Chorney-Booth: Calcutta Cricket Club gets revamped with new location

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Some restaurants are simply ahead of their time. Take the Calcutta Cricket Club, which opened on 17th Avenue SW in 2017, when a chic, trendy Indian restaurant seemed like a novelty in this city. While the restaurant found a dedicated audience thanks to its extraordinary pastel design and delicious Bengali-style food, many Calgarians didn’t quite understand why the city needed an Indian hotspot when there were already so many great, if not particularly, “hip” South Asian restaurants dotted around the city.

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However, in the last seven years a lot has changed, both here in the city and around the world. Locally, a wider variety of Indian cuisine has emerged, reminding Calgarians of all cultural backgrounds that Indian cuisine offers a wide variety of dishes beyond what has traditionally appeared on North American menus. On a broader scale, the idea that modern restaurants should stick to Western (or, at best, “fusion”) fare has long gone out the window, with Japanese, Persian and Japanese cuisine dominating , Israeli, Korean, Filipino, Thai and Indian. in some of the most popular restaurants in Canada and the United States.

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The interior of Calcutta Cricket Club’s new location is bold and stylish. Gavin Young/Postmedia Gavin Young/Postmedia

This means that our beloved Calcutta Cricket Club has been at the forefront for a long time. When the team behind CCC (owners Maya Gohill, Cody Willis, Shovik Sengupta and Amber Anderson) realized their run on 17th Avenue was short-lived (they knew their lease would never be long-term, they (which became evident when the building next door was demolished last year), they decided to take the opportunity to not only move to a larger, modernized space, but also to revamp their menu for a 2024 audience.

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The interior of the new Calcutta Cricket Club is darker and more sober than before. Gavin Young/Postmedia Gavin Young/Postmedia

CCC falls under the umbrella of Thank You Hospitality. When the group decided to close its A1 Café (a great pandemic-era restaurant that sadly never found its place) on 1st Street SW restaurant row, it made sense to fill the vacancy. Gohill, the artistic mind behind the restaurant’s decor, transferred much of the original CCC to the new nearly 100-seat room: bold, checkered tiles, a pastel green exterior, and Garry, the carousel’s celebrated leopard, still has a place . of distinction above the bar, but the atmosphere is darker and more subdued, with deeper green seating, calming murals, and soft lighting. It’s still fun but it represents an evolution that goes far beyond changing its direction or the color of the chairs.

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Calcutta Cricket Club’s new location has a modern Indian feel. Gavin Young/Postmedia Gavin Young/Postmedia

“We decided a long time ago that we didn’t really care what other people thought was authentic,” Sengupta says. “We are a Canadian restaurant as much as we are an Indian restaurant. Chef [Amit Bangar], Maya and I are Canadians born and raised with Indian backgrounds, and we discuss what that means to us and how it can translate into new dishes. “It’s about doing what we want to do.”

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Many of Calcutta Cricket Club’s menu items have been removed, but favorites like butter chicken remain. Gavin Young/Postmedia Gavin Young/Postmedia

Sengupta says 70 to 80 percent of the old menu has been changed. Fan favorites like Kati rolls, chips and curry, butter chicken, papri chaat and chilli chicken remain, although the recipe for the latter has been tweaked, resulting in a deeper, earthier flavour. Newer additions include a robust grill section, with dishes such as a lamb sirloin kebab served with a scoop of green herb chutney ($25), tender twice-marinated chicken served in a creamy white malai sauce ($18) and a spectacular charred cabbage in a milky coconut kiri hodi sauce from Sri Lanka ($19).

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About 70 per cent of Calcutta Cricket Club’s menu items are new. But favorites like papri chaat remain. Gavin Young/Postmedia Gavin Young/Postmedia

There are also new curry options available in the form of the Gohill family’s malai prawn recipe ($20) and cod machh’er jhal, a Bengali curry with flavors of poppy seeds and black mustard ($18). If a full family-style feast isn’t in the cards, there are plenty of small plates with new bites like a pepper-fried meat tartare served with jeera papad ($22) and kulcha bread stuffed with cheese and mushrooms ($19) for those looking for a casual fare that you can wash down with some of CCC’s signature cocktails (yes, the Indian-spiced gin and tonics, antiques, and martinis are still on the menu).

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Calcutta Cricket Club is located at 1213 1st St. SW and can be reached at 403-719-1555 or through calcuttacricketclub.com. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner. A new bar called Para is scheduled to take over the former Tea House basement space soon.

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Calcutta Cricket Club’s updated menu features new flavors like cabbage kiri hodi. Gavin Young/Postmedia Gavin Young/Postmedia

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In other restaurant news, Thai Siam, the excellent Thai restaurant that opened in an unassuming location just off Edmonton Trail a little over a year ago, also has a new home. After moving from its original location last spring, Thai Siam started a series of startups at nearby Starr Distilling Co. The partnership has gone so well that the two companies decided to make their union official: In early January, Thai Siam is the Full-time food provider at the distillery. Visit to enjoy some extraordinary pork skewers or noodles along with a Thai-inspired cocktail made with products from the distillery.

Thai Siam and Starr Distilling Co. are located at 4127 6th St NE. For reservations and more information, visit thaitakeout.ca.

Elizabeth Chorney-Booth can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow her on Instagram at @elizabooth or subscribe to her newsletter at hungercalgary.substack.com.

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