Craving for some authentic Bengali food down south in Chennai? The new Petuk restaurant is here to take care of the self-proclaimed foodie inside you!
I had never imagined being able to savour the taste of rice, dal, and poshto (a dish made of poppy seeds) while in Tamilnadu but as luck would have it, I simply happened to stumble across the name of this place under the most unlikeliest of circumstances. Nearly five years in Chennai and finally a place that serves homely food- it was almost a long awaited prayer had been answered!
Sholoaana Bangaliaana (100% Bongism) as many would love to put it, that would be the perfect tagline to set for this place…
Tucked away in a quiet lane next to the HCL office in Kottivakkam, it is very easy for you to mistake this place for something other than an eatery. However, don’t get fooled by the shabby facade of the building as what you get served up inside can leave you craving for more! As they often say, Do not judge a book by its cover!
Petuk, a Bengali term that refers to a foodie, is a well thought out name for this place. Bengalis are food-lovers by nature and when you have a place as this serving up familiar fair in unfamiliar surroundings, it can bring out the foodie in even the most staunch health fanatic.
A unique aspect of this place is that they do not have a fixed menu- visit them seven days a week and you will always find something different that is sure to surprise you. To borrow a quote from one of my friends, Expect the Unexpected!
That, I feel, is good in a way as it significantly decreases your probability of getting confused. As it so happened, choosing what to have from a list of fifteen different items on offer for the day took me a good half an hour!
Eventually, I decided to settle for Mutton Biryani and Mutton Kosha…
I can’t even begin to describe what the food was like! Those who are familiar with the taste of biryani in Kolkata, this was no different; for other, I’ll use the term shamelessly delicious to crown the description! Considering the fact that you don’t get meat of the same quality here as in Bengal, Petuk deserves extra credit for making the dishes stand out.
For the fish-lovers, this place serves some really delightful dishes, including the likes of Fish Fry, Prawn Malaicurry, Fish Paturi (fish-fillet coated with mustard paste and baked in banana leaf) and a whole lot more. Fresh catch is used for preparing the dishes so you need not worry about compromise on quality.
For those planning on going green for the day, you can always try out their simple veg dishes with a choice of rice, roti, daal, shukto (a mixed curry of various vegetables), poshto, and dhoka curry (no, it has got nothing to do with being cheated upon!)
If you are paying a visit during the evening hours, there are a number of options in the snacks department. Try out their fish cutlet, fish kobiraji, or egg devil.
If you are up for something that is a little more filling (but puts you back considerably on the calorie count) you can go for the mughlai parantha. Statutory warning: Please ensure that before you go for these, you cancel any plans for dinner at home. I assure you, there just won’t be any place left in your tummy for so much as a midnight snack, let alone a full meal!
When it comes to the question of desserts (and you are thinking this is where I finally get to taste the rossogollas) there is not much option to choose from. Mango chutney was the only thing remotely sweet that I could find. On asking around, they said that on some of the days they prepare traditional sweets (sadly, no soft, spongy, milky white rossogollas). However it is not possible to predict what you will get on any given day.
Coming to the most important aspect of prices Petuk- unlike its name- goes easy on your pocket. For as little as Rs. 400 you can have a decent meal for two at this place. They also provide home delivery services so if you are residing nearby, you can make the most of it. Sadly, I stay too far away and never bothered to inquire further about the same. You can get in touch with them on the contact details provided below to know more.
Visiting this place on a hot summer day may prove to be too taxing as there is no air-conditioning but then, what’s a little sore heat against the superb taste of Bengali cuisine!
Petuk is open everyday from 12-3 in the afternoon and 7-10 in the evening.
Address: 4/991, Number A, Kamarajar Street Kottivakkam, Off Old Mahabalipuram Road, Kottivakkam PO, Chennai- 600078.
Contact: 097898 26262
While the likes of Annapurna and Bay Leaf serve Bengali cuisine as well, there is something about the homely feel of this place that makes you want to visit Petuk over and over again (or it could well be the rejuvenated foodie in you).
Now only if someone would do something about those rossogollas!