I was planning and trying hard to visit Eau Chew for the past few weeks. Finally last Sunday my wife and I decided it’s now or never. It was already 12:30 PM and we quickly searched the net for the restaurant contact details and timing. I tried the number twice but there were some problem with the connection. Also the search told us that on Sundays this place opens only for the dinner. Nothing to do we decided to wait for a few more hours
Eau Chew is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, Chinese restaurant in India. The old China Town at Tiretti Bazaar and its surroundings once had the best Chinese restaurants. Now the new China Town at Tangra have added to the list, but Eau Chew remains a hit.
Finding Eau Chew is not absolutely easy as the place is a bit shy. From Esplanade take Chittaranjan Avenue. On reaching the Ganesh Chandra Avenue crossing take left. Leave two narrow lanes on the left and you will find a Petrol Pump (I think its now used as a garage only) and the building behind the pump is where Eau Chew is at the first floor.
Eau Chew is a family run restaurant. To keep their recipes a secret they do not even hire cooks or waiters and everything from buying raw materials to cooking and serving is done by themselves. As told by the Huang family, Mr. Achumpa Huang started this eatery in 1927 and brought the brass pots all the way from China. His granddaughter-in-law Mrs. Josephine Huang made an innovative dish which is named after her as Josephine noodles. After the death of her husband Mr. Joseph Huang she is running the restaurant with the help of her son Joel and daughter Jennifer.
As you push the door and enter the dinning hall you will be able to hear the sweet sound of a wind chime. It is connected to the doors and used as a calling bell. As I saw the dinning hall, the first word that came to mind was homely. If you are looking for a Chinese theme restaurant this place is not for you. A few Chinese lantern and some paintings. That’s all. Even the table-chairs were simple and neat.
We wanted to try their Chimney Soup badly, but after reading a few reviews online was sure that at least this time we won’t be able to order it. Almost everyone wrote online that it requires more than 2-3 people to enjoy the soup and one even said the number to be at least six. I opened the menu to look for other specialties, but on the very first page found that they even serve medium and small Chimney Soups apart from the large one. Great! We decided to start with a small Chimney Soup
The soup container had a chimney in the middle with burning coals inside to keep the food warm. It was full of loads of meat, prawns and vegetables swimming on a tasty stock. Boiled food at its best!!! It was just the small Chimney soup, but still after consuming a bowl each we found we were only half through. We decided to come back to it later if possible and moved on to our starter.
For the starter we ordered Roast Pork Chili. Pork slices roasted with onions and green chilies. Good taste and the pork was really well done and was soft.
Next for the main course we went for their in house specialty Josephine Noodles, which I mentioned earlier. It was really a meal in itself!!! Boiled vegetables, meat, prawns, mushrooms and loads of them heaped over the steaming boiled noodles with light gravy. The quantity was huge and the taste really heavenly. I personally liked it more because the vegetables, especially the cauliflowers were a bit underdone which suited my taste and choice perfectly
For the side dish we requested them to suggest one of their specialty. Our choice was mid spicy fish and they suggested Fish with Chilli Black Bean. The fish was good with a slightly crunchy outer cover but we liked the noodles so much that we almost forgot our side dish Just take a look at the picture and you can at least have an idea how it was Of course we had our remaining portion of Chimney Soup as we ended our journey with a bowl of it each.
Few points which I would like to share before ending are –
1. They don’t use Ajinomoto / MSG (Monosodium Glutamate).
2. Their Sweet Lime Soda was really refreshing.
Awesome evening it was for us
For the above meal it was around Rs. 1150 with taxes. But keeping in mind the Chimney Soup (small) can be shared by 4 people and the Josephine Noodles by at least 3, I think the cost for four will be about Rs.1500 – Rs. 1600 approximately.
12, Ganesh Chandra Avenue,
Kolkata – 700013
Ph. – 033-2237-8260
With Authentic Chinese food here I mean Authentic Indian Chinese which started its journey here in Calcutta nearly a century ago and today is served by only a few, while the others forked into new age Indian Chinese, Bangla Chinese, Bangal Chinese, Road side Chinese, Drinker’s Chinese … whatever!