A while ago, one of the foodie Facebook groups that I follow had a post about something that I had never heard of before – Doodh Cola, a mix of milk and cola that many claimed to love to bits. The said drink is served at Balwant Singh’s Eating House in Calcutta, a dhaba which once churned it out on a whim (apparently), only to have it become hugely popular.
I happened to read the post just before we left for our Calcutta trip, and was desperate to try out the drink right from the very minute we landed in the city. I got an opportunity to do so a couple of days into the trip, when we visited Victoria Memorial and learnt that Balwant Singh’s Eating House was just a few minutes away from there. So, we hired a cab to take us there (at hugely inflated rates, because no one else we asked seemed to know the place), and he dropped us right at the spot.
We opted to sit in the non-airconditioned seating area of the restaurant, which was nothing more than a few tables and chairs put together in a decent-sized room. The menu was handed over to us – a pamphlet similar to the advertisement flyers that come with the daily newspaper. The ambience was much like that of a roadside dhaba, and we had no qualms with that.
After this, though, our visit turned downhill, I am sorry to say.
We ordered a Green Salad, about six phulka rotis, a Mushroom Masala, and a Chana Masala, and waited for our meal to arrive expectantly. Sadly though, nothing – absolutely nothing – tasted good. The salad vegetables weren’t even chopped well, the curries were spicy and oily and tasted absolutely meh, the rotis were thick and tough.
We persevered, and asked for the Doodh Cola, the supposed star of our dhaba visit, only to be told that we would have to buy a 1-litre jug, as they prepare it only in that particular quantity. We agreed, and were brought the drink in a plastic jug. Our spirits sank on seeing it – it looked sad, like split milk, with pieces of ice floating on top. It tasted sadder – very, very weird. To be honest, we found it unpalatable and the OH refused to drink it beyond a couple of sips. I gulped down one large kulhad full of it, just because I didn’t want to waste all of it, much against the feeling of queasiness that started welling up in my stomach with every sip. The rest of it, we left as is.
Sometimes, unheard-of combinations of foods/drinks can actually taste good, but this Doodh Cola was definitely not one such.
The meal was expensive, considering the ambience and the taste. It cost us close to INR 650, with the Doodh Cola itself costing us about INR 150.
Service was all right, nothing fantabulous, but not too bad either.
I’m not sure whether I’ll be going back to this place, the next time we are in Calcutta. Sad, considering that it is one of the few places in the city that serves pure vegetarian food, catering to people like the OH and me.
Have you ever eaten at this place? What was your experience like?
You might also be interested in reading about the other seemingly crazy things we have tried out so far: Sea salt chocolate, chandan sherbet, momo burger and chocolate momo, ice cream rolls, ice cream chaat, bhoo chakra gadde, rasgulla chaat, chilli chocolate, fried ice cream, and paper sweet.
Have you read the other posts about our recent trip to Calcutta? Please do, if you haven’t already!