Before re-counting my recent rendezvous at Peter Cat, the name that needs no introduction. Let us all spare a moment for the victims of the dastardly fire that left a scar on the soul of Park Street, just over 6 months ago. In magnitude it may not have been comparable to 9/11, yet it was no less in pain and fury it caused among the residents of Stephen Court. A lot has already been written and said about the tragedy. So I am not going to repeat that here. However I would like to add my 2 cents to it. Public has a very short memory, such incidents are forgotten too soon. What follows immediately is an overwhelming response of media, coming to light of some local unsung heroes who saved valuable lives, but within a matter of few weeks – it is all history. It is even hard to imagine, how must it feel to be part of the family that was directly affected by such a tragedy. After the smoke died out and the ash is washed off the street, Peter Cat fans are glad it survived the fire and so did all the other businesses on the ground floor of this historical building. Even though, the show must go on and Park Street has limped back to business-as-usual. The nonchalant attitude of authorities and some citizens at large is disturbing. Can the diners at this legendary address think about what must it have felt like to be trapped in the towering inferno that was on the fateful afternoon of March 23 earlier this year.
It is at least comforting to hear that the absconding building owner was caught and hopefully will be brought to justice. But what we really need is - a change in stance, more accountability from government departments, more dignity towards human life; so that such incidents can be avoided. But I fear the truth is – absolutely nothing has changed since this incident. I hate to be prophetic but there are a number of different such buildings which are just sitting ducks for similar incidents to happen. May God and some better governance of the city help us !
So my wife was a bit under-the-weather this past Sunday and our maid who cooks and pretty much for all practical purpose runs the house was on leave for Pujo shopping. Eating out was on the cards and on most of these trips I have an unnamed assassin, a buddy of mine who accompanies me. He wishes to remain anonymous and does not want to share any credit for this. What a magnanimous soul, God bless him. So lately Rahul Gandhi and dined and wined @ Peter Cat. Next day it became the talk of the town, given Rahul’s rock-star like popularity, second only to Peter Cat’s own Chelo Kebab ! Sycophancy or no sycophancy, the prince of the Congress party - a nick that he vociferously denies was a massive crowd-puller where ever he went. News paper carried reports of where he sat, what he ate. There were people wanting to go to Peter Cat the next day eat what he ate, sit on the same chair he sat. Nothing against Rahul personally, but this is stretching it. Why does it matter to sit where he sat so on and so forth. Grow up people !
Grapevine has it though, that the restaurant management was not willing to accept money from Rahul, but he insisted and added that all MP’s are entitled to food allowance and he would like to avail of it. Would we ever know though, was Rahul a good tipper ? Do MP’s also get tipping allowance – would be the question ?
Watch the video below, beamed up on YouTube by a news channel.
Notice the goof-up in a video-slide where Chelo Kebab was spelled as चिली कबाब.
To some people who are not aware of Chelo Kebab, it might actually sound like a TYPO. Now many of you already know a thing or two about Chelo Kebab. It has even become a recipe copied by some restaurants blatantly, but only at their own peril. However I am not sure, if what I am going to share with you next is a known fact. Read on further to uncover the secret properties of Chelo Kebab.
I am not sure of Rahul G, but mere mortals like us had to wait in a line for our table, it took about a half hour. We whiled away some time at ‘Music World’ next door and came back hoping our table would be waiting for us. However we had to be patient for a few more minutes, and our mouths watered as we saw people sitting against the French windows, chowing down their kebab platters.
Huh ? So is that why Chelo Kebabs are popular ? APHRODISIACS FOR THE HAREM ! Is that why Rahul Gandhi chose to eat this ? Is that why most diners who go to Peter Cat, be sure to order this ? I have had food here so many times, but never realized this caption on their menu. Well now. I got NO harem, but the choice was clear.
Remember the silver beer mugs @ Mocambo. Similar beer mugs at Peter Cat , coincidence ? No. Both these restaurants are owned by the same owner – Nitin Kothari. Mr. Kothari is also rumored to own a restaurant in Japan by the name of ‘Maharaja’ !
They have three types of Chelo Kebab – The Original (which is Chicken + Mutton Seekh), Mutton Chelo Kebab – which was invented in 2008 during the bird flu scare days, and no offense to the vegans but the lackluster Vegetarian Chelo !
We got one of each, Mutton Chelo for me, and Original Chelo for my unknown buddy.
The Suave Original Chelo
The first bite into the Mutton Chelo, and I was in seventh heaven. Meat so moist, and soft, I doubted for a moment if it were mutton. Spices just right, gone right through each cell of the mutton tissue. Really wonder what marinade goes into it, I wish I was able kidnap their chef and ask for the secret recipe as ransom. They serve mutton boti kebabs, small quantity of rice with dollops of butter (the qty of rice should be upped just a little), grilled tomaotes sprinkled with chopped corriander, two mutton seekhs and a wedge of lime ! I am pretty sure if I were on death row and they asked me for my last meal – it would be a double order of Mutton Chello with extra some extra rice and a chilled Thums Up to wash my sins away !
They have a pretty funny Wine menu, I captured a few pages of it on my camera, and they are reproduced here.
I took a trip to their first floor washroom and on my way back was trying to click a few aerial shots of their ground flood dining room. I was interrupted and politely asked to pocket my camera. The steward said that some customers find it objectionable being photographed. To add to that, lately there has been eve-teasing incidents reported in the newspapers where a stalker was taking pictures of a lady at a metro station. The lady turned out to be quite brave and took it upon her and rallied support of her co-passengers. The guy got roughed up a little and was remanded to the cops. I pictured myself being chased by other co-diners and being roughed up on a pretty Sunday afternoon and the picture it painted was not pretty. So I pocketed my camera and gave a friendly pat to the steward and told him I understood his concern. However, me a stalker though ? Take a look at me again, I am so much in love with food, I don’t think there is space for any other kind of love anymore. Hell, stalkers need to be at least fitter than I am, so they can run when chased. :)
This was the shot I took, before I was branded – A Stalker.
The service was great too, we asked for two chilled Thums Up with lots of ice, and our demand was met peacefully.
An empty table for two at Peter Cat, as we were leaving. A rare sight.
With the carbonated beverages filling up any space that might have been left after the wholesome Kebabs, deserts were given a miss. Despite my love for all things sweet, I passed on it. Which is extremely rare, may be I was in a state of food induced coma or may be I had other plans. We walked towards the end of Middleton Row, where my car was parked and captured the following :
Wait for my next post to find out our nefarious plans for later in the afternoon. Aaah the mystery thickens !