There are things about Kolkata that do not live up to the expectations of the first-time visitor. And you can find yourself on a hunt for charm. And then there are some things that are better than the urban legnds about them.
The famous Flurys breakfast is one such thing. My first exposure to its wondrous pallette came on a cool January day. At ten o clock in the morning, the four of us stood fifth in line to the busy revamped Flurys on Park Sreet. The glass gates finally gave way and we were shown to the table under an expansive curved glass window that looked without onto Music World, Park Street streets, Cal in general and a couple of beggars.
The menu is prompt and pink, comprehensive, cohesive, luxurious in the most casual way possible. The Quiche has the ability to draw you in at first bite. Taste in your mind a gentle omelette enveloping chunks of mushroom and chicken; its lid a cheesy placid, soft crust; its basket crisp and fragrant. About the size of the average human heart.
The chicken and cheese sandwich is a delightful concoction of two typically affiliated flavours: it is the ideal pairing, done right between buttered toast. The Roast chicken within the roast chicken sandwich is a complete taste unto itself. And it jostles on your tongue with mellow mayonnaise, and vegetable whisks. The french fries do their job - they are cheerful accomplices to the criminally pleasant food, bystanders to fill the nooks and crannies.
The coffee comes littered with cinnamon and the heady nasal flavour with brown sugar are a polished finishing touch to your experience.
But you must be careful. You can't just eat the breakfast at Flurys. You must have it accompanied by fine conversation. In our case it entwined such subjects as off beat cinema, interesting canon and non-canon literature, aspirations, tradition contending with modernity of the kind that itself is the offspring of diverse interaction.
At the end of it all (in our case, the whole reverie lasted four hours - and we could have sworn we heard the waiter sigh in relief when we did get up to leave), let your brunch not go without a dessert from the Flurys shelves.
In our case, this last toast to the experience consisted of the muddy fudge and chocolate brownie - some things are best left undescribed, but let me try. Chocolate spongy, moist, creamy, rich, delectable, deep, dark, aromatic, in a puddle, in the icing, in between the layers, in the pores of the cake, curling tentacles around your taste buds.