Claiming to be London’s only authentic Bengali restaurant, Little Kolkata has recently launched their new menu, so we went along to check them out.
They’re a handy spot to have up your sleeve, situated slap bang in the middle of Covent Garden, the menu is made up of sharing dishes and centres around the Bengali staples of fish, vegetables and lentils. We started with a summery elderflower white wine spritz and the Doi Papri Chaat – a spicy potato snack served with yoghurt, coriander, mint chutney and green chilli sauce from the street hawker inspired section.
Flavours are familiar but felt freshly presented. We didn’t even touch any rice whilst we were there for example and didn’t feel at all like we’d missed out. Instead, we spooned in lentils, slurped up warming sauces and got our socks blown off by the fiery Indo Chinese Chilli Chicken – a stir-fried dish with chilli, spring onion, tomato and pepper with soy sauce and Chinese spices. They did warn us it was spicy and boy were they right. Big fat beetroot croquettes are a new addition, served alongside a green chutney dipping sauce but there are still some old favourites on the menu. Prabir’s Great Grandmother’s seven hours slow-cooked goat curry for example, which fell apart under the fork into a deliciously thick gravy.
However, we felt it was the fish and seafood that was the star of the show. Case in point – the ‘Mango Aam Fish & Salad’ a beautifully cooked sea bass fillet, pan-fried25 and served with a little raw onion on the side. We also loved the Jumbo Chingri Prawn – a sunshine yellow saucy curry with fresh coconut cream and a hint of green chilli. Although it only contains two prawns, they were some of the biggest, meatiest specimens we’ve ever had the pleasure of eating, and it meant there was plenty of curry left to scoop up with the truffle cheese paratha.
Of course beer is so well suited to these spicy flavours, and Little Kolkata have an interesting selection. Try the Menabrea (an Italian lager) or our favourite, the Jubel Urban Beer Cut With Elderflower. As an added bonus, over 50% of the menu is vegetarian and vegan and we noticed they offer bottomless brunch deals at the weekend.
Every four months the menu completely changes at Little Kolkata so they can highlight the wonderful seasonal produce they work with as well as the myriad of traditional Bengali dishes served at different times of the year. So like we say, it’s a good little spot to have up your sleeve.