If there was a time when Eden Gardens used to be a favourite haunt for the gastronomically inclined cricketers, here's a reality check. Virender Sehwag doesn't like the food served at the Eden.
"We don't get good food in Kolkata," said the dashing opener at a book launch in the
city on Sunday with team mates Pragyan Ojha, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane and Mahesh Bhupathi, getting candid on what's good, or not, about food.
"I have been complaining to the CAB (Cricket Association of Bengal) here for the last fifteen years to change the caterer but nothing much has happened," said Sehwag, who declared that Mohali or Lord's would be among his favourite venues.
"You get lovely lamb chops at Lord's," he said.
"I know I can score a 300 if I have a good lunch," he announced. Sehwag stays unapologetically true to his north Indian cuisine roots and loves his mutton and chicken, dhaba ka khana. But he also loves Japanese and Thai cuisine.
Ditto for Pragyan Ojha who said Japanese food had grown on him but if there's one thing he will always swear by is Hyderabadi biryani, no matter how good the biryani served on tour is.
If food is about unwinding or spending time with friends for Ashwin, to Mahesh Bhupathi it's a way of survival when the cuisine gets freaky on long tours.
"It gets really difficult in China. I remember during a Davis Cup match there, a live snake was brought to our table and we were asked how we would like it," said Bhupathi.
"We obviously freaked out and rushed back to order room service," he said.
Food is the essence
But there was no denying one thing - food can be great company. "Good times or bad times you want to fall back on food," said Ashwin, who carried an electric cooker to Australia earlier this year.
"Sometimes we ask some members of our support stuff to make something. I can't cook but I get them everything. For us, that food is as good as home," said Ashwin.