The Friday before the last I had gone to Zam Zam for beef Biriyani and had written a post describing my experience on my blog. http://www.moneyfoodtravel.com/for-the-love-of-biriyani-zam-zam-undoubtedly-one-of-the-best-beef-joints-in-kolkata/
Many friends had read the post. I told them about it too. And I was a bit too effusive in my praise. Actually, I could not but help talking about the experience, the food and everything else. Before long, there were some friends who were in on a plan to go to Zam Zam again for lunch, last Friday afternoon. We decided to reach the restaurant around 1 pm.
Here was a diverse bunch of people who did not know all the others. Two were from my office, there was another friend, a friend who stays in my locality and also his friend whom I did not know.
But we had a lot in common. We all shared a love for FOOD. And as we would find out later, a love for TRAVEL.
We booked a cab from my office, picked up the other friend from her office and then reached the restaurant. Two of the others were already there. Introductions were made. The fact that were on a common mission, meant that we all were friends, already.
Then the orders were placed. The usual suspects- plates of Biriyani, side dishes, ghol, salad and phirni. It would be wrong to say we ate in silence as we were all effusive about the food and could not help commenting on the taste, the aroma, the tenderness of the beef and mutton pieces, the uniqueness of the ghol and the sheer experience that one cannot perhaps describe in words.
We discovered that we are all travel enthusiasts. I mean people who love food, mostly love to travel too, so intricately linked both of these are. The conversation had veered to travel. One of these friends drive a Bolero and we discussed road trips we could do. There was of course the ambitious Ladakh trip, which is on the dream list, then we decided to plan a trip to Dooars and finally agreed we wanted to visit a seaside resort to start with. Even as we were devouring the Biriyani, trip plans were being made. Trip stories were being shared. The other friend and his friend , a biker are also avid travelers . We all decided to plan a road trip all together, we in the car and they on their bikes. Having met other like-minded people we were already making TRAVEL plans.
And then the time came for the bill, which for 6 of us was Rs 1225, which approximately is a bit over Rs 200 for each person. Naturally, all of us were pleasantly surprised. Someone said that a coffee and a sandwich at a Cafe Coffee Day costs double the money and is not even half as fun. We discussed other restaurants, how the legendary Biriyani at Arsalan had fallen in quality after they opened many franchises. Someone, I guess it was me, even said that it made sense to come here for lunch, once a month at least. The food was awesome, but the price was unbelievable too and value for MONEY. When discussing food and travel, MONEY is always a part. Naturally.
We came out of the restaurant and it was time for the customary selfie. It took us some time to get all of us in the frame but finally we managed to get a good shot. Goodbyes were exchanged and we all made plans to make more such FOOD plans. My friend and his friend left on a bike and we walked through the old Kolkata streets towards the main road from where we could take a cab.
Here was a bunch of people, not everyone known to each other, now friends and connected through a common love of FOOD and TRAVEL. The Biriyani experience was sublime but we also had made friends and that is priceless.
Maybe our Food and TRAVEL plans will work out, maybe they won’t, but then out of every 10 plans that you make, at least one works out . And that’s still a great thing!
And I realised the power of the concept behind moneyfoodtravel.com. Our motto is ‘exploring happiness’ and there was no better way than food and travel to be happy and to bring people together. This is one afternoon that all of us will have fond memories of.