Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First Tastes of India

(PICTURE: The first restaurant we went to.)

Kolkata was our first chance to taste authentic Indian food and it definitely didn't disappoint. West Bengal is known for its cuisine (especially sweets) so we aimed at only eating at Bengali restaurants.

(PICTURE: Our first dinner.)

Lonely Planet had a few recommendations which we tried over the first couple of days. Like most LP recs, the prices at the restaurant were probably double the cost that the book quoted. This is a common phenomenon with guide books I find. As soon as they write about a great bargain restaurant, it become an okay expensive one!

(PICTURE: This was the first and last seafood I ate in India. Notice, the black and white drawings on the wall. They're sketches by the father of a famous Bollywood director.)

I had read that the food in India was very cheap but our first three meals or so were far from that. In fact, I started to get worried that we didn't budget well enough for the trip. However, once we stopped going to the guide book places and just asked locals for good places to eat, we found the food even better and cheaper. Lonely Planet did have one great call though: Hot Kati Rolls. This thing was like shwarma on crack:

(PICTURE: I'm sweating profusely from the weather, not the spicy goat sandwich in my hand.)