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SKAI is the newly opened progressive gastropub and lounge at the 6th floor of Quest Mall. The name is a combination of Sky and Kai which means food in Maori. There are very few restaurants in Kolkata which provides a great view of the skyline coupled with open-air terrace sitting.
SKAI ticks off both the boxes making it a perfect place to chill out.
There is an indoor and outdoor seating option and soothing pendant lights hanging from the wood panelled ceiling sets this place different from most of the gastropubs. Muted monochrome colours on the walls and a rather unique rectangular shape of this 4000 sq ft, 120 covers is not often seen. High Stools of 4 seaters make this a cosy place for serious diners and then there are large couches in the open air for hanging out with groups and also couple seating with large comfortable cushioned chairs.
The bar is in the middle of the rectangle, which is managed by enthusiastic Myles Carol and he promises to use only fresh presses in-house juices. One can find classics, pitchers and sangria but Myles takes pride in his signature cocktails. Uncommon pairings between spirit and fruit juices but a balance between the two, is what makes these drinks stand out.
Walk in the Clouds
SKAI Collins, Stardust, Walk in the Clouds, SKAI Full of Stars, Milky Way does not only sound like names from the universe chapter of a science book but each deserves attention. Recommendation - Ideally one should taste all from various visits but
Skai Collins with Gin base and Salt Lime cordial with a slice of cucumber from the top and Gondhoraj and Milky Way strong flavours of Rum, cream, saffron and cardamom are must tries. In case you are a whisky cocktail fan, then ask for the Masala Bourbon, which has our own garam masala pounded and added with Bourbon.
The menu has uncommon names like - GLIDE - classical favourites, SOAR - the new age dishes, HIGH - the platters which can be paired with the drinks and FLOAT - fun small plates. There is FLY SOLO for the main course and OUR STARS for the dessert. The menu is a labour of love and hard work with attention to details for the presentation too. There are Truffle French Fries, Kodo Mushroom and Feta Cakes made with Kodo millet, mushrooms, feta cheese with a mushroom paper on the top. The Crab Cakes with birds eye chilli molecules looking like pearls and kafir life zest on top will be one of the most ordered in the days to come. Recommendation - Crab Cakes are a must-try as is the Confit Lamb Sloppy Joe Profiterole. Both are a perfect finger food to set up the mood right for the evenings.
In the SOAR section, the Pink Peppercorn and Garlic Malai Chicken with poppy sable and coconut saffron cream, is one of the best dishes here. The Poppy sables are surprise on the top and the chilli flakes just add the perfect zing to this dish. Quinoa is soon becoming popular as a healthy substitute staple and here, there is Hazelnut and Snow Peas Quinoa Risotto with a garnish of frozen mascarpone. The pistachio crusted New Zealand Lamb Racks has a surprise in liver pate in between the layers of millefeuille and one can get a feeling of a deconstructed Baklava on the plate.
Smoked Bean Sprouts & Water Chestnut Pad Thai with Fried Peanuts and Garlic
The Pad Thai has a surprise in a way it is served from the bell jar containing the smoke and soft Pad Thai texture is complemented with water chestnuts and crunchy fried peanuts and garlic. These are only the glimpse of the otherwise elaborate menu and it is for sure that everyone will have something to pick up as per the choice.
How many of you remember the TV Series A mouthful of Sky. The first English Series to be produced and telecast in Doordarshan, had all the eye candies/heartthrobs of that generation cast together. Milind Soman, Rahul Bose, Samir Soni, Rajeev Mulchandani, Simone Singh the list goes on.
I find this place as a new age place with an unconventional design, great food and some exotic innovative cocktails. When are you planning to get your Mouthful of SKAI?
A true blue Kolkata foodie, Anindya loves cooking and eating his Kosha Mangsho. Anindya weaves stories around food as he believes exceptional food is an emotional experience. Previously a restauranter, now a passionate photographer and traveller, he runs a successful blog called Pikturenama and contributes to other publications.