Calcutta is full of restaurants serving Chinese and Thai. But when it comes to Japanese or Korean, then very few restaurants come up in the list, with a very high pocket pinch. So I was looking for a place which serves Japanese and Korean without making a hole in the pocket and thus, The Co. came into the city. Situated in the ground floor of De Empressa Hotel, Park Street, this restaurant has earned much fame in a short period of time for the amazing dishes they serve, which are almost available nowhere in the city and that too at affordable rates. For this reason, The Co. was in my wishlist for long but I was unable to visit it coz of my busy schedule and lack of company. But then what made me really excited was an invitation for a food tasting session at this place for the occasion of their new menu launch.
The place is well designed and has a seating capacity of around 35-40 persons. The entire dining area is coloured with white, red, black and yellow and the walls designed with photo frames and posters. The ambience overall is great to call this place a fine dining restaurant.
We started our dinner with the mocktails.
Pinky dinky is made from gauva and orange juicy, mixed with small ice cubes and served in a Martini glass. It was sweet and refreshing
Lemon grass cooler was the best of the lot, with a tinge of lime and ice.
Dracula’s fav is coloured red to represent blood. It is actually made from pomegranate. It was refreshing but I would prefer the other mocktails over it.
Tango Mango was served in a small bottle with two layers. The lower layer was fresh mango blend while the upper one was of milk and ice cream. It was good as well.
Shifting to the main course, we had
1. Bibimbap – I can say for sure that the co is the only restaurant in the city serving this Korean dish. I had heard of it but never had the chance of tasting it. This is basically sushi rice topped with chicken, zucchini, mushrooms, bok choy, bean sprouts and a sunny side up egg- mix it with sauce and enjoy ! It was very delicious with well cooked chicken and veggies and next time I visit the co, I would surely try this again !
2. Chicken balls of fire – The name itself makes it feel that the dish will be spicy. But it isn’t like that. The dish is made less spicy to suit everybody’s pallate. One can surely ask for the spicier version of this dish. Minced chicken is made into a ball, and placed on a bed of schezwan chilli oil. This was tasty.
3. Mushroom balls of fire- Being similar to the chicken version, this was done in the same way with the filling being of mushroom. But surprisingly this tasted better than the chicken one and i loved this !
4. Prawns in lime juice – Prawns tossed in a tangy lime juice were placed on a bed of pickled zucchini. This was simply amazing.
5. Grilled salmon with teriyaki sauce – boiled flat noodles served with two salmon fillets, drizzled with teryaki sauce. The fish comes with skin but tasted amazing. It was soft, delicate and perfectly cooked. With the noodles, it tasted amazing. This was my second favorite after the bibimbap.
6. Scallops with Horseradish cream – This dish was totally new to me, for the reason that scallops are probably not available in Calcutta. Ceviche of scallops, served with basil oil and seaweed paper infused butter, were placed on a layer of horseradish cream. The scallops were blowtorched to impart colour. Tasting scallops for the first time, I liked it a lot. This is the costliest dish in the new menu and comes in a small portion but the dish is just classy and one must try this out atleast for once.
7. Rock corn tempuras – structured like rocks, American corn was fried and tossed in a sauce of mayonnaise and schezwan sauce. What went wrong with this dish was that the dish lacked crispness, which is expected from a typical corn ball type of a dish.
Devouring the amazing mains, some great desserts were awaiting us :
1. Basil infused Panacotta – served in a small glass, the Panacotta is actually prepared from the original stem of basic, thus it tasted very authentic
2. Crepes with vanilla ice cream – the crepe covered a thick layer of ice cream. This was good.
3. Black sesame ice cream and wasabee ice cream – These are the signature desserts of the restaurant, both being prepared in house. The ice creams revived natural flavours in my mouth. They weren’t overly sweet yet tasted excellent.
Overall, my experience at the co was indeed great. This place has done a commendable job by introducing dishes which fellow citizens of Calcutta haven’t tasted yet. I loved every dish, that was served. So the new menu is going to be a sure success for the co. Hope to revisit this place in near future for more surprises!