Imagine a plate of spicy hakka noodles, with sides of chilli chicken- the very thought is enough to make us all slurp. Isn’t it? Desi Chinese delicacies have a special place in every Indian’s heart. In fact, it won’t be an exaggeration to say, there are certain cravings that can only be satiated with the flavourful Indo-Chinese cuisine. But have you ever explored the story behind Indiansation of Chinese food? Let us tell you, it all started in Kolkata. Here, we will take you through some of the iconic Chinese eateries across the city that helped shape what we enjoy today as Desi Chinese. Read on.
History Of Indo-Chinese Cuisine: What Is The Origin Of Indo-Chinese Food?
If you are remotely aware of the history of Kolkata, you would know that the Hakka Chinese traders first came to India around the 1700s and settled in the city, which was the capital of the British Empire in India back then. During that time, these Chinese immigrants worked largely as silk traders, dentists, carpenters, and leather tannery owners, and started cooking their own food using locally available ingredients, making it spicier than usual. Later, during the 1930s civil war in China, a large group of people, who were evicted from the country, took shelter in the Tangra region of Kolkata (then Calcutta) and over the years, made it to the Indian food industry, giving birth to what we call Indo-Chinese cuisine today.
Although the Chinese immigrants initially started selling Desi Chinese foods on the streets, in some years, they managed to open some of the most iconic eateries in Tiretti Bazaar and Tangra – Kolkata’s very own Chinatowns. Today, you will find a long list of popular restaurants across the city, taking the flavours of desi Chinese cuisine to the next level.
Also Read: Terreti Bazar: This Place In Kolkata Serves Authentic Chinese Breakfast At 5am
5 Of The Most Iconic Desi Chinese Restaurants In Kolkata:
1. Kim Ling:
If you are in Kim Ling, you have to try their iconic singhara chow. Made with egg noodles, wonton, and meat, this dish makes desi Chinese in Kolkata stand out in the lot. You will mostly find this place jam-packed, but trust us, it’s worth the wait. Today, Kim Ling has also opened its doors at Gariahat in South Kolkata for the patrons to enjoy their delicacies. It is open for all seven days, from 11 am to 11 pm.
Address: Iswar Mandal Ln, Tangra, Kolkata/ P-411/23b, Gariahat Hindustan Park, Kolkata
2. Golden Joy:
Be it a family dinner or a friend’s get-together, Golden Joy is the place to visit. This place offers an impressive menu, including prawn chips, duck roast, crispy chilli pork, golden fried prawns, and more. They also serve an impressive bar menu but offer a cozy vibe for all. This place is open all seven days, from 11 am to 11 pm.
Address: 50, Matheswartala Road, Topsia, Kolkata
3. Big Boss:
It is one of the fanciest Chinese restaurants located in Tangra. With a spacious interior and old-warm charm, this place offers a fine dining experience. You must try their dragon chicken, crispy shredded chicken, and egg chicken hakka. This place is open for all seven days, from 12 pm to 10 pm.
Address: 4C, Matheswartala Road, Tangra, Kolkata
4. Tung Nam:
One of the most authentic places to have Chinese food, Tung Nam is known for its soups and prawn preparations. From the wonton soup to Prawn Hong Kong and fish in hamei sauces – each of the dishes leaves a burst of unforgettable flavours on your palate. This iconic eatery opens at 12 pm and operates till 3 pm and again serves fresh meals from 6 pm to 10 pm, six days a week, except Tuesdays.
Address: 24, Chatta Wala Gully, Poddar Court, Tiretti, Kolkata
5. Chin Wah:
Chin Wah opened 37 years ago and has served patrons ever since. From the spicy Chinese street foods to the home-style dishes of China, you can get a range of popular delicacies on the menu, at a very affordable price. Alongside, you will also find a couple of Anglo-Indian waiters serving your table, adding an old-world charm to your experience. Chin Wah opens at 11 am and operates till 3 pm and again serves fresh meals from 6 pm to 10 pm, six days a week, except Tuesdays.
Address: 2A, Temple St, Chandni Chawk, Bowbazar, Kolkata