I am an Australian freelance writer living in Adelaide.
Published November 27th 2011
Just from their website, you can tell Oh! Calcutta is different. The same sense of intimacy and family is created in cyberspace as it is during a visit to the restaurant. Restaurants, especially in today's economic climate, need more than luck to succeed. Having been open for 24 years, Oh! Calcutta's success lies in the logistical management and food, but more importantly, the philosophy they uphold and their passion for cooking.
Oh! Calcutta restaurant
On the website, John, who owns the restaurant, gives an honest and touching account of his life story (Calcutta was his home town) to his mission today - 'Be assured that when you enter my restaurant you will feel the warmth and love we have to offer you.'
Oh! Calcutta has been a favourite restaurant of our family's for years. We go for the good value as well as the entertainment factor that is guaranteed. John and his colleagues are forever interacting with their diners and showing his regulars gimmicky items or tricks to make you laugh.
The restaurant looks like someone's living room, complete with a TV mounted on the wall. Only about ten square and round tables seating four are scattered around the room, which is littered with family photos, Indian scarves and artwork. This creates an intimate and laidback atmosphere.
We are creatures of habit and order the Dinner Special every time. For $22.50, you can choose an entrée (cocktail samosas/cocktail spring rolls/potato mogalai), a main (beef/lamb/chicken/vegetable curry) served with rice, naan bread and papdams and dessert (ice cream sundae with caramel/strawberry/chocolate topping and nuts or tea/coffee). We order the three-course deal because you need the sides and dessert to really fill you up (the main serving sizes aren't huge). You can order any of the dishes separately from the menu or indulge in a banquet if dining with four or more people.
The food isn't the best Indian I've ever eaten but it's better than my attempts. It's an easy option on those nights you just can't be bothered cooking and want something comforting in a familiar environment. John can rest assured we leave feeling the warmth and love of Oh! Calcutta every visit.
Why? The best customer service I’ve received in a restaurant. The staff and owners are relaxed, clearly happy to be working there and make it their mission that you leave feeling satisfied and eager to return.