While the world ran free for all with the news that Donald Trump became the POTUS and India became busy in mourning the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 100, my dainty brain hung up its boots and my stomach craved for greasy Chinese foods.
Shantiniketan has little to offer in terms of appropriate eating out. The place has some faraway resorts that serve tasty cuisines in clean surroundings, but within the perimeter of the university town, one has limited choices. Kasahara is one eatery that has eked out quite a ‘name’ for itself in the gastronomic map of Shantiniketan. As the day asked for some zesty food, my sister and I chose this little food-joint located right next to Sangeet Bhavan (music department) of Viswa-Bharati University.
Upon reaching there with the help of a benevolent guard, I was quite charmed to see the thatched roofed restaurant with bright yellow wall decorations. You can see it for yourself here-
The interior of the restaurant has an interesting lay-out having separate shades with stone slabs (as tables) and plastic chairs/wooden benches arranged beneath. I heard only good things about the restaurant (that it acts mainly as a glorified canteen for the cash-strapped students, is easy on-the-pockets and boasts of tasty Indian as well as Indian-style Chinese foods). The general crowd and the menu card proved the first two points right subsequently.
After some thought, we wound up ordering mushroom omlette, veg noodles, chili chicken, iced tea and milk tea ( for sister).
The good parts
The beverages were quite refreshing
What I liked most about my modest meal here is the semi-chilled, moderately sweet iced tea.
Sister also swore by the hotness and the right balance of sugar-milk-and-tea leaves in her beverage. After few sips from her cup, I vouched for it.
The chicken pieces were succulent
The chili chicken had 8-(quite generous in size) pieces skimming in thick gravy. Though the taste of the gravy was okay-ish, what endeared me much was the ‘softness’ of the meat pieces. I have had such a variety of encounters having dry, chewy meaty bits in popular restaurants, that the juiciness of the chicken chunks from this young eatery quite floored me.
The mushroom omlette
Though the omelette seemed to me quite over-priced (Rs.60) once I measured it’s thinness, the sautéed mushroom-bell pepper- fried onion-green chili spread on-top compensated for more than it. If you are looking out to eat something light as an evening snack, then a mushroom omlette at Kasahara along would be the perfect go-to supper.
Our bill gathered together at Rs 310 which was a colossal reliever as the restaurant was not accepting Rs500/1000 since that day anymore.
The not-so-good parts
Despite the fact that the ambience was good and calm, I got a minor peeve regarding the cleanliness. Where we sat down, our table was swarmed by flies. Also some tables were strategically placed just opposite to the ladies/gents toilet section. This grumble may sound trifle to real foodies who can cross mountains or swim across oceans in search of gourmet food, but these two dampened spirit from pigging out.
The plate of noodles was the biggest let-down for me. The noodles were cold, chewy and bland. Also I abhor when my chowmin is not boiled properly and have some semi-raw portions in-between. So if you are going there for the first time, I would advise to order fried rice instead (simply hoping that at least it shall be served hot).
The service was quite expeditious in the sense our orders took not more than 10 minutes to be arrived. But the bugbear was no tissue, water, condiments, mouth-refreshener (at the end) were provided along with foods and I hated/felt lazy to ask for these supplementaries. So it was another slip up.
Parting note: Over all, having lunch at Kasahara was an entirely ‘all right’ experience. Go there if you are feeling bored at eating in your hotel/resort while at Shantiniketan. But do expect only the basic service and some decent and cheap foods in return.