Tung Fong … Or Chinese Food In Calcutta


If you thought there wouldn’t be many more coming after I managed to tempt you with the Arsalan Biryani, think again. Here’s another one … another post, another institution. Another one … again Calcutta. But then, what to do … the city is so ancient (figuratively) that the list of ancient names is almost a legend by itself. Ask anyone who has lived in Calcutta, and you will understand what I am talking about. Folks here almost drool at the mention of these names … well, who am I to complain … so do I.

Coming to the point … this time I am writing about another legend … Tung Fong! One of the venerable names when it comes to Chinese food in Calcutta. And it could safely be said that Calcutta is the first city when it comes to Chinese food in India … which would make Tung Fong one of the most revered names for Chinese food in India … Mainland China notwithstanding.

Tucked away on Freeschool Street, a short walk from Park Street (oh, this has to be the centre of the world for all foodies … no matter what the French say!), Tung Fong is unassuming … till you step in, that is. Ambience which is delicately upheld by soft lighting, brings out a luxuriant atmosphere. Some beautiful murals, and elegant vases adorn the walls, and overall, this is a place you would like to go to.
Coming now to the core aspect of what I am writing about … food! One aspect of the restaurant which stands out is that they don’t believe in force-feeding you. This is a scenario which I find in most restaurants. If you go out to eat alone, you will find that the portion sizes are too huge for one person, which means either you waste food, or doggy-bag it. Here, on the other hand, they take care of the varying appetites of people … so, they serve most dishes in three sizes … from single (which serves one), to double (which serves two), to large (which, yes you guessed it, serves three). So you can choose which portion size you want to order, depending on how hungry you are. Or, even if you go out with friends and family, instead of ordering large portions of two dishes, say, you could order smaller portions of larger dishes … more variety to the meal!

We began with the Chicken Wanton Soup … this has to be the best soup I have had. Just the way it should be … enough flavour, and the tastes blending into each other with natural ease. Add to it just a dash of Vinegar, and a little bit of Honey-Chilli Sauce, and you have probably the best Soup ever. We followed this up with the Schezwan Chicken, Mixed Fried Rice, and the Garlic Lamb. The Rice is wonderful … a taste which is different. This reminded me of Malaysia … actually, the Rice tastes somewhere between the usual Fried Rice you get in Chinese restaurants in India on the one hand, and a Chicken Satay on the other hand … rather unusual taste, which brought back memories of Penang. And these just added to the taste of the Rice. The Chicken Schezwan was par for the course … not something which you would trek to Tung Fong for. The Lamb, however, is in a different league altogether. Here we had Lamb which was almost as tender as what you get when you go for Mughlai food, while at the same time, the flavours of the Lamb did bring out a taste which is quite original, and something which, while putting your tongue on fire, is definitely something you would remember, and walk down Freeschool Street for, again and again.
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