Billions, Kolkata: Sleek, experience-led dining at its finest
It takes a lot of work to get mood dining right, amid a pandemic, no less. But the city’s newest resto-bar Billions seems to be on the right track. The 120 plus seater is sprawled across a commodious 8,500 sq. ft plus area and is smartly sectioned into five distinct spaces with very different vibes. There’s the handsome BILLIONS dining area, the snazzy, neon-accented BILLIONS Bar.
There are two kinds of private dining rooms, a small and cosy one, great for an intimate BFF brunch, and a grander, plusher one, styled like a flamboyant period cigar room, aptly titled the Billions Den. But we settled down at the breathy, retro-inspired balcony that was flooding with natural light. The balcony also makes it very easy to distance with convenience, you can sit apart and enjoy your individual space and still hear each other over cocktail nibbles or a leisurely hookah.
“Billions has been designed along a thought, that is really more aspirational, it’s for people who want to do something big, something significant, it’s been shaped along that idea. With the menu, we’ve tried to perfect the world cuisine memo, with a focus on Modern Indian and South Asian cuisine, that are more adaptable,” Devraj Dutt, of Billions, tells us. Dine-ins in a pandemic-ridden world can only offer so much, so Billions’ idea of designing experience-led moments of escapism is a formula that could very well be the future of urban dining, and we don’t mind that at all. Especially because the space offers an exhaustive menu, and it’s great fun jumping from one cuisine to the other without a lot of premeditation.
Don’t skip out on the ‘craftails' - in fact, if you’re looking to splurge on one thing, let it be on these crafty and versatile mixes; we went for the smooth, non-frilly and vodka-based Heart of Darkness that was surprisingly pairable with almost everything. The fruity, gin-based Garden Variety is also a smart pick if you like the spicy and balanced Beefeater. The first thing that surprised us was the Turnip Cake - we weren’t expecting this Chinese delight to be on the menu, and we weren’t expecting it to be so very irresistible. It’s impeccably seasoned and yet simplistic; the staff is quick to help you out with the choice of sauces, dips and chutneys, but nevertheless, pair the cakes with in-house chilli garlic condiment.
Billions tries to curate an agreeable fare for all kind of gourmands, so we found some very wholesome Achari Cheese Paneer Tikka along with an audacious Palak Paneer Rista that features cushiony, spinach-covered dollops of paneer in a creamy, lababdar-style gravy. The Berry Pulao is the pick that is going to be a hot-seller for winter brunches; this pilaf traces its origins back to Western Asia and was popularised in Mumbai in the early ‘20s. However, contemporary styling has made it a lot more functional as an entree; we paired the delicious pulao with a very discerning and well-finished Laal Maas Royal. But you can also team it up with the scrumptious Billions Dal made with house special butter. Hot Tip: 1) The Lotus Cheesecake With Passionfruit sauce is the most shareable dessert 2) The Billions Magazine Cover background screen is tailor-made for the perfect Instagram moment.