The year was 1999 – it was going to be my first stay away from home. Kolkata was meant to be my destination for the next three years and Presidency College Girls Hostel my address. The night before my parents went back to my home town, leaving me on my own for the first time, we dined at the Aminia outlet opposite Elite cinema. It used to be a favorite of my dad’s during his post graduation days in the city. Over the years, there have been quite a few options serving great biriyani but I keep visiting Aminia mostly for the nostalgia it holds in my heart. This weekend, we decided to revisit the Aminia outlet near Chinar Park, Rajarhat and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised to see some positive changes in the attitude and feel of the place. Located on Rajarhat road, this outlet had a queue of people waiting to get in when we arrived. It is still that popular.
Ambiance – This joint is a cleaner and more hygienic version among its chain of restaurants. It is spacious with the sitting arrangement being a mix of sofas and chairs. The glass walls in adorning a portion of the restaurant lets one have a view of the busy city while relishing their meal. The place has an old world charm and royal feel to it through its interiors, decor and lighting.
Food – Aminia is famous for its biriyani and chap. They have retained their signature dishes along with the introduction of new kabab items. We ordered Chicken Biriyani, Mutton Biriyani, Chicken Chap, Aminia Special Mutton Curry in the main course, gajar ka halwa in dessert and fresh lime soda and soft drinks in the beverages. Each plate of Biriyani had one piece of well cooked tender chicken / mutton and a piece of potato called aloo in bengali that is a specialty of Kolkata biriyanis. As always, it tasted heavenly. Chicken chap had a single piece of chicken dripped in gravy that was all ghee. It tasted sublime. Aminia Special Mutton Curry had two pieces of mutton, one boiled egg, a piece of potato, onion, carrot and tomato each. The gravy, while it tasted well was extremely oily. This turned out to be just an average dish despite being labeled as a special one. The desert was cooked to perfection in dollops of ghee. The cashews, pistas and raisins made it even more delicious. The beverages were good. It is indeed praiseworthy that they have managed to retain their uniqueness and taste of food irrespective of the change of generation. Also it worthwhile mentioning that they serve quite huge portions of food for most of the dishes.
Service – This outlet has hired a young bunch of staffs along with the existing veterans. In my previous experiences of eating here or their New market outlet, I’ve rarely come across smiling staffs being extra helpful when it comes to serving the order. It is ingrained in them that the customer knows what to order. Service is always prompt but curt. However, this time we were in for a pleasant change. The quite senior staff who attended to us was polite, greeted us with a smile and volunteered recommending gajar ka halwa over firni for my toddler. And the suggestion turned out to be helpful. Dishes are served very fast and bills are put on the table immediately after one has taken the last bite of food. This is a way of ensuring that efficient queue management. I must say that while staffs here might not come across as extremely courteous or friendly, they do their job right.
Price – Considering the quality, taste and quantity of the dishes, I would say that there is good value for pricing. Most of the items are moderately priced, making them affordable.
My rating across parameters would be
Ambience – 4
Food – 4.5
Service – 3.5
Overall – 4
This outlet has improvised on the ambiance and service aspect by retaining the originality and uniqueness of the menu making it a great choice as a pocket friendly and family oriented dining option.
Link to the review on TripAdvisor is