Kolkata’s Peter Cat Ranks World's 17th Most Legendary Restaurant
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Peter Cat, an iconic restaurant located in Kolkata’s Park Street area, has made it to a list of most legendary restaurants in the world curated by Croatia-based online food guide, Taste Atlas. Taste Atlas’ list featured 150 legendary restaurants from around the world and featured seven Indian restaurants including Peter Cat from Kolkata and Paragon from Kozhikode. The iconic Kolkata eatery, established in 1975, has secured the rank of 17th on the list. Here is everything you need to know about Peter Cat. 

Peter Cat: The Making Of An Iconic Kolkata Eatery 

The origins of Peter Cat are linked to the establishment of another Kolkata icon, Mocambo. Shivji V Kothari started Mocambo restaurant in Park Street in 1956 and hired Italian chef Antonio Prandhe to curate an Italian-Continental menu. Kothari’s son, Nitin Kothari joined the team that run Mocambo after studying hotel management in Salzburg, Austria. In 1975, Nitin Kothari established Peter Cat as his own venture to purely serve Indian food to the diners at Park Street.  

Chelo Kebab: Peter Cat’s Signature Dish 

The initial menu designed for Peter Cat included dishes like mutton chaap, chicken chaap and rumali roti—all personal favourites of Nitin Kothari. The establishment opened small, but soon, one particular dish became immensely popular with Kolkata’s public: Chelo Kebab. Kothari explained in an interview that it was thanks to Chelo Kebab’s popularity that he soon got a greater number of tandoors and expanded the space from just a ground floor establishment to one extended to two floors.  

The reason behind Chelo Kebab’s popularity was owed to the fact that the dish was served with rice—and people in Kolkata do enjoy eating rice more than any other staple. The signature Chelo Kebab platter includes saffron rice, a fried egg, two mutton Chelo Kebabs and one chicken Chelo Kebab, making it a filling as well as delicious choice for diners. 

Peter Cat Expansion: Still A Popular Choice For Kolkata 

It was in the late 1980s that sizzlers were introduced to the menu of Peter Cat. By then, Peter Cat had become one of the most popular eateries in Kolkata’s posh Park Street area and attracted both locals and visitors alike. Nitin Kothari also went on to helm both Peter Cat and Mocambo for decades, ensuring that the staff at both places remained consistent at 300—and this, among other moves, ensured that the quality of the place never declined.  

With time, Nitin Kothari’s son, Siddharth Kothari also joined the family’s thriving restaurant business and started Peter Hu, the Chinese off-shoot of Peter Cat. Though the Kothari’s have never opened branches of any of their popular restaurants, whether it be Mocambo or Peter Cat, these places have remained Kolkata’s culinary landmarks for generations of foodies.