In Kolkata, aquarium fishes turn gourmet!
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In Kolkata, aquarium fishes turn gourmet!

Vistors to an eating joint in the city can choose fish from its aquarium and get it cooked.

india Updated: Dec 05, 2005 19:47 IST

Bengalis are known for their fascination for Rasogullah or fish. Considering the Kolkattans' strong urge to relish fishes of different varieties, made in varying styles, a restaurant has introduced a novel way of serving fish. Patrons visiting the restaurant can select any fish from an aquarium, placed inside the eating joint, and get it prepared as per his or her desire.

And believe it or not, the experiment has launched by the Fisheries Department of West Bengal Government, the Nalban Food Complex has become a favourite place for fish-eating Kolkattans. The restaurant has three aquariums with fish like Rohu, Katla, Mrigel, Lylantica, Telapiya and prawns and crabs.

Every morning fishes are caught from the small lakes, behind the restaurant, only to be put in the aquariums in the restaurant. The customers, thrilled at the unique concept, are visiting the restaurant in large numbers.

"We (Bengalis) are traditional fish lovers and fish is an integral part of our food habit. This is a place where actually we can pick and choose the exact fish that we want to have. And then take it to the kitchen and they will prepare it. It's a great concept," says S. Ghosh, a customer.

Fish being a delicacy for Bengalis and the absence of any good eating joint in a very popular area of the city prompted the authorities to open such a restaurant. "There is no good restaurant in this area. So, we thought why we should not start a restaurant with live fishes which is harvested here everyday," says Pradeep Chakroborty, Manager of Nalban Food Complex.

Prices of different fish delicacies range from 50 rupees to 120 rupees (about one to three dollars). The restaurant also has an open air complex spread over 174 acres of land.

Almost every part of the fish (except fins and innards) is eaten; the head and other parts are usually used to flavour curries.

First Published: Dec 05, 2005 19:28 IST