The Royal Bengal Tiger Café, Kolkata

21 Apr 2015


After returning to Kolkata after so many years, it has become our (my wife and myself) regular habit of exploring new eateries in Kolkata.   Heard of this theme Café at Tolly for long and thus visited The Royal Bengal Tiger Café on the 21st of April at 16-55 hours, Bill number 15/1292 after watching Margarita with a straw at INOX, South City. The road is quite narrow and was embarrassed to park as felt it would surely cause inconvenience for others. Nicely done up but felt that the light was a little too bright. ACs also were not on a “swing” mode and thus the cold blasts hits you straight. The menu was on the table and we were awaiting a waiter’s arrival. After some time, when we hailed for orders, a waiter arrived to inform that we have to go to the counter and pay first. Did not understand the utility of keeping the menu on the table. After asking, they served water in plastic glasses. Did not understand why the gentleman next to our table got the bills at the table and paid at the table too when we were pushed to the Counter. With those kind of price points, one demands service. We walked to the counter. Ordered for 2 plates of fish fries (1 piece per portion), one mutton moghlai (for me) and one egg moghlai (for my wife). Two cups of Darjeeling Teas. Damage, Rs. 962.00 including all taxes. Was sad looking at the quality of service staff when the Café was not cheap at all? This is the same problem I see with most of the outlets in Kolkata as Entrepreneurs cut corners while hiring people and creating facilities. This is fine if they hire professional to train them. The Barista was standing inside the counter and eating something which was not a great visual. We ordered the fish fry first. Very thin piece of poor quality fish. Over marinated with acid (it tasted sour and gave off smell of the acid). Over crumbed. It was bent like a boat. While cutting, thick crumb was separating out. The modification of the mustard was nice. What they served as Tartar Sauce was a pinkish, sweet mayonnaise. Have not seen that kind of Tartar Sauce anywhere in the World.  Flat and hollowware were nice. Very bad product and wonder they serve that kind of product is Kolkata and people do not complain. Then the Moghlai arrived. The gentleman, who took our orders, should have informed us about the portion size. They are large. We could have shared. Left it half way. Did not get the flavour of typical Moghlai which we have grown up with. Mutton was bland and precooked. Very bad product and especially when you pay Rs. 190.00 plus taxes for a Moghlai and waste half of it, one expects better. Though Kolkata ranks 3rd on HNI populations but I am sure, people have a lot of money and paying for that kind of products when jobs in Kolkata does not offer good salaries for which people are leaving. Was shocked to see Twinning’s tea bag for Darjeeling Tea. When one is charged Rs. 95.00 plus taxes for a cup of Tea in Kolkata, one does not expect the pathetic cheap tea bag for sure. Wonder why no one complains? Called for the manager but was informed that there is no Manager for the restaurant. It looked, like many other Bengali establishments, “Haru” and “Hori” are running the place and the Owner is just not interested. Will not be shocked if the place becomes another nameless, faceless outlet soon and may be converted into a boutique or something. These people need serious professional help. God bless them. We were very happy that we have a Café near our home but shall not visit again for sure.

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