For non-vegetarian foodies visiting the city of Kolkata, Terrety Bazaar is a must-visit. Terrety Bazaar (often spelt as Tirreta Bazaar) is the city’s very own China Town, located in a tiny lane amidst the bustling business hub, Burra Bazaar. In fact it is difficult to imagine that a place like Terrety Bazar exists within the alleys of Laalbazar until you actually get there.
Terrety Bazaar has been a home to many Chinese families since close to a century. When most of the families moved onto the new China Town in Tangra, a handful stayed back here. It is these families that make Terrety Bazaar such a unique experience on early mornings, when they gather in the small market selling Chinese street food. The market is compact with vendors of all hues – vegetable vendors, meat shops, and a few food stalls. The makeshift food stalls come up right after sunrise and disperse within two hours or so. The food they sell is fresh, flavourful and inexpensive, and perhaps as close to authentic Chinese street food as one can get in Kolkata. The nameless stalls are set up on small tables and the menu has everything from all sorts of momos to meatballs, tiepao, shyaphaley or pork rolls.
Few points to remember for the first time Terrety Bazaar explorers:
- Do not confuse Terrety Bazzar with China Town. Google Maps are not so reliable in this particular case.
- The best way to reach this old community area is to hire a taxi and get down at Sun Yat Sen Street near Laalbazaar.
- Make sure you reach latest by 7 AM, as the stalls close as soon as the food is sold.
- Winter is the best time to go as all the stalls are open during this season. If you are dropping by here during the summer months, try to come on a Sunday.
A few of the dishes that are a must try:
Meatballs with soup: A perfect start to the day is a steaming hot bowl of soup and meatballs. The juicy meatballs, both chicken and pork are served dunked in a bowl of flavoursome soup made of stock and peppered with parsley. Most of the stalls sell meat balls, but there is an old lady who sells the best of them. Just take a stroll through the stalls and you are surely going to spot her.
Tie pao: Commonly known as the bun, Tie Pao also comes in two varieties, pork and chicken. A big soft bun stuffed with a generous portion of meat, this bun in itself is good enough for
Fried or Steamed Momos: The juicy, steamed chicken momos come with a healthy portion of meat filling, while the fried momos are crisp. Both are served with a tangy chilli chutney. If you start from the Laalbazar end of the street, the first stall has the best momos.
Fish Dumplings:Fish dumplings are a bit like momos, only bigger in size and filled with smoked or sautéed fish. The soft covering and the smell of smoked fish is highly appetizing. The last stall of the lane with a table decorated tastefully with chopsticks and other cutlery has the best dumplings on offer.
Rice Pudding:The rice pudding fritters look almost like fried momos, golden and crisp. However, they are stuffed with slightly sweet rice noodles making this a delicious combination. Since these are deep fried, a single plate of this is quite heavy and enough for breakfast for one person.
Pork Rolls:The Pork Rolls are a personal favourite. The crisp covering resembles that of a Spring Roll. The stuffing is full of pork fats which taste delicious whenbitten into. I so loved them that I had had three of them without asking for the price, only to find out that they cost INR 15 apiece. Only one vendorwas selling pork rolls when I visited.
A few other things to do in Terrety Bazaar:
# Buy fresh crabs during winter seasons. There are a couple of stalls which sell crabs at very reasonable prices.
# Shop for ready to fry meatballs or noodles. A packet of fish or chicken meatballs is sold at about INR 60. Packed rice noodles are also sold.
# There are not many shops or butcheries in Kolkata which sell pork. In the alleys around Terrety Bazaar you can find a couple of them which sell pork every day.
# Also, you can buy Chinese sausages though these are sold only during winter.
A few other photos of Terrety Bazaar