One of those old Kolkata cabins, Dhiren Cabin located almost on the crossing of Rabindra Sarani and Sovabazar Street (on Sovabazar Street to the left if going towards Sovabazar Ghat) is a hidden gem. Popular among the locals, it is not famous like Mitra Cafe or Allen Kitchen, but its loyal customers help it remain full during the evenings. Although two cabins still exist, they are without any door or curtain now. The marble top tables are proof of the eateries age as they are from an era when it was the common practice in restaurants.
Coming to food most items are priced around 70 to 80 bucks with the Mutton Kosha at 130. The kosha gravy tasted more like a homemade one with the mutton pieces super soft and juicy. One of the best meat pieces I have had. Have it with bread toasts and this dish alone can make you happy.
But there are more. Both the fish fry and fish batter fry are good here. Fat and juicy fillet of fish coated with spices and fried. The no nonsense type of good fish fries.
The Kobiraji Cutlet, though not the best, was among the better ones we get in Kolkata. I personally still think Mitra Cafe serves the best Kobiraji. But at Dhiren Cabin you will get something which is not far behind. The main cutlet to the egg nest was about 80:20. Too much egg cover spoils the taste. Also with the nest increasing it becomes more and more delicate, and more tough it becomes to drain the oil. The excess oil kills the appetite and spoils the taste. In this area the Kobiraji here was better than most of the places.
Another item which they are pretty good at is the Fish Roll. A filling of fish mince along with spices wrapped inside a coating of fish fillet and finally crumb fried. Once your teeth breaks the crisp covering and goes past the soft and juicy fillet of fish, its a wonderful gingery fish filling. I love this for the taste and also the size. Quite filling.
If you are tired of the fried items just order a plate of plain Chicken Stew with toasts. The chicken is juicy and the broth flavourful with hints of butter. Just pour some black pepper powder before starting. Sometimes too much fries kills the appetite. This is the perfect dish to bring it back and your tongue with love the simple yet flavourful stew.
But the show stopper here in the Doi Chicken or Chicken in yogurt based sauce. Among the spicy gravy items of Kosha or Afgani, this was a real change of taste. Not too simple like a stew, not even too spicy. It was light with hints of ginger and the tangy taste coming from the yogurt. The chicken was super soft and juicy. Have it with toasts and I am sure it won’t be your last visit here.
End your journey here with a serving of Pudding. The sad part is, I don’t know why, it is not available always. I asked them and got two answers. One, when most of their employees are on leave due to the festive season, and two, when they don’t get good quality Chhana. But if is available don’t even think about giving it a miss. And ask the server to give you a piece from the side which is more burnt. Unlike the Mitra Cafe pudding, which is firmer and more like a sandesh, this one is soft and gooey. Not too sweet with a slightly bitter top crust it was a perfect dessert for me.
Like most places like this, there’s no AC. Nothing fancy as far as the ambiance goes. You will have to share table with strangers. But you will surely come back for the food and the pocket friendly price.