Thursday, July 11, 2019

Foodie Jaunts - Bento Box- A Complete Takeaway Meal at Oh! Calcutta, Mumbai

I am sure, like me many of you may have found yourselves in the unenviable position of trying figure out what to eat while you are travelling or maybe you are not travelling but are working outdoors in your hometown or city and scratching your head during lunch time wondering what to do. It has happened to me several times irrespective of the fact whether I am alone or with a family member. The problem that I have faced when alone is what do I order. The problem persists even if I am with a friend or a family member as portions at restaurants are too large. The large portions restrict us from ordering a variety of dishes. There are times when I have felt tempted to try out some dishes, particularly starters,but I have been compelled to drop the idea. Well now in Mumbai at least Oh! Calcutta’s Bento Box comes to the rescue.
Bento Box is a term borrowed from Japanese. It refers to a takeout meal suitable for one person. What you find in the Oh!Calcutta box is a Bengali thali ideally suited for one person. You get variety right from starters, main course, chutney, dessert, it is all there.  It is quite delicious too.

What I liked about the thali.
In both the vegetarian and the non-vegetarian thali, they have taken care to include one paturi. Paturi is a dish which comprises any item of food wrapped in a banana leaf and then steamed. In the vegetarian thali there is paneer paturi and in the non-vegetarian thali you will find a piece of basa fish.

Both the thalis have some excellent starters. While the  mochar chop (banana flower cutlets) in the vegetarian thali is my all time favourite, the grilled chicken in the non-vegetarian thali is absolutely delicious. There is a fish fry too in the non-vegetarian thali.
Tomato Chutney
The tomato chutney is the typical Bengali date and tomato chutney, not only is it tasty the quantity is pretty good for a takeaway thali.

What I did not like
The only item I did not like was the mixed vegetable dish in the vegetarian thali. Considering that it has baby corns in it, I would  most definitely not describe it as a Bengali dish.

All in all an excellent meal for one person, for that matter even for two people if you would like to keep it light. What’s more it is good value for money.
Check out the video below for a closer look at the thalis.

If you are unable to watch the embedded video for some reason, you may watch it on YouTube, here is the link:

We purchased the Bento Boxes from Oh! Calcutta’s Khar outlet. This outlet shut shop on May 15, 2019, however I am told these boxes are still available at their Andheri West and Tardeo outlets.


  1. This is such an excellent idea! I remember, when we lived in Delhi, there used to be a very good Japanese restaurant near our home from where we often ordered bento boxes. So good, and so convenient when there's just two of us who have to eat. I think adapting the idea to Indian cuisines is a great idea - especially given that we have the thali concept, anyway.

    1. Yes isn't it wonderful? I wish such a concept existed when I was on the field working as a journalist. I could have picked one of these and gone to the food court of the nearest mall and tucked into it. I have noticed malls do not make fuss over outside food. I have seen working women bring their home cooked food and have their lunch at the dining area of the food court. Back then I really had a hard time on the road. I often had a heavy breakfast more like a brunch and then just had some snacks during the day.

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and knowledge on this topic. This is really helpful and informative, as this gave me more insight to create more ideas and solutions for my plan. I would love to see more updates from you.
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  3. Wow what an excellent and appetizing way to pack lunch!

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