Eau Chew: Dishing Out Huang Cuisine For 80 Years And Counting
Obscurely tucked behind a defunct Petrol Pump, this blink-and-you-miss restaurant may give you an unappetising first impression. But once you get past the dingy staircase and enter through the door of Eau Chew, you will find yourself amidst an authentic Chinese realm. On entering this eight decades old establishment, you will be first welcomed by some very old photos of senior clan members watching you from the mantlepiece. The rest is taken care by the subtle authentic aura of Chinese incense and the blissful sound of few hanging chimes.
Today, Josephine along with her family runs this small restaurant in one of the oldest parts of the city. Almost as old as the building which houses it in Ganesh Chandra Avenue at Kolkata, the mantra of its survival has been its simplicity. A handful of heads all working it out seems to have worked out pretty well for them. Kitchen, the soul of the restaurant belongs to the lady where she still prefers to cook for her customers. Otherwise, if not, then her sharp eagle eyes scrutinize every dish that leaves for the hall for serving. With her husband managing the cash and rest of the family taking care of the service, this small restaurant can almost send you packing to the lost world charm of the Chinese restaurants of 60’s.
Ask Mama If You Can’t Decide
Being there for the first time and can’t decide upon the menu? Then ask Josephine and she will tell you the catch of the day and what should you have with it. If you are as lucky as we were, then she might also allow you to watch as she cooks in her prim and proper kitchen. Absolutely neat and clean, the shining counter was hard to miss.
A quick look around in her kitchen when she quipped, “Settle down otherwise the food will get cold and you won’t enjoy it as much”. And, as we were seated we got the introduction to her family recipes through Crispy Spring Chicken.
Here she served us mildly spiced chicken, dipped in a light batter and then fried until golden and crisp. While being in a trance of good food, there came our main course which simply elevated our levels of excitement. A platter full of gravy noodles with a variety of veggies and meat and Josephine’s specialty, Stir Fried Pork.
Now, for those who are uninitiated to gravy noodles, it is fair to say that it is quite exclusive to the Kolkata’s Chinese cuisine. Here, noodles are served in a thick broth, often along with vegetables like spring onion, carrots, baby corn, mushrooms, broccoli, and seafood and meat. It is pretty similar to the Himalayan dish of Thukpa where you will find an almost same type of vegetables with noodles and meat. Only different being it has almost no spice in it, but only a few herbs like parsley.
The Stir Fried Pork was unparalleled to anything we have had elsewhere. If a dish can make three Food bloggers vie each other for the last piece, you know that it is something worth a shot. This meal which introduced me to a local culinary heritage of the city of Kolkata came with a courtesy from Anindya and Madhushree of Pikturenama. You can follow them for many such gastronomical escapades by following the link.
Final Verdict: Go For Eau Chew Chinese Restaurant
Probably not one of the hyped Chinese restaurants yet offering best Chinese food to its patrons, Eau Chew is a hidden gem of the city. Priced moderately, a sumptuous meal for two can be easily sufficed by a mere INR 1000. Take your friends and family along and let everyone enjoy real Chinese food straight out of a family’s cookbook.
Address: Eau Chew Restaurant, Plot No. 12, First Floor, G.C. Avenue, Dharmatala, Kolkata
Timings: Open on all days of the week. Mon-Sat: 1130Hrs – 1430 Hrs., 1800 Hrs. – 2200Hrs. Sun: 1800Hrs.-2200Hrs.