Royal Indian Hotel: The famous Mughlai Legacy of Kolkata for 118 Years


Kolkata was the centre of activity for many empires before the British Empire became prominent. The Nawabs were one of them. Even though the Nawabs left long ago, they had an everlasting impact on our cuisine. The kebabs, koftas, and other Mughlai dishes have become integral to our cuisine. Royal Indian Hotel has made a stand for preparing some deliciois Mughlai’s since then.

The most significant contribution of Nawabs was, perhaps, everyone’s favourite- Biryani. Every state in India has its version, and so does Kolkata. Biryani is so famous in Kolkata that you will find a biryani shop in every nook and corner of this city. 

Every restaurant has a dedicated column in their menu for Mughlai dishes. You will find many famous and iconic Mughlai restaurants in every part of Kolkata with their signature dishes and biryanis. If you are looking for an iconic Mughlai restaurant in central Kolkata, the Royal Indian Hotel is your destination. 

Royal Indian Hotel, Burrabazar

Very few Mughlai joints have been able to stay synonymous with the quality and taste of the legendary biryani. The Royal Indian Hotel in Chitpur, also known as the Royal, is one such place. This iconic eatery has served fresh and halal Mughlai dishes for over a century. 

The origin of the Royal Indian Hotel dates back to the era of Nawabs and remains an iconic Mughlai joint after 118 years. The place was founded by Ahmen Hussein, who migrated from Lucknow to Kolkata in search of fortune. 

Located in the hustling and bustling BurraBazar area of central Kolkata, locating this legendary eatery can be tricky. You can reach this place either via M.G. Road or from Lalbazar Court. If you are taking the M.G. Road, you must go towards Howrah station; if you go down, you will reach the Nakhoda masjid stoppage.

From here, turn toward the Mosque and follow the tram line. Opposite the Mosque, you will be greeted by a Royal Indian Hotel sign board. From Lalbazar, you can take the tram to Chitpur, and you will be dropped right in front of the restaurant. 


The Royal Indian Hotel, with its history of around 118 years, is held on to simplicity when it comes to ambience. The eatery has two floors, sectioned into an ac and non-ac area. There are seating arrangements on both levels so you can choose according to your preference.  

The ground level is the non-ac section and is quite shabby as the main cooking area is also situated on the ground floor, though it is more economical. The first floor is more like a cozy family restaurant, so it is better to sit on the first floor if you are visiting. Though it is to be noted that there might be a slight hike in prices on the first floor. 

The eatery has kept its interiors and decor simple. The simple wooden table and chair arrangement also has family cabins with curtains in case you need privacy. The humble atmosphere of the restaurant will fill you with nostalgia for the Mughal period. 

Check Out: Royal Indian Hotel in Burrabazar menu!

The Inception Royal Indian Hotel 

The eatery was established in 1905 when Kolkata was agitated with mass protests against Lord Curzon as he declared the Bengal Province’s partition. During the same time, a fortune-seeker from Lucknow named Ahmed Hussein migrated to Kolkata. 

By profession, he was a wrestler and had a hobby of cooking, which he had picked up from the royal kitchen of Awadh. After not finding much scope in wrestling, he thought about trying his luck in the restaurant business. Hussein sought a place to open his eatery. He finally rented a place from Raja Rajender Mallick, the then-scion of Marble Palace. 

He named the place Royal Indian Hotel and put his cooking to the test. In no time, the restaurant gained recognition, which was obvious given the smell of fragrant condiments, attracting passers-by and neighbours to the shop. Thus, the Royal Indian Hotel was born and still stands tall in the exact location after more than 100 years. 

Appetizing Mughlai Gems of Royal Indian Hotel 

The Royal Indian Hotel is one of the oldest restaurants in Kolkata, serving the city’s favourite delicacy. If you ask any Mughlai food connoisseur to enlist the best biryani and Mughlai food joints in the city, Royal Indian Hotel will be in the top five. Here are some of the lip-smacking dishes that you must try- 


The identity of quintessential Kolkata biryani is a piece of flavourful potato and boiled egg. Since this place has Awahi origins, they don’t put eggs or potatoes in their biryani. But don’t be disappointed; the taste will compensate for this loss. The biryani at Royal is of Nawabi style. It is the perfect blend of aromatic and flavourful rice with generous pieces of meat and meatballs, popularly known as kofti. The succulent lives of meat will melt into your mouth immediately. 

Mutton Chaap

The mutton cheap is the ultimate showstopper of the Royal Indian Hotel. The mutton chaap is made with ribs of the goat, which is chopped in style unique to Royal. The chopped meat is slow-cooked in rich fat gravy. It can be a side dish with biryani or any Indian bread. 

Read More: The mutton Chaap of Aminia is also finger licking!

Mutton Handi

Handi mutton or mutton handi is another signature dish of Royal. It is essentially a gravy dish that tastes best when paired with Indian bread of any sort. The gravy is made with red chillies, makhana, well-cooked spices, and onion, which adds sweetness to this hot gravy. It is a perfect blend of spice, salt, and sweetness. 

mutton handi royal indian hotel

Shahi Tukda 

After having all the rich and spicy dishes, you might want something sweet for dessert. Then go for the Shahi tukda. The shahi tukda is sweet with a hint of saltiness. It is essentially pieces of bread dipped in saffron-flavoured sugar syrup. It is topped with a layer of in-house creamy rabdi and garnished with dry fruit slices. 

After 118 years, the Royal Indian Hotel has not lost its charm and continues to serve its customers authentic, best-quality Awadhi food at an affordable price. Therefore, the next time you crave some Mughali cuisine, visiting Royal is a must.  

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