Restaurant Kolkata: Afraa

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The idea was to design a restaurant that would take fine dining to new heights in Kolkata—‘The city of joy’. A place where, in addition to enjoying a perfect meal, you could look outside and get a sense of the cultural vibrance of the metropolis. Afraa, a 7000 square feet lounge restaurant in Salt Lake, fulfils this desire, offering a bird’s eye view of the streets and surrounding areas. Restaurant Kolkata

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Located on the 6th and 7th floors of the City Centre, Afraa offers a spectacular 180 degree view of the cityscape. Renowned architect and designer Kapil Bhalla brought the wealth of his expertise to create an upscale dining establishment. In sync with the name Afraa (which means white in Arabic), the trendy minimalist interiors are cocooned in glass, and defined by a monochromatic palette. Hardwood flooring adds contrast and a touch of elegance.

The City Centre is a preferred shopping zone for the people of Kolkata and Afraa is strategically located to offer the perfect setting to unwind after a long day, or perhaps to dine with friends, family or business associates.

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The wraparound bar at Afraa has a 62 feet counter in white which takes on different hues, facilitated by clever backlighting.

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Afraa also boasts of a walk-in wine library and a 250 strong wine menu. A selection of wines from Italy, France, Chile, Australia, South Africa and India adds a whole new dimension, thereby taking it a few notches higher on the fine dining scale.

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An open and conversational space is the visual language of Afraa and style embraces comfort effortlessly.

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In the main dining area, wooden tables in oak complement the modern seating upholstered in white leather, while plush leather couches in the lounge are given a splash of earthy colour tones with accent cushions.

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Tall green plants in elegant wooden plant holders add a hint of colour to the muted palette that retains a sharp focus on refined sophistication.

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Lighting is the essence of great design and Afraa does not falter on this front.

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Concealed lighting from the ceiling complements custom designed pendant light fixtures hung from the ceiling and coupled with the dark hardwood flooring, makes for an alluring ambience.

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The Obelisk is an 8 feet long light fixture designed by Kapil Bhalla. Fabric is used on the lamp shade and softens the other lighting elements which add a touch of colour in their varied hues, albeit discreetly.

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In the lounge area, contemporary coffee tables in wood with a sharp minimalist linear focus are in animated conversation with round African drum shaped peg tables in high gloss white lacquer finish. Technology is well integrated into the setting in the form of exclusive customised dining spaces with LCD screens and Wi-Fi —a perfect setting for meetings, presentations and screenings.

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Clever segregation of the spaces is achieved by well designed screens and glass partitions. Vast expanses of white walls are adorned with mutliple circular glass jars to create texture and define visual interest.

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The circle is used repeatedly as a design concept along with the monochromatic colour scheme, highlighting pattern and texture as the dominant design element.

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The crescent lamps connect with frosted glass partitions accentuated with circular imprints, and along with interesting contemporary art work in timber designed by Kapil Bhalla made using pieces cut from solid cylindrical bars of timber, make for dramatic statements that punctuate the space. Skillfully executed in its various nuances, the circular motif is maintained throughout the various layers, resulting in a synchronisation in the interior using a singular element of form.

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The outdoor areas on both floors of Afraa have sheltered decks with trendy rattan furniture.

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Offering a panoramic view of the city, the decks provide the perfect setting to sip the spirit of your choice and enjoy a delicious meal in good company, enveloped by a blanket of stars.

The in house DJ plays mellow music – fusion, lounge and world music. This combined with mood enhancing lighting acts as a catalyst to get you to shake a leg! The music is never too loud, enabling diners to engage in quiet conversation.

For entertainment, Afraa also has live jazz performances on week nights, special invitees from all over the globe who perform and a range of participative events that adds spice to the ambience.

Nutritionist and food consultant Karen Anand and Ambuja Realty’s Corporate Chef Davide Cananzi have painstakingly crafted the exotic menu at Afraa.

Global cuisine is presented to you with a twist, resulting in some delicious creations, also scoring high on presentation. However, Italian and Mediterranean Cuisine have been kept authentic. The live pizza counter at is fitted with an authentic Italian pizza oven.

Chef Sumanta Chakrabarti and Chef Chiranjib Chatterjee have carried forward the rich gourmet legacy by Karen Anand and Davide Cananzi. From seafood platters to spiedini of lamb, or simple apple tart with cinnamon glaze to its more sophisticated cousin, the New York cheesecake with seasonal fruit coulis, every dish is executed and presented with utmost precision and excellence, making this place a gourmet’s delight.

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The menu at Afraa is injected with new life every now and then, thereby making it more interesting. The buffet station with long wooden tables is quite popular and and the bold splash of red on the walls and ceiling is perhaps the only element of vibrant colour in the subdued framework.

The apparel of the service personnel was designed by internationally acclaimed couturier Kiran Uttam Ghosh and echoes the Afraa theme – white.

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At Afraa, the aim is to redefine food and couple it with a metropolitan lifestyle in an upscale setting. ‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating’ – well, this pudding is undoubtedly good; the numerous footfalls at Afraa are testimony to the fact.