Being a Bengalee and a big time foodie, I have always loved experimenting with various world cuisines. India itself is a conglomeration of undefined cuisines. Calcutta has seen risings and metamorphoses of various restaurants, hotels, food joints. Some are as old as 300 yrs, some are of recent origin. Today I will talk about one restaurant which has been selling authentic south Indian food since decades, even before the time I was born. It started as a hostel which offered food to the boarders. In those days a large number of people migrated from south to east India and Calcutta was always known for a big heart, open to all. Its Komala Villas now called Banana Leaf.
Banana leaf is an apt name for the food is served in clean, green, shiny, fresh banana leaves. It looks feels and smells beautiful. The food is not only authentic but quite inexpensive as well. That’s the best part of it. Quality doesn’t come cheap nowadays but banana leaf has proved it time and again. You can select from alacade to buffet menu. Each plate (the thali as it called) serves a complete course of food from start to end that is with rasam (appetiser) to payasam (dessert). I have found myself going to the place again and again. Be it with friends from abroad or with friends whom I meet daily – it’s just a perfect hang out for me.
The accommodation is quite good as well. Clean, hygienic and airy – that’s my criteria and it fits it well. It’s quite cheap and good if you are travelling alone; it’s more like a hostel. Only thing that annoys is the fact that I have to wait to queue up at times. That feels jittery. I just wish it has an extension soon.
So guys, if you are a foodie and want to stay put in South Calcutta for a while, don’t forget to visit this place. You will be at ease.
Happy eating healthy.
Update On May 14, 2010: I went onto have authentic South Indian food in 'The Banana Leaf', an updated and enhanced version of the very old ' Komola Villas', a few times more since I wrote this and each time I felt the same kind of nostalgia. The same flavor, the same food, the same bearers, the same wooden, discolored seats - a kind of deja vu, I would love to live again and again.