When I first came to Kolkata, it was Calcutta at that time, I was surprised to see the glittering set up of Park Street Area. Though I was a frequent visitor to the place because of its extensive collection of extraordinary food joints, the existence of ‘Sudder Street’ was not known to me for many years. While wandering through the area once I was taken away by the total get up of the area. The narrow street, dotted with uncountable hotels & eateries filled with Foreigners of every ethnicity is nothing less than a mini Europe located in the heart of Kolkata. It took me few more years to know about Raj’s Spanish Cafe which serves the best Spanish cuisine in the city and that too at an extremely affordable price.
There is absolutely no advertisement and branding but the young generation of the city is aware of the place and they keep it crowded throughout the day, starting from breakfast to dinner. The most popular feature of the cafe is its wood-fired pizzas. You can get the widest range of Pizzas here at the most pocket-friendly price. The mouthwatering pizzas have brought me back again and again to the place.
Then on a rainy afternoon last August I was suddenly introduced to ‘Paella’. I had no idea about it before that and had to do a little googling before taking the first bite. Paella, the signature Spanish dish originated in the Valencian area of the country, is one of the tastiest protein-rich foods you can get. It is basically a rice-based food that has a lot of vegetables, meat, seafood in it and that, together with its saffron seasoning, gives it an out of the world taste and flavour.
The biggest attraction of the Paella at the Raj’s is that it is cooked by a Spaniard. Rafael Calleja is a Spanish cook who spends half of the year in India – January to March and July to September – and during that he cooks the Paella at the Raj’s Spanish Cafe. I was totally surprised to know that this routine is followed by him for more than a decade and most of the city is totally unaware of it. The Valencian magic is available only on Sundays afternoon and you have to plan it well because it does not last long.
The city that splits vertically on every El-Classico night surely has a craze for everything Spanish is surely going to love this magnificent Spanish creation. So, Next weekend should be kept free for a small afternoon visit to the narrow lane of Sudder Street which will end up licking fingers.
- Location: Raj’s Spanish Cafe, Sudder Street, Kolkata
- Time: Sunday Noon
- Dates: January – March, July – September