Kolkata’s Chinese breakfast that should be on every foodie’s list

Chicken Pakora

Kolkata’s hidden pockets will never fail to amaze you with surprises that are tucked in by lanes hidden from many. One such is the Chinese breakfast at Terreti Bazaar that lines up every day only for two hours in the city.

All Photographs: Ayandrali Dutta

Teratti Bazaar

Going by the Chinese influence in the city and the number of Chinese population that resides around Terreti Bazaar it’s no surprise to see a street filled with juicy Chicken Momos, Pork Momos, Shu Mei, Sausages, Prawn wafers and the list goes endless. The Chinese had settled in this city as early as the 1780’s, and from then onwards they have played a significant role in defining Kolkata’s food scene. The market also sees vendors selling vegetables, fish, chicken and more.

Vegetable rolls

This temporary breakfast arrangement is just behind Poddar Court and is open every morning from 6:30 am to 8:30 am. As you walk past this street your hunger will take a leap and double up seeing all the food that’s lined up. The highlight of this place are the Bao or Bau – freshly steamed or nicely fried, with pork and other filling, served with hot sauce and the fish-ball soup and Ham Choi (salted vegetables) which is a must have.

These vendors line up on both side of the street, while few have been having their stalls here for more than 30 years or so. The food is cooked in authentic Chinese style just the home cooked way.

Chinese breakfast

As you walk pass the street you could see Chinese reading the Chinese newspaper (yes you read it right!) as they sip their morning dose of tea.

One of the pocket friendly streets in the city, in Rs 100 one can eat to his heart’s content. One can even look out for some hard to find Chinese dishes like Chaang Yuan Paan (Vegetable Dumplings), Potato Pork Chops, Sweet Crispy Buns, Khwai Choi Pan (Vegetable Pancakes). Everything here is served fresh it’s one of the most sought after place for many in the city be it tourist or locals.

Stella Chen

The street also sees a pre–independence Chinese Provision Store – Hap Hing Co run by Stella Chen which sells an assortment of products that include authentic Chinese-style homemade sauce, noodles, tea, medicines as well as other products of day-to-day necessity. The unique thing one can see is that she still calculates on an abacus, an art that she picked up from her dad.

Bao buns

Be it for the outstanding dimsums or the bao buns, a visit here is totally worth getting up that early in the morning and exploring the street. Though the vendors are decreasing in numbers as most youngsters have immigrated mainly to Canada and Australia, do visit this food-hall experience before it gets too late. If you are in the city around January do make sure to visit the Chinese New Year celebrations.