The familiar and comfortable interior of Peter the Cat
Over the weekend, Siddharth Kothari received a message that made him smile. The iconic Peter Cat’s, one of his family-owned restaurants, made it to the list of the 150 most famous restaurants in the world.
The establishment, which opened its doors in Calcutta in 1975, is ranked 17th on the list prepared by Taste Atlas, an experiential travel and dining guide based in Zagreb, Croatia. There are only seven Indian restaurants in the list, others are Paragon of Calicut at number 11Lucknow’s Tunde Kababi ranked 12th, Murthal’s Amrik Sukhdev Dhaba 23rd, followed by Mavli Tiffin Rooms, Bengaluru 39th, Karim’s (Delhi) 87th and Ram Aashray 112th.
a plate of chelo kebabs
Each restaurant mentioned also names a dish that is a ‘must try’ there. From Peter Cat’s menu, it is not surprising that their Chelloe Kebab has been chosen.
Soon after launching, Nitin Kothari, founder of Peter Cat, noticed that his restaurant’s kebabs were a favorite with customers. Chelo Kebab in particular has a cult following that continues even today, 48 years later.
Siddharth Kothari, Nitin’s son, says, “Hundreds of plates of chelo kebabs are ordered every day.” Siddharth, who started Peter Who, says, “Have three tandoors that go on almost all day?” An Asian fine meal.
This is one such dish that Nitin discovered during his trip to Iran. At Peter Kat they make it with mutton or chicken, and it is served with an egg (sunny side up), and a dollop of butter on top of the rice. For non-meat eaters there is paneer kebab and vegetable sheikh.
“It’s the same legacy menu from 1975, with the same number of dishes,” says Siddharth. Business has grown significantly after the pandemic and hired more staff. The waiters move quickly with noisy, smoky but fragrant sizzlers; Their Indian cuisine is also popular.
Despite the city popping up with new restaurants and bars and new food trends popping up on the market, not much has changed in Peter Cat. The grande dame of Park Street still holds her position. Its façade is the same, and the interiors feature the familiar low-hanging lampshades, wall-to-wall printed carpet and red seats on which generations of families have made themselves comfortable.
Queues still form outside the 195-seat restaurant – on weekends and sometimes even on weekdays. If you manage to get a table with no waiting, today is your lucky day.