The air in Kolkata during the festive season of Christmas is filled with the enticing aroma of freshly baked cakes and the joyous spirit of celebration. This time of the year brings forth a delightful array of sweet treats, with Christmas cakes being the undisputed star of the show. If you're in Kolkata and craving a slice of traditional, rich, and flavorful Christmas cake, here are some fantastic places where you can find the best ones in the city.
According to old timers, Christmas in Calcutta (the former name of Kolkata) was only complete with a rich fruit cake from Nahoum's. Founded by Israel Mordecai, a Baghdadi Jew, in 1902, it is still run by the family. A living legend, they hardly need to advertise. But come Christmas, the shop is chock-a-block with buyers. Jostle your way through the crowd to look at the shelves and teakwood and glass display cases to check out what's on offer – fruit and plum cakes, cream-filled pastries, rum balls, walnut and chocolate brownies, being some of the favourites. Also, ask if they have some Middle Eastern confectionery, such as baklava, on sale.
Address: F-20, Hogg Market (New Market), Lindsay Street, Kolkata
On the threshold of a century, this once dainty tearoom (founded in 1927 by Mr. and Mrs. J Flury) on Park Street has undergone many changes to emerge as a popular restaurant. But its fame remains undiminished. Preparations for Christmas begin with the much-awaited cake-mixing ceremony. And as Christmas approaches, people are not reluctant to stand in long queues at the Park Street shop to buy cakes and pastries. The dining section, too, sees a rush of people through the festive season. Their Christmas specials include plain and fruit cakes, rum and raisin cakes, Dundee cakes, cupcakes, gingerbread houses, yule logs, etc. Their regular products also include various pastries, chocolates, cookies, savouries, etc. They have many outlets spread across the city.
Address: 18 Park Street, Kolkata
In 1985, Kolkata resident Lovey Burman started a small corner bakery and café on Rawdon Street. But it did not take long for the word to spread about her special cakes, pastries, and savouries. And although the company had its share of business problems, the brand did manage to come out of it riding on its goodwill. Some of the special offers this Christmas include Chocolate Christmas Tree, Snowman Cake, Chocolate pastries, and Christmas pudding with brandy butter, to name a few. Don't forget to check out their range of bakes and tarts. Apart from their flagship store (whose official address is Shakespeare Sarani), they also have limited outlets across the city.
Address: Ground Floor, Express Tower, 42A Shakespeare Sarani, Kolkata
Unless you are looking for it, you will probably miss this nondescript shop tucked inside a lane near central Kolkata's once well-known Anglo-Indian quarters – Bow Barracks. Founded by JN Barua, this over 70-year-old bakery has a fan following. And as Christmas approaches, orders start pouring in for their fruit cakes, wine cakes, etc. They also make a special cake from 'chenna' or cottage cheese. And once there, don't forget to sample their range of patties, with fillings made from vegetables to mutton and chicken.
Address: 6 Robert Street, Kolkata
Also on the threshold of a century, this is one of Kolkata's most popular bakeries, which the same family is running. It was founded by a Goan couple, Ignatius and Ubelina Saldanha, in 1930. Each generation has added to the products and improved the services. Although the company has undergone a makeover with a new logo and an extended menu, they have retained the warmth of yore. Apart from fruit cakes, their Christmas special menu includes Walnut Cake, British Tea Time Cake, Almond Iced Christmas Log, Coconut Macaroon, Lemon Drops, and Blueberry Muffin, to name a few. They also have cheese puffs, chicken patties, and chicken sausage rolls.
Address: 19, Nawab Abdur Rahman Street, Kolkata