From Flury’s to Myx and Tantra, these are the places you’ve probably eaten at and partied in while in Kolkata. It matters little if you are a resident or visitor — some of these establishments are the stuff of legend! Of course we’re going beyond the obvious and off the beaten path to discover four fabulous resto-bars that you should totally try when you decide to head out for your next tipple in the City of Joy. Crisscross Kolkata from Sector 5 in Salt Lake City to Quest Mall in Ballygunge, to sample some scrumptious fare and cool cocktails (including our favourite Johnnie Ginger)… you will not be disappointed!
Sometimes you should judge a book by its cover or, in this case, a pub by its name. The good folks at Pour House are shaking things up in the beverage department and their cocktails are literally raising the bar! You can try their Singapore Sling or choose from seven variations of the Mojito on Mondays, but if you are a real cocktail enthusiast, opt for a Johnnie Ginger on any day of the week. You’ll find your drinks go down easy in this roomy resto-bar, where the Union Jack is a recurring décor motif. With everything from Thai Fry Chicken and Honey Chilli Potato to Chicken Cordon Bleu available to nibble on, you may think the fusion menu defines East meets West, but the ambience actually screams West meets further West! Across the indoor area, the London skyline (with its iconic buildings) and a typically Brit phone booth are visual attractions, but the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty can be seen in certain sections as well, so think of it as a little world tour. You can always slip away to their outdoor terrace when you want a view of Salt Lake City’s Sector 5!
While we grapple with how they spell their name, the management at this Salt Lake City party hub is busy ensuring their customers are always delighted by the Bakstage experience. Whether you are looking for a lounge, a club, a sports bar or a restaurant, this Sector 5 pub ticks all the boxes simultaneously! Track their Theka Hours for the best time to visit, especially if a value-for-money outing is the order of the day. They often have live acts performing as well, but these range from Sufi singers to rock musicians — so ensure you check out their social media updates before you visit, should you be averse to either. Of course you can expect a perfect Johnnie Ginger or Whisky Sour (two of our top 5 whisky-based cocktails of all time) and fab food whenever you visit, so don’t hesitate too much. Ask for their Jalapeno Cheese Nuggets, Tandoori Broccoli Malai Kebab and a portion of Grilled Pork Chops to enjoy while you savour your favourite tipple. You’ll soon agree, getting ‘Bakstage’ access is a must in Kolkata!
Head to Quest Mall in Ballygunge, where a culinary journey across India is promised and delivered at this charming resto-bar. Bombay Brasserie is perfect when you want to ditch the dim interiors and thumping music scene of many a club, in favour of audible conversation with friends or colleagues, over delicious dinner and drinks. Intending to offer up pairings that “infuse the familiar with the unexpected,” the chefs at this expansive eatery get it right with everything from the Aam Papad Paneer to the Andhra Chicken. As a tribute to the city, try the vodka-based Calcutta Kick alongside an assortment of other cocktails including an impeccable Johnnie Ginger; and remember to order a Chakhna Tray before you meander through the menu’s main course section. With its tasteful interiors, colourful drinks served in quarter bottles, attentive service and stellar food, Bombay Brasserie’s Ballygunge outpost is sure to warm the cockles of your heart.
THE IRISH HOUSE
Brought to you by K Hospitality, the same company that owns Bombay Brasserie, is The Irish House. As it happens, this gastropub is only a stone’s throw away too — located visibly on the fifth floor of Quest Mall. If you’ve visited any of their several outlets nationwide (in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi NCR, Chennai or Bangalore), you will find that the Kolkata outpost is much the same in terms of ambience and food. Expect warm, wood-heavy interiors (an homage to classic Irish pubs everywhere), great music, an impressive range of brews and a giant screen designated to showing your favourite sports. Classic pub grub is their forte, so burgers, pizza and grills take up much of the menu. Order their Community Eats (we recommend the Vegetarian Hummus Platter and Grande Nachos), so you can share a bite with your buddies while you savour a Johnnie Ginger or down some Smoked Wisdom (their signature whisky cocktail). The Shroom Melt Burger is a great option if you’re vegetarian, while the Beer Can Roast Chicken is a treat if you’re not!
Image Credits: yupcard.com; facebook.com (2); bombaybrasserie.in