After visiting monkey bar the last time, this time I decided to visit a fairly popular but new joint in Ballygunge, Kolkata, called SpieKraft. What was really exciting is that the particular restaurant is one of the highest rated food joints in Kolkata, scoring a 4.7/5 after more that 1500+ reviews on Zomato and 4.5 after 300+ reviews on Google Maps. For a restaurant that does not particularly come under the category of fine dining, nor does it particularly offer the kind of offer that Barbecue Nation runs (all you cam eat!), this is a fairly high rating to have. However, after my visit to Monkey Bar the last weekend, I learnt that all reviews must be taken with a grain of salt. And this restaurant proved me right, yet again.
I personally go to restaurants, not only for the food, but for the experience as well. Crammed seating and terrible air conditioning does not make for a good experience, at least to me. Adding to that, I am claustrophobic. Quite a terrible experience that way. Adding to that, torn menu cards, leaking air conditioners and the terrible dampness inside the restaurant. Not something you’d expect from a restaurant of this stature (rating?)
Now coming to the food:
We ordered three starters; The Beer Can Tempura Fish, Dajaj Chermoula and Squid Rings in Butter Garlic. The Dajaj Chermoula was amazing. The chicken was really tender and there was a smoky flavour to it, adding to the taste. The beer can tempura firsh was moderate. I would have preferred a better dip to go along with the dish and the can they served the fish in, did not look pleasing to me. The squid rings weren’t crispy, to begin with, as mentioned in the menu card. However, it tasted good.
A cocktail called Painkiller and two Virgin Mojitos. The Painkiller was painful, at the best. Tasted like cough syrup to be very honest. Virgin Mojito’s were well prepared.
However, there was a mistake on their part when we asked them to serve us another two glasses of mojitos. Unfortunately, they did not serve the drinks. When reminded later, they apologised though a served us a glass of the same, on the house.
A portion of Coq-Au-Vin, a portion of Chicken in Masaman Curry and one portion of Moon Faan. I had a small serving of Coq-Au-Vin, and was satisfied with the taste. I was really excited about the Chicken in Masaman curry and the Moon Faan, because I had read so much about it and unfortunately I was disappointed. The chicken pieces were tender, cooked really well but the curry was overdone. While the curry is expected to be strong, full of flavours of cinnamon and clove and coconut, I found it difficult to appreciate the taste. It felt like a hotchpotch of flavours. I completely acknowledge that this might be an issue on my part. Moon Fan wasn’t really exciting as well.
Everything is well that ends well. Although we were completely full, we didn’t want to end the meal on a bitter note. We asked the waiter for recommendation and were advised to go for the Jack Daniels Mousse and we weren’t disappointed. Served with four tiny sponge cakes, this dish will definitely help you end your meal better.
This restaurant can become one of the best restaurants in India, serving Global Cuisine, if it starts focusing on the small things. Although it is appreciable that the prices are cheap and hence catering to a larger crowd is possible, it is highly likely that this is negatively impacting the upkeep of the restaurant. However, this restaurant represents a much needed change, sort of a fresh look, to the restaurant scene in Kolkata.
I would give this place a 3.5 out of 5.
Can improve: Ambience, Decor, Lighting, Air Con, Consistency of Quality