When we add ‘Gastro’ to this ‘Pub’ concept , we get a more magical place called ‘Gastropub’. The term ‘Gastropub’ was coined in 1991 by David Eyre & Mike Belben in London. The concept of a restaurant in a pub reinvigorated both pub culture & British dining. Keeping pace with the western culture, Gastropub has also reinvigorated both pub culture & Indian dining. If we think of popular Gastropub culture within ‘City of Joy’, ‘The Grid’, located in Topsia on EM Bypass, Kolkata, comes in our mind immediately.
The Grid: Hottest destination for beer lovers
Kolkata has some really good cafés, fine-dine restaurants and even a couple of microbreweries now. However, there aren’t many places that can boast of being all-in-one (popular Gastropub culture). The Grid, located strategically in the heart of the city (located right between central, south and north Kolkata) is well connected to all parts of the city. Making the place a preferable destination for party peeps across the city. The Grid offers different elements, all in one venue. From mouthwatering global cuisine, foot-tapping music, microbrewery or awe-inspiring interiors, there are plenty of options to hold you there for long.
The Grid, the gastro-brew pub in Kolkata opened its door recently and has made its presence felt with it outstanding food and good ambience. The Grid is the brainchild of Gaurav Karnani and Ritika Karnani and is the first F&B venture and flagship project of Karnani F&B Specialties LLP. While Gaurav manages the finance and management of The Grid, Ritika looks after the F&B part of it. “We have given this project our heart and soul and our passion shows in each and every corner of The Grid. We want to take The Grid to multiple cities in India. We would want to expand in Kolkata in the F&B industry with various other offerings other than The Grid,” said Gaurav Karnani, CEO, The Grid.
THE GRID (Ambience):
Spread across a massive 10,000 sq ft area, the place derives its name from its design. This kitchen and café cum brewery has been given a chic industrial look with minimalist lighting, chipped red brick walls and smart use of shipping containers. Take a look from level one and it looks like the whole space is divided into different grids, representing the varied zones. A ‘Network’ or ‘Reticulation’ in its truest sense ,that’s the design ingenuity of Ayaz Basrai – the man behind Church Street Social and Bombay Canteen.
“A good local pub has much in common with a church, except that a Pub is warmer and there is more conversation”- William Blake.
The Grid idea is spelled out in almost a teaser form on the front facade. The idea was to introduce the material language and the idea of the Grid on the front, and take guests through a narrower tunnel-like experience, and then create a big reveal, where the entire space opens itself out. The signage also follows the basic Grid idea, with a simple bold signage design, over an exposed brick wall. Even the logo was designed keeping the basic idea of changing grid formations in kind, the formations of the logo can be changed without changing the actual language.
The waiting area has throwback images that take you through different stages of making of the resto-pub clipped to its caged walls. Their 38 ft long Lego Bar is major attraction that has different Lego artworks that would take many down the memory lane. The seating is divided into different grids.
“Good people drink Good Beer” – Hunter S.Thompson.
The Beer Garden gives you garden feel with benches and creepers crawling through the grid like structure. At the top level they have The Asylum Room, a 12 seater soundproof conference and fine dining area that brings back memories of old fashioned cane iron chairs and also has a projector. The Cage is a favorite spot with its panoramic view of the entire club and custom made wooden seats. Adjacent to it is The Smoking Room (one of the largest in the city) that is a big hit with youngsters and is quite distinct with its military style chairs that offers from cigars to hookah.
The Grid is also a great place for Music lovers. The latest spot for private bash is Grid X, which boasts of separate DJ console, bar and the whole section is completely soundproof.
THE GRID (FOOD & DRINK):
Like the décor, the menu too tries to break out of the monotonous grind with their own variations on classics. The flavours have been tweaked a bit with names inspired from the region it comes from or the place that has inspired it.
The resto-bar cum microbrewery offers global cuisines with around 130 items on its menu. It serves regular café food, pizzas, pastas, burgers, grilled items and a whole of range of innovative dishes. Some of their items that are a must have here are Candolim beach’s Maria Lobo’s Fisherman Basket, Juhu Gymkhana’s coriander noodles, Bhindibazar Chicken Tikka inspired from Mumbai’s Bhindibazar and Parvez’s Chicken Centre.
About some Notable dishes:
To start with they have, Tokyo Chickpeas – tempura batter fried chickpeas tossed in togarashi spice, served with bell peppers and a hint of lemongrass. This is a crunchy start to things with sweet and sour flavours whetting your appetite. Next they have Juhu Gymkhana’s Coriander Noodles – stir fried noodles with veggies and green chutney. Slightly high on the spice quotient, this Indo-Chinese fusion has interesting flavours thanks to the fresh hit of coriander. The Bohri Style Mutton Keema Garlic Naan Rolls is a classic Kolkata dish with spicy minced keema stuffed between flaky paratha.
If you like Italian fare, then the Spaghetti Aglio Alio is something you must try. What makes it different is the smoked pasta used to prepare this giving it intense flavours. The Chicken Irani Biryani is also a delicate and aromatic dish that looks and taste like Kolkata biryani, but with imported Iranian berries imparting a fruity flavour to it. To conclude with a notable dessert, the in-house special Guptaji Chocolate Toast – a dessert prepared with grilled bread layered with gooey chocolate, assorted nuts and topped with chocolate and caramel sauce. It sounds really amazing!
“Beer is a proof that God loves us” – Benjamin Franklin.
They have quite an extensive cocktails menu that includes Smoky Tennessee, Trio Daiquiri, Skull Jamaican Candy and 3 Tomato Spicy Mary. The Drinks are so craftily made that each sip of a Drink has its own experience.
THE GRID (IN A NUTSHELL):
The Grid, a new entrant in the food scene of the city is a chic place for innovative global fare. The Grid checks all the points of being a go to place for an outright dining adventure right from the minute one steps in. The interior is given an industrial look with an emphasis on ‘grid’ wherever the eye wanders including a 38 ft lego bar styled with quirky lego blocks. The seating is spread all across at different levels from a beer garden at mezzanine level to a sunken seating, a closed door white space called the ‘asylum’ at the top level and so on. The food is global with an emphasis on local favourites with a twist wherever possible. Grid garlic naan rolls, keema matar scotch eggs, smoked spaghetti aglio olio and chicken berry pulav have been carefully crafted to given an unforgettable taste. The drinks are nothing short of a celebration with the a variety of cocktails including classic as well as some offbeat ones served up with style and theatre. The desserts are an ecstasy especially Guptaji’s chocolate toast.
Insider Tips on The GRID:
- Smokers would find this place exceptionally cool with the largest smoking area having tables and chairs to enjoy a drink or two along
- They have a soundproof room with a separate DJ console for small parties which can be booked in advance
- Weekends are usually packed, especially in the evenings. It is better to either reserve a table or enter the place by 7 pm to get the seat of your choice.