Taking its name from ‘Chowringhee’ – the oldest and arguably most vibrant quarter of Calcutta (now known as Kolkata) – Chourangi is the first UK-based venture from Speciality Restaurants Limited, which has established power brands like Mainland China, Oh! Calcutta, Sigree Global Grill, Café Mezzuna, Hoppipola, Episode One and Sweet Bengal in five countries around the globe.
Opening its doors in October of last year, this Marble Arch-based spot is just a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Circus, and has an ethos behind it to ‘bring the distinctive cuisine of Calcutta‘ – the capital of Bengal in India – right to the very heart of London Town.
A unique blend of British, Dutch, Armenian, French, Portuguese and Chinese flavours are incorporated within the innovative menu’s offerings – in keeping with the city’s 300-year history – and all dishes and recipes have been carefully curated by chef-turned-restaurateur Anjan Chatterjee and his dear friend Aditya Ghosh.
The expansive menu features adventurous and authentic new ingredients, flavours and cooking methods inspired by Anjan’s very own childhood in the city, where he was privy to his mother’s excellent culinary skills in the kitchen.
Dishes feature an array of spices from Kolkata, coupled with the finest sourced ingredients from within the UK. Standouts for this author included the ‘banana flower croquettes’ – with a delicious coconut, cinnamon and mint-kasundi sauce for starters – and the ‘daak bungalow chicken curry’ with a heavenly fenugreek, mace, stewed tomatoes and cashew nut sauce for main. You can take my word for it – it was absolutely delicious!
There are plenty of veggie and vegan options on the menu too, and plenty of sides to mop up all of that delicious sauce. The ‘calcutta naan’ and ‘cashew nut and raisin pulao’ are both well worth adding to your order, and if you’ve got room for dessert, we’d recommend the ‘langcha, rabdi’ – a delectable warm pistachio sweetened milk cake dumpling which practically melts in the mouth.
Drinks at Chourangi come in the form of an excellent wine list, beers, spirits, and some pretty banging cocktails – ‘date above the clouds’ and ‘her majesty’ are both winners in our books. Plus, if you’re wanting a change from the warm and inviting interior – which offers nods to the British heritage clubs and the famous ‘Coffee House of Calcutta’ – then you can enjoy sitting in the al fresco seating area outside and watch the world go by.
So, if you think you’ve seen all the best Indian restaurants in London – think again! Pay Chourangi a visit and discover all the ‘unexplored flavours of Calcutta’.