If you are very active on Social Media, then you aren’t unknown to this name, you may not have visited this place but you surely are well aware of the current popularity this new restaurant has gained… Hold on.. did I say ‘new’?? Searching a bit, I got to know that The Denmark Tavern is actually a centuries’ old restaurant!! Surprised?? Even I was, let me tell you a story in a few words..
Not many years ago, a huge mansion by the river Ganga was almost decayed to a pile of rubble, then a team of concerned experts ran a thorough investigation, where it was found that this ruin was a well-run guest house come eating place for Europeans some centuries back. This was a good hint to restore the place back to it’s old glory and here you go, by the river Ganga, at the city Seramopore, at present once again stands that very old ‘The Denmark Tavern’.. not with the old ragged, worn-out look of-course, that same majestic structure but looks like built a day before!!
So that was the story overall, now coming back to this day and talking about today’s ‘The Denmark Tavern’.. I have so much to tell you..
Let me make it very very clear here, The Denmark Tavern is NOT in proper Kolkata, the location is Serampore, which is in Hooghly district and part of Greater Kolkata. This is a distance of about 30 km from Kolkata, by road it should take about an hour and a half.
How to Go:
You may go by train. From Howrah Station take any local train and get down at Serampore, which is about an hour’s journey. From the station take a rickshaw to the restaurant, everyone knows this place and it’s just a 5-7 minutes ride. If you have time in hand you may even walk that distance, it’s close by.
About the Restaurant:
Now, this is not just a restaurant, this is a local boutique hotel plus a restaurant. Denmark Tavern is the main restaurant of the property and currently managed by ‘The Park’. There is also a small joint opened by Flurys beside the restaurant. But this post is dedicated to ‘The Denmark Tavern restaurant’, hence let’s focus mainly there. The serving area is moderate, can accommodate about 35-40 people at a time. Big family of 10-15 may have their meal together (better to make prior booking for that).
The first word I could think of, on my first glimpse of the place was simple yet vintage. There is no over-the-top decoration, the furniture selected is classic and sober, the lighting is soft, light music playing somewhere at a corner of the room and everything in the room has a very mollifying effect. You feel soothing, you keep looking around, to the walls, to the ceiling, the chandeliers, those old time’s big heavy doors, Louvered Shutter windows, the frame of the old city sketched on the back of the chairs.. The ambiance of the restaurants is a winner. No doubt about it.
Food & Service:
While ambiance sets the mood, it’s the food that has to do the magic, isn’t it? They have a good range of food available, starting from some common Chinese to some popular Bengali dishes, to some fast food options. Now the day I went there, they only had veg. food available and that too some set menu was placed upon stepping inside and before getting a table for me, from that set menu I had to choose my ‘suitable’ option. It wasn’t one of my lucky days in short.
Before coming to the taste and portion and all that, let me talk about the service first. The servers are very straightforward, which isn’t a bad thing but not one of those very polite sorts of characteristics which can impress you easily. They took some time to take the order, but it’s ok as it gave me enough time to settle down and get adjusted to the environment. Not sure if it was that particular day, but all of them looked so exhausted, they quietly would come and place the food, if there’s a problem they will listen and do the needful with a crestfallen face. In my case they forgot to ask for water, the cold coffee had a small insect which was replaced with a fresh one, the other one also had something on it! What I mean is, they seemed quite naive of their role, they were doing their job.
The order was very simple, 2 beverages, some luchi and cholar dal. It took about 40 minutes to serve, Cholar dal was a runny lentil soup (I am being completely honest, I was crestfallen with the look of the dal and after testing half a spoon I was done, it was really heartbreaking for a Bengali), then they forgot one of the drinks, then reminding them, little this-that.. this wasn’t chaotic for sure, but it’s just that you don’t want the same thing happening in a restaurant like your house!
Coming to the food now.. moment of truth.. Ok, portion first. Nothing to complain there. Quantity wise there’s no question or argument. About the taste, let’s say there’s nothing different than other places or anything exceptional about the food. To be more honest, this is a restaurant, you will be here to enjoy a meal with your loved ones but whether you will be complacent after some spoonful? I doubt. The food isn’t a forte to excite you, be it taste or presentation.. It’s contradictory and quite irrational, I know, in a restaurant if the food isn’t the spotlight then what will be? But I said what I had to!
The above lines weren’t very positive, but here is something to compensate. The prices are very reasonable, when I say reasonable, I mean it. And in the end, you don’t end up paying a huge tax or GST on the total amount, excluding consumption of liqueur, food cost is very reasonable.
So the food isn’t something to shout for, the service is average, then why should one come here? Let me tell you, this particular restaurant in a few years’ time has become hype among youngsters, influencers, photographers’ #capture_moments place. The well-maintained timeless architecture; immutable interior, super photogenic backdrops give any camera-friendly person a reason to come here. Apart from the restaurant, if there isn’t any shooting taking place, the visitors are allowed to go upstairs to a certain area for mobile photography, I wasn’t even lucky for that!!
Though it wasn’t my lucky day and it’s well understood that food won’t impress you, the positive side is you won’t lose your money.. I mean a lot of your money in one visit. So following the ‘trend’ may be one chance can be given to this place!
#TheDenmarkTavern #Serampore #RestaurantReview
Also, read on my day-visit to Hansheswari Temple on the same day