Tucked away in the peaceful and leafy lanes of Southern Avenue, Chapter 2 represents something very different from the serene and quiet locality it is located in. The two brothers Shiladitya and Debaditya Chaudhury, who are also behind the popular chains Oudh 1590 and Chowman, started Chapter 2 as a throwback to the glamorous days of Park Street of the 1960s and 70s.
With the winter festivities around the corner, the two (alongwith the executive chef) have curated a festive menu that pays tribute to the famed Anglo Indian food once served at iconic Park Street eateries like Skyroom and Blue Fox. Interestingly, the head chef’s grandfather worked as a chef at Skyroom; now his grandson is paying tribute to the festive delicacies at Chapter 2. That's an interesting string of Kolkata's culinary history. “Christmas lunch at restaurants in Park Street and live music moved hand in hand with us since our childhood days," say the brothers. "With this festival at Chapter 2, we have curated a menu highlighting global Christmas delicacies which we are confident will attract the food lovers of Kolkata."
We paid a visit recently to sample some of the dishes in the new menu.
For starters, we had a prawn cocktail - it couldn't get more Kolkata retro classic than that! The fresh prawns were served with an in-house sauce that was sharp and tangy. This was followed by the mains, the sight (and menu descriptions) of which took us back to childhood days of reading Enid Blyton novels and salivating over the English feast the characters often enjoyed. There was turkey in cranberry sauce with roast vegetables and polenta on the side, sliced pork stuffed with glazed apples, and a duck in orange sauce. A good fit for a hearty feast on a cold winter night.
With juicy meat and extra-crisp skin, the turkey had slight sweetness of the cranberries which complimented the savoury taste of the meat really well. There were also chunks of caramelised cranberries sprinkled on top which elevated the texture and flavour profile.
The duck followed next - the citrus flavours of the sauce made for an interesting combination with the gamey flavours. We had just one bone to pick - the sauce was a tad mild, especially compared to the strong taste of the meat, which happened to overpower things a bit.
The highlight of the meal was the pork stuffed with glazed apples. We all know pork and apple are a match made in heaven. In the Chapter 2 dish, caramelised and slightly sweet with a tangy after taste, the fruit paired very well with the pork.
To complete the celebratory feast, we had a warm, delicious slice of plum cake, fresh out of the oven. The batter was made from scratch, just a few hours before we arrived, and needless, to say, it was the perfect finish to the meal.
The sketches on the walls will bring back memories for old regulars who hung out at the Park Street of the 60s and 70s.
Here's one more reason to visit Chapter 2 for a Christmas meal with the fam - to complete the feel of Park Street December festivities, the restaurant also hosts live band sessions on most nights. Though we did not get to sample the live music, we hear it is retro and an effort to bring back the memories of food and music which symbolised Park Street and Chowringhee between 1950s- 1970s. Sounds perfect for a classic Christmas meal!
Chapter 2's Festive Feast will be on till January 16, 2022.
Average cost for two: Between Rs600 to Rs1,000.
Address: Chapter 2, P-377, Hemanta Mukhopadhyay Sarani, Southern Avenue,
Kolkata - 700029.
Timings: 12 noon to 11pm.