6 Ballygunge Place just got bigger and better — a t2 first look 

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  • Published 2.12.15
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The haath-pakha decor continues across the ground floor, that houses three dining rooms along with a dedicated space for the buffet — all done up in tones of white, gold and grey. We loved the showplates, designed by Sharbari Datta specially to go with the new look. The good news? The 6BP buffet will be available for both lunch and dinner now. Pocket pinch: Rs 475-plus per person (Monday-Friday), Rs 550-plus per person on Saturday and Rs 650-plus per person on Sunday. 

Isit a Puja pandal? Is it the set for the shoot of a period film? No, it’s a restaurant and that too our good ol’ 
6 Ballygunge Place!

After being shut for more than three months for renovation, the restaurant is now ready to open with a completely new look and feel. It has also become bigger and better, as the entire building housing the restaurant has been integrated into one unit. 

t2 loved the chandelier made of traditional Bengali kitchen equipment like the kuruni, bonti, khunti and dabba, just above the central buffet table.

The first two floors will take care of you, the regular diner, with the seating capacity jumping from 82 to 155 covers. The third floor has been converted into a banquet space for 100-120 guests, which can go up to 175 if the rooftop is also included.

The babu-bibi culture of yesteryear Bengal is best captured in this room on the first floor. “The form, figure and brilliant colour compositions of Lalu Prosad Shaw’s works were transliterated architecturally in the form of hand-painted walls, furniture and lighting design,” said architect Abin Chaudhuri who played a key role in the renovation of the restaurant. t2 hearts the cushions and chair-backs with the babu-bibi motifs. “Decor, uniform, crockery, menu cards are the various touch points we have tried to address during the makeover, giving it a Bangaliana all the way,” said Aninda Palit, a founder-director of Savourites Hospitality.

“We plan to open the restaurant this week. This is the first time in the past 12 years that we have gone for a renovation. We wanted to gift something new to our customers. We’ve spent close to Rs 14 crore to give shape to what you see now,” said S. Ramani, one of the three founder-directors of Savourites Hospitality, the umbrella organisation running the restaurant.

t2 took a tour of the new-old place with plans to be back for more exploration — of spaces and ‘savourites’.

On the first floor, you cannot but marvel at the grandness of the space with its chessboard flooring, high ceiling, flanking balconies, louvred windows (khorkhori janala in Bengal) and arched doorways. From Tagore’s Sahaj Path sketches to patachitra, different art forms dress up the five dining areas.

6BP now has a dedicated reception-cum-waiting area. Decked out in the style of a traditional drawing room in a “thinking Bengali household”, complete with teak wood armchairs, Victorian-style corner tables with a globe here and a silver ashtray there, the space reminds one of a bonedi barir baithak-khana. You can’t miss the light shade in the form of a giant haath-pakha (hand fan), an archetypal leitmotif in the design across the three floors.

Mamoni Chitrakar from Pingla, West Midnapore, has come up with these cat-and-fish imageries on Kalighat saras (convex earthen pitchers) that adorn the bright yellow walls. Brownie points for the gramophone in the corner. #vintage

A floor-to-ceiling patachitra by Mamoni Chitrakar brightens up the black-white-grey facade at the entrance of a private dining room (PDR). The picture of rural women making pithe-puli speaks volumes about Bengal’s love for desserts. The PDR has a Victorian look with crystal chandelier, light cream and deep chocolate curtains, plus a coffee-coloured wall with a stucco finish. It can be used for private parties for a group of 10 to 12 diners. 

ON THE PLATTER

Roasted Lamb

The Bengali specialities on the menu are the same. A few Continental dishes have been added. “When we opened in 2003 we had a few Continental dishes that we discontinued after a few years. As our catering services have become popular, our guests keep asking for those dishes. So we introduced some on the new menu. We call them Continental Bengali!” said Sushanta Sengupta, a founder-director of Savourites Hospitality. So expect “colonial specialities” such as Grilled Fish, Chicken A La Kiev and Roasted Lamb. A meal for two will cost around Rs 1,250-plus. And yes, take some time to go through the menu card (below) as it has poems, pictures, sketches and short notes from a traditional Bengali kitchen to keep you busy till your food arrives.

Luchi and Kosha Mangsho

Sibendu Das
Pictures: Pabitra Das

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