Soul - The Sky Lounge improves upon the utilitarian open-air lounge experience
The rigours of open-air dining are no rigours at all for the socially starved, since it lets them sample the pre-pandemic life, albeit with some self-supervision. In Kolkata, most outdoor or rooftop dining spaces are used to multi-tasking, and even uptown breakfast cafes effortlessly transition into sundowner spots post 7. Camac Street’s Soul - The Sky Lounge is a bright spot in the all-day dining memo and re-writes some rules for rooftop hangs that are trying to diversify. The year-and-a-half-old space already has a lot of credibility as a nightlife haunt, and in 2021, it’s looking at expanding its experience bracket.
For instance, when we dropped by on a late weekday afternoon, the 5,000 square feet distancing-friendly resto lounge was bustling with a late lunch crowd, a terrific sign for any eatery at the moment; but it’s also a key element in factoring in the adaptability of an all-day hang, since pub crawling or brunch-hopping are things of the past. Young crowds are looking to spend more hours in one space, and simply want to extract more than one kind of experience from a single spot.
Soul -The Sky Lounge sticks to a simplistic but commodious design that lets patrons distance easily during the day, and transitions into a safe mingling spot for unplugged music nights. We chose a sunny, hammock-adjacent set-up near the entrance of the roof, however there’s also an indoor enclave-style dining area if someone wants a more rested ambience. The open-air area occupies a wide but lengthy, curve of a rooftop, with stylised seating and wide colonial balusters overlooking Central Kolkata, perfect for a plush mojito brunch, boozy table-top picnics or wine nights.
The bar menu is quite exhaustive and there’s something for everyone; besides some exceptional signatures, there are some really well-finished cocktails, like Goliath, a speciality number, ideal for pitcher-style orders, featuring whiskey, vodka, rum, gin, beer and topped with orange liqueur and lemonade. Or you can try something safer, like Burnt Orange Mojito, a breathy tropical highball, that comes in a long cooler glass.
The main menu offers an agreeable, well-assorted selection of shareable smart plates, easy finger foods and a line of elaborate picks. The Tandoori Momos are great palate openers and are set to be hot-sellers at winter brunches; they are hot, smokey and perfectly balanced in profile. Another great choice of hors d'oeuvres would be the feisty Fish Tawa Masala.
The thin-crust, non-vegetarian pizza had an exceptional base and just the right amount of crunch. But the big winner from our table was the classic well-finished, plate of lamb chops, featuring two perfectly seared, yet tender shanks of lamb, served with a creamy mash and veggies. Hot Tip: 1) Pair the lamb chops with a taut red wine from Soul’s exceptional wine list. 2) Spend some time at the snazzy bar and then move to the tables, if you’re looking to unwind post sundown.