Bhubaneswar: What’s in a name? May not be the be-all and end-all of it, but restaurants with slight reference to Odia dialect or Odisha make heads turn and lure foodies, not to mention tourists, looking for authentic cuisines of the state.
The Odisha capital boasts of a few such names and joints. Let’s walk down the gastronomical lane with pictures of khasi mansa kassa, rohi machcha besar, chingudi checha, manja rai, nadia bara, badi chura, chattu bhaja, baigana bharta, dahi baigana and chhena poda making the mouth water.
With two branches at Sahid Nagar and Infocity, Chandrasekharpur, this restaurant is one of the best spots to try authentic Odia cuisine, served in huge proportions thali-style.
Besides quintessential Odia dishes like pakhala and dalma, the menu has khasi manso aloo jhol, khasi manso kassa, liver kassa, chingudi jhol, chingudi rai, manja rai, nadia bara, badi chura, Chilika kankada, Rohi macha besar jhol, Pohola and Mahurali macha besar and chingudi checha. Aloo mutton jhol along with steamed rice, Rohi macha bhaja and mutton kassa are a must try here. These are served in brass utensil, lending a homely touch.
Shohala Ana Odia
There are two restaurants by this name at Unit 4 and Patia. It stands out for the catchy phrase and foodies throng the joint not just for authentic Odia food and also that of Bengal. The most popular dishes, according to a food aggregator, are Mutton Curry, Chicken Dak Bunglow, Aloo Posto, Mutton Dak Bunglow, Malpua, Fish Curry and Bhekti Paturi, the price though is a bit on the higher side.
To give it the Odia feel, the interiors of the restaurant at Patia has been decked up with artifacts, paintings and local musical instruments from the state.
The ambience of this restaurant at Nayapalli may not remind one of Odisha, but the food does satiate the Odia taste buds. Though the menu doesn’t include all Odia recipies, whatever they serve is recommended and tasty.
Fish besara is a must try here. Home-style preparation and reasonable prices are its USP.
Open air seating with selected traditional Odia food is how one can best describe this place at Ekamra Haat. The mutton and fish thalis are quite popular here.
Saaga, badi chura, potala bhaja, and pohala maccha bhaja along with rice or chappatis are filling, without too much of a pinch on your pocket.
Drawing its name from the fragrantly sweet pulao traditionally prepared in Odisha, the eating joint at Mayfair Lagoon hotel excels in local seafood. The specialities include kankada tarkari (crab curry), roasted river shrimps, mustard-based dishes, santula and the seriously addictive chhena poda.
The other attractions are Aamisa Thali, Niramisa Thali, an assortment of Odia delicacies. Here too, the food is served in brass utensils.
This chain of Odia cuisine outlets has a canteen-like feel with food served in steel mess trays. Locals swear by it for maintaining authenticity in taste and preparation of aloo bharta, dalma, chenna poda and numerous Odisha thalis.
It has a well-translated menu with clear, English descriptions of every dish, which is appreciated by first-timers to the region.
Another addition to the Dalma variant, this eating joint is located at the basement of Aakash Institute at Unit 4. The recommended dishes here include non veg thali, mutton curry, mutton patrapoda, chicken curry, fish besara and pohala fish curry.
The place remains crowded during lunch hours because of offices around.
Bhata Mansha Salad
The name strikes a chord with those with a ‘mutton tooth’. There has been mixed review to the food, especially mutton, served at this restaurant in Gajapati Nagar. The price, many complain, is on the higher side.
The other Odia dishes served here include kalija kassa, machcha chencheda, sukhua bhaja, veg and non-veg platter listing kakharu phoola bhaja, aloo chuin sorisa, ambula rai, bandha kobi chungudi and machcha mudhi ghanta, depending on availability in the market.