Sunday, March 26

Popular abroad, food trucks now spice up Kolkata’s street cuisine

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Colourful food trucks with mouth-watering dishes have made a revival in the city after many years. Old-timers find these trucks, which are stationed mostly in busy areas like New Market, Gariahat, Dhakuria and College Street, as a reminder of a bygone age when there was a van stationed near Light House cinema, serving cheap quality food. Some have found similarity with Benfish vans and feel these trucks are a saviour in times of hunger pangs.
The food truck — Haringhata@49 — at Gariahat junction is a popular destination among students, local residents and shopkeepers. “The unique selling point of my dishes is the pocket-friendly price and the quality. There is a demand for combos, which are sold at Rs 49. Basanti pulao and chicken kosha are sold at Rs 59, whereas chicken cutlet and fish fry are also available,” said Subhashish Munshi, one of the partners of Haringhata@49.

Dish Kebab Station started four months ago at Dhakuria bus stand and is quite popular among the younger generation. It is operational from 5pm to 10pm and serves a variety of chicken and paneer kebabs, along with pomfret fry and grilled bhetki.

“It is always not possible to open a restaurant. For running a food truck or a trolley, there is only a one-time investment, we don’t have to bear monthly rents. It is cost-effective and we can serve people at an affordable rate,” said Srikumar Ghosh, one of the partners of Dish Kebab Station. Rina Dey, who came to Dakshinapan for shopping, was content with having a plateful of kebabs to satiate her hunger at an affordable price.

Ritesh Singh, owner of another food truck — 033 Street Vivers at College Street — shares that it is important to select the menu according to the location. “As my truck is stationed near schools and colleges, I tried to keep the dishes within Rs 100 and tried to add variations to the menu that would be appealing to students. There are seven types of rolls, among which are smoky chicken roll, chicken and mayonnaise roll and smoky chicken and cheese roll are popular. Apart from them, different types of momos, burgers, maggi and chowmein are available,” said Singh.
“As a student, it is not always possible to eat at restaurants. This food truck, with so many varieties of food at an affordable price, is a boon to students,” said Arnab Saha, a student of Scottish Church.

The owners have highlighted that since the trucks are big in size, they face problems in getting permission to park. “There is so much congestion that it becomes difficult to get a good position. Often permissions are granted to station them at lanes, which is not good for our business,” said Munshi.

Chief marketing officer Subir Goswami of Shiva Kitchen Equipments Pvt Ltd said there had been an increase in demand for food trucks. “The customers choose their vehicles as per their purpose and we do the commercial kitchen set-up as per their demand. ”

Source: TimesofIndia

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