Golpo Bengal restaurant | cafe – Hills Road
Sean and I were at a loose end on Thursday evening, so we decided to pop down to the new Golpo restaurant that has recently opened on Hills Road.
You may remember I visited for their grand opening the other week, where we learned about Golpo and what they were looking to achieve. Fundamentally, this is a Bangladeshi restaurant that is looking to bring you ‘the taste of home’. In other words, this is authentic Bangladeshi food with a focus on what a lot of Indian/Bangladeshi restaurant owners eat day to day.
There is also an Anglo section on their menu too, for jalfrezi, korma, and dhansak available.
Watching the world go by on their outdoor seating
Golpo has replaced the old Rajbalesh and is conveniently placed between the centre of town and the train station. This makes it a great place to pop in while traveling in and out of town, which is useful as they currently serve ‘Hot Numbers’ coffee and are open throughout the day.
As mentioned during my previous visit, Golpo does not serve alcohol. They do however, offer an extensive range of alcohol-free beverages, such as cola, beer, IPA, bourbon, and mocktails. This will take some getting used to for some people as the ‘curry and a pint’ are as part of British culture as a cup of tea.
With that said, it also makes sense when you take a step back and think about it. Not only do most Bangladeshi people not drink alcohol (further adding to your authentic experience) but curry and beer are also both very bloating and their flavours do not compliment each other. For this reason, the ‘sober bar’ has been carefully designed around the food on the menu with an alternative option for nearly everything.
We were tempted by a few options on their drinks menu. Including ‘Karma Cola’ which aims to be the most ethical cola in the world by being organic and Fairtrade. Also, products from the Cambridge Juice Company.
We decided to go for an award winning Pale Ale called ‘Smashed Pale’ which has some really fruity notes and was very refreshing. I had something called “Le Petit Beret”, an equality pleasant Belgium style beer.
Dal Bora Chaat
We ordered starters, which included some’ Dal Bora Chaat’. These fritters are great finger food to share between friends and was absolutely delicious.
Popadums were also available. These are presented in a nice basket with a selection of 3 sides. I was disappointed to not see any lime pickle but the mango chutney was excellent. There was also a chickpea based dish which was well received by us both. The popadums were covered in a light spice which gave them a really nice flavour. My only criticism was that the portions were a little small.
We ordered some “Dal Banjara” which is what most of us would know as ‘Black Daal’. Anyone who reads this blog will know that I am a big black daal fan and I am particularly fond of the infamous Dishoom black daal. This is not only a superb take on the dish but is as equally good as anything from Dishoom. In other words, absolutely sublime! In fact, it is so good, I wish it was served in bathtub portions! It complimented my butter naan and popadums perfectly and is a versatile dish that compliments nearly anything else. An absolute must for any table!
The chotto menu, meaning “small portion” or “small plate”, offered something which caught our eye and we simply had to try – “Hawkers Talapia Fritters”. This is batter fried talapia fish in Punjabi spices and garlic. The side sauce really made this stand out and the Talapia fish made it very light.
One of the highlights of the evening was from their ‘Tawa Grill Menu” called ‘Bongo Beef Tak-A-Tin’. This is aged beef short ribs with red onions and spices.
This reminded me of a Bangladeshi version of the Jamaican goat curry on the bone. It was utterly superb and full of flavour. It came out sizzling on a hot plate adding further excitement and came accompanied with a few small wraps to scoop up the chunks of beef. Another good sharing dish too. Marvellous!
I’ll admit, things got a little out of hand. Once we saw the menu there were a lot of dishes that were jumping off the page. One such dish was from their ‘Bodho Menu’ which translates into “big plate”. This dish is called “Kosha Mangsho”, a slow cooked mutton dish with toasted chillies.
Yes, it is as good as it sounds. This is simmered in caramelised onions and tomatoes with chillies. Need I say more? Delicious!
I think the Kosha Mangsho aims to be a spicy dish but I struggled to feel the burn. The team gave me a pot of chillies to add to the dish but it is never quite the same when you have to add them in at the end.
Mango and cardamom brulee
Floating Malain tiramisu.
We finished off our evening with a few desserts. Sean had the ‘mango and cardamom brulee’ which is a fantastic take on the iconic Cambridge dessert. My ‘floating Malain Tiramisu’ was absolutely fantastic. Both were well presented and a perfect end to a great meal.
Both Sean and I were in agreement that Golpo provided an excellent dining experience for us both. Even though we are both keen drinkers we didn’t feel like we were missing out without any alcohol. It was lovely being able to sit outside with a roof over our head and watch Cambridge roll by. All the food was great and it was interesting exploring traditional Bangladeshi cuisine. The restaurant is beautifully presented on the inside and it is perfectly located to pop in for a coffee during the day, especially now I know that they do ‘Hot Numbers’ coffee. I also want to thank the waiting team as they were incredible.
Thanks for reading!