Few days before I left for Netherlands, I received an email from Nuffnang asking if I could attend a pop-up food event in East London. I scrolled further down and Calcutta Street came onto my phone screen. Indian food! Oh, glorious, glorious Indian food!
All these years living in the UK, I don’t think I’ve ever not craved for Asian food – especially a good Chinese, Malay or Indian! – the smell and taste that will always remind me of my darling Malaysia. “…mouth-watering seafood and fish dishes from Calcutta. These recipes are all extremely special because it comes from my mother’s kitchen and I have grown up on them…” A quick browse on its website saw these lines grabbing the whole of my attention. An east-Indian lunch right here in London on a warm sunny Saturday, I couldn’t help but let out a little yelp.
The person that cooked up a storm and fed the hungry crowd was Shrimoyee Chakraborty, or more dearly known as Shrim. Pretty and petite, you wouldn’t imagine her toiling away in the kitchen, taming the crabs and keeping her nose to the grindstone to prepare a delicious feast. But the beautiful thing is always getting the best of what’s unexpected.
I was only there for about two hours and Shrim’s passion for cooking is palpable, if not contagious. To start, there was a choice between phuchka and eggrolls. The drinks offered included Cobra beer and an assortment of cocktails from Bonnie Gull, a seafood shack in Exmouth Market. The main – kankrar jhal (curry crab) and macher paturi (steam seabass wrapped in banana leaf) – totally stole the show. People dug in with their hands, glasses were clanked and praises were oozed forth almost involuntarily.The very cordial host darted from table to table making sure that everyone was not only well fed but fed happily.
I went for the mango martini that came with a sprinkle of masala. It was a great combination with the seafood and my favourite was the crab. The dish was a harmonious party of spices and I couldn’t help but wish I had shamelessly licked the shell clean. There was also the vegetarian option for the main – a potato curry, smoked aubergine and musurir dal.
I left Bonnie Gull full, contented and wishing Shrim could move her pop-up to the west!
Check out her website for details of the next pop-up. According to the sassy chef, dessert will be added to the next menu.
Now this is irresistible.
Have a great week ahead!
With love x