best according to me. It really gives one a feeling of being on some roadside European cafe. Watching the flood of humanity going to and fro along the footpath and the vehicles zooming past the busy and chaotic Park Street, in such calm environs, is an experience worth savouring.
Scanning the menu was just a formality, as I was very sure what me and my three friends were going to have. The non – veg Breakfast, hands down! According to the menu, it comprised of two pieces of chicken sausage, one piece of bacon (pork), a potato cutlet, baked tomato, one omlette, two slices of bread and butter. Juice would be served along with all of them, followed by coffee for me and tea for the rest. On reading the menu, i wondered, what’s so special about this?
That was till the order actually arrived. It was a riot of colors, a treat for sore eyes. Only colour which didn’t feature prominently, was green, actually it didnt feature at all.
Without further ado, i started with the proceedings while the others were thinking of where to start first. Having stayed away from chicken for a good 25 days, as Kolkata was gripped in the shackles of Bird Flu, i was more than delighted to cut the sausage and pierce it with the fork, and guide it to its final destination. The chicken was a quite soft and juicy and i just enjoyed my first chicken bite, after ages, for a good minute.
Bacon was something i had last tried in 1992. Yeah, its been almost sixteen years since. I had completely forgotten what it tasted like. Now this is the part where i actually had to struggle with my fork. The bacon was hard, and although cutting it was some task, piercing it with the kinda blunt fork was tricky. It needed hard chewing, it was hard meat alright, but the constant chewing made the juiced ooze out of the meat and add another dimension to its taste. I continued with the ‘jugal-bandi’ of chicken and bacon.
Then i attacked the omlette. Now this omlette was very subtle and was very lightly cooked, thus retaining its liquidity. The vivid yellow yolk seemed like a balloon filled to capacity about to burst, and burst it did, when i touched it with my fork. I am not a fan of yolk, so the best thing i could think of was dipping the bacon/chicken into the yolk and eating the combination, and trust me, it actually amplified my respect towards the yolk part of an egg.
The potato cutlet was as normal as potato cutlets are, filled with bits and bits of potato. It kind of neutralized the OD of non-vegetarian variety. I couldn’t make heads or tails of the baked tomato, i mean it had a brownish crust on it, and there was no post processing (for lack of a better word, adding the Photoshop slang) . I didn’t even bother trying it. The color theme of the food was matched with that of the interiors by the brown crust of the bread. Have to add, the bread and butter did make the overall breakfast that much heavier.
The juice, which i was expecting to be made in-house with fresh fruits, was a let down, as it was of those synthetic juice variety and had a wierd taste. But as always can’t abandon juices, so finished it off along with the solid food. The final order, coffee for me and tea for the rest, followed.
We raised a toast to Flurys with my coffee and their tea. It was indeed an experience. For the first time in my life, i actually had had such a heavy breakfast. Not to mention, the most expensive breakfast too. But then, none of my friends complained about that fact, as it was our last meet in Kolkata. As a memento, i secretly picked up the packets of white and brown sugar which were enclosed in paper packets having the Flurys insignia.