Eggs Benedict is an iconic breakfast dish. Created in 1894 by Lemuel Benedict, who at the time trying to cure a massive hangover, ordered for buttered toast, crispy bacon, poached eggs and a whole lot of hollandaise sauce, all put together on a single plate, and thus a legendary dish was born.
Bikers café in Elgin, Kolkata has Eggs Benedict in its breakfast menu. However, what’s really interesting is the item listed just beneath it. Eggs Samui benedict.
The Samui Benedict is a complete deconstruction and reconstruction of the classic dish and add in a Thai twist. The bacon is replaced with chicken, and the hollandaise is replaced with a peanut-y Thai red curry sauce. The effect is brilliant. Gone is the sweetish salty taste of the original, replaced with something spicier, nutty, aromatic and just as thick and rich as the original. The beauty is, while it is very different from the original, you cannot mistake the Samui Benedict for anything else but an Eggs Benedict. The dish still has Lemuel’s spirit coursing very strongly through its delicious insides.
The Samui Benedict is , very obviously, a non-vegetarian dish, and as interesting as it is, Biker’s Cafe’s real achievement is reconstructing the dish once again to create the Veg Samui Benedict. Visually it looks just like its non veg brethren – Buns topped with mince topped with what looks like an egg, covered in that nutty red curry sauce. However, the mince is made of cottage cheese and the “egg’” is essentially a veg cutlet topped with white cream.
This might not sound that great on paper, but it works, and it works well. What they get bang on is the texture. The spiced cottage cheese imitates the minced chicken well, but what really takes the cake is the veg cutlet. The clever part is that the cutlet was constructed using bread as a part of its mix, making it remarkably chewy and meat like in texture. Add to that the crispiness of the cutlet, and you have something that imitates the original well, but something that perhaps even surpasses it.
Double reconstruction for the win!