Monday, August 16, 2010

Breakfast @ Flury's

Date and Day: Friday the 13th,
Venue: Flury's @ Park Street

Flury's was lucky enough to survive the Towering Inferno on March 23rd earlier this year. While scores of other people were not so lucky, people lost their belongings, their homes, their jobs, most of all their lives. The story was covered by the media for days and weeks to come. There were horror stories of people jumping to their deaths, there were unsung heroes in form of local lads who rose to the occasion and saved valuable lives, stories of anxious inhabitants waiting by the road side holding their heads in despair. I hereby pay homage to the families who lost loved ones, in this dastardly fire. 

It was the worst fire in the recent history of Kolkata. It underlined a number of things - illegal construction, poor or negligible maintenance of an otherwise heritage  building, complete apathy towards fire and safety norms. Unfortunately in India - things have their own way of trudging along, people complain, but they live on - without doing much about changing their surroundings, except may be complain. Now the owners, were chased down by the police and remanded in judicial custody. What happened to them since, were they held accountable, how are they being penalized ? Your guess is as good as mine. I am sure legal proceedings are on, and hope that law will take its' own course.
As for myself - I was at Flury's the morning of March 23rd, having breakfast with my son. If I remember correctly, we left just before noon. Later in the day I heard about the fire on all the news channels on the TV, it was surreal.

Flury's temporarily moved it's base to The Park Hotel, inside their cafeteria called The Street. Both Flury's and The Park are owned by the Apeejay group of companies. I had a birthday cake order for my son's birthday on 28th March, which I wasn't sure if they would be able to honor. However the manager at Flury's informed me that the order would be duly honored as they were up and running. Their bakery is actually located off site right behind The Park, which was in no way effected. Stephen Court has sprung back to life sans many of it's older residents who took the leap of faith and lost their lives.

Anyhow, so there we were, back at Flury's. It has moved back to its original location at Stephen Court. My partner in crime (a friend who I call Z) made it in close to 11 am. We sat down and made ourselves comfortable on one of the tables in the west wing ! The waiter immediately asked us whether we wanted 'Mineral Water'  (a term associated with all bottled water; with our without minerals in it) or 'Normal Water'. Normal water as we are told is filtered water whose source cannot be traced. We replied Normal Water almost in chorus to the waiter's query. The reason - BUDGET ! You may want to note they sell only 1 particular brand of 'Mineral Water' @ Rs. 80 a pop ! You can step outside Flury's and and buy the same bottled water at a beverage stand for Rs. 25 or so.

Agreed - this is fine dining and they sell Omlettes for Rs. 200, Cappuccinos for nearly Rs. 100 - you are not just paying for the food, you are paying for a heritage called Flury's. But still, bottled water at Rs. 80, call me a cheap sake but that is stretching it !

Now don't get me wrong - I am not a Flury's hater, I am an ardent fan. We always get our son's birthday cake from Flury's; each year of the last five years since we relocated to CCU. Flury's is the stuff memories are made up of, and there cannot be a price tag to that !

Moving on. Flury's is known for their all day breakfasts with fried eggs, sausages, bacon, hash browns and OJ (Orange Juice - canned not fresh), Darjeeling tea or Cappuccino could be your choice of beverage. Beans on toast as their menu claims is also one of their heritage item.

We decided to order Chicken Mustard sandwiches (they were for Rs. 100 each, sounds like a steal !) on whole wheat bread. On ordering the sandwiches the server asked us "Sir grilled ?", pat came the reply "Yes !". I got myself a Cappuccino, and an almond cube pastry - my wife's favorite. A rich and creamy pastry layered with almond bits on all sides. To me, this could be the way to Nirvana. Almond cube is a bargain at Rs. 35 ! I love all their other cubes as well - Orange Cube, Pineapple Cube, Vanilla and Chocolate Cube.

The first cup of Cappuccino that was served initially was only lukewarm, not piping hot as it should have been. I called the server and complained, and guess what I was asked - if I wanted it microwaved ? I rejected the offer and asked if it were possible to replace it with a freshly brewed cuppa ? With some hesitation the server nodded. He re-appeared within a few minutes with my replacement deal. I promptly took a sip - and this time - I nodded in appreciation. This could have been the end of it, but the server had to explain. He started saying that this coffee was prepared exactly like the previous one, and that Cappuccino had a tendency to cool down quickly yada yada yada... unless consumed immediately. He was now pushing the envelope - I had to reply sarcastically and said this - "Well, may be I was lying or better even just didn't know better", this embarrassed the server somewhat and he replied - "No sir, No sir ...." and retreated into the crowd !
I feel especially the expensive joints owe it to their customers to have a certain consistency of quality and it's ok if they fail, so long they replace with a "No questions asked" policy.

The chicken mustard sandwich gave me no reason to complain, the whole wheat bread was lightly toasted, generously buttered, with cubed chicken drenched in mustard sauce ('Kashun-dee") 

Finally no visit to Flury's is complete without their Chicken Patties, which is easily the best in town and has a lot of chicken in it !

And here are some pictures from the visit !

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

1 comment:

  1. Wow you were there on that horrible day. Was shell shocked when I heard of the news of the fire.

    Flurys is special to me for its cubesd pastries which are still so special and have a childish innocence to them. Yes my coffee was lukewarm too last time.

    One of my childhood memories of Flurys is the chocohip ice cream in a borwn plastic cup which I used to buy from the Flurys ice cream shop at the Lake.


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