Food tastes better with a view
Kolkata: When Romi Sanyal was back to her hometown from Bengaluru after almost a year-and-a-half of Covid-19 pandemic, she wanted to enjoy the old-world charm of Kolkata, the city's envious skyline and also dig into some finger-licking good food. She made her moments with her school buddies memorable at Level Seven in Topsia, one of the favourite rooftop restaurants for youngsters.
Kolkata is now dotted with rooftops and outdoor seating restaurants where you can gaze at the panoramic view of the city, sip onto great cocktails and have a cosy moment with your loved ones. Those without rooftops boast plush outdoor seating, which are gram-worthy. So, why are open spaces and rooftop restaurants with minimal décor, fusion fare and incredible view of the city's skyline suddenly becoming a craze among Kolkatans? Most of the restaurateurs believe Covid had a big role to play.
"I think the pandemic pushed people to sit outdoors. They feel more comfortable as open spaces definitely have more ventilation," said Sonali Lakhotia, founder and owner at Potboiler Coffee House near Vivekananda Park.
Sonika Dey of Bunaphile Cafe in Hindustan Park also said: "People were locked inside the four walls due to Covid-induced lockdown. So, now they look for open spaces. Recently, a 14-year-girl celebrated her birthday at my café and she, too, asked for the outdoor space."
Glook: The Sky Lounge boasts of a stunning indoor and outdoor section with a huge terrace and banquet area.
Manager Sanju Mandal of one of the most-visited lounges in New Town told Millennium Post that footfall in the outdoor seating area has increased post Covid-19. "People prefer the outdoors given the choice that they can enjoy the spectacular view of the Kolkata skyline and can take off their masks," he said. For anniversaries, birthdays or candlelight dinners, the rooftop restaurants tick all the right boxes with delicious food, Instagram-worthy décor, wide range of drinks and magnificent view of the city. Situated on the seventh floor, the double-deck Level Seven is a fine blend of both indoor and outdoor overlooking the Maa flyover. The rooftop is a preferred choice for birthdays and anniversary celebrations. "People do enjoy nightclubs but then, post Covid-19, most people tend to avoid the crowd. At the rooftops, you can enjoy the drinks, dance and also enjoy the DJ playing. If you want a private party, there's nothing better than a rooftop and we get those bookings a lot," says Michelle James of Level Seven.
The Kolkata restaurateurs are also experimenting with their cuisine for the outdoor setting. Bunaphile's Sonika said she sources her coffee from Chikmagalur. "Our fusion dishes are also popular, especially British Paturi (Bhekti paturi topped with English mustard sauce comes with ghee rice, assorted veggies and grilled tomatoes). Our bacon wrapped chicken is the highest selling item," she said.