Perched on the 31st floor of The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat, Nori is taking Asian food to new heights, quite literally.
I can’t think of too many restaurants that can rival the panoramic views from Nori located on the 31st floor at The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat. Not just in Kolkata but in most Indian metros. In many ways this is a ‘window’ to the Kolkata of the 2020s. It’s certainly not very indistinguishable from the high-rise glass and concrete structures that have come to define the landscape in new neighbourhoods across Indian metros. But there’s one distinctive feature — Ecopark, a vast green expanse and the city’s newest weekend hangout. It’s not just the sweeping views of Ecopark that make Nori a must visit. It’s the scrumptious Asian fare that finds a delicate balance between comfort food and authentic flavours.
“Fresh, minimalistic, exquisite flavours and visual appeal are the philosophy behind the food at Nori,” Chef Gaurav Kumar, the head chef, sums up the philosophy behind Nori. The restaurant takes its name from the dried edible seaweed that is an integral part of Japanese cuisine, often used to wrap sushi rolls or onigiri (rice balls). A tradition that dates back over a thousand years with published records of onigiri being consumed at outdoor picnic lunches in the 11th century.
Japanese design elements and artefacts dominate Nori’s elegant interiors that are defined by its floor to ceiling windows with unobtrusive views. From decorative screens to swirling bamboo mats, they’re all in the mix. Our favourite space is a private ‘Tatami’ dining room which is also comfortable thanks to Western-style Japanese seating on a raised platform. While the private dining room is perfect for a business lunch or an intimate family occasion, we’d also recommend ringside seats at the teppanyaki grill counter where Chef Sanjit puts on quite a show with his juggling act.
The restaurant’s wine and spirits list has room for Japanese malts including one of my current favourites, the Yamazaki 12-Year-Old. Most premium pan-Asian restaurants showcase Asian-inspired cocktails. Nori is no exception. Nori’s popular cocktails with an Asian twist include Tokyo Mule, Tom Yum Siam and a Sake Sling.
“Our focus is on the natural simplicity of fresh ingredients handpicked from local and international markets,” says Kuntal Samantha, Restaurant Head, Nori. The restaurant’s sushi rolls reflect his definition of Nori’s culinary approach. They’re among the best you can find in Kolkata and also include quite a few vegetarian options.
Suggested read: Travel through North East India without leaving Kolkata
The menu also has room for Chinese specialities. We tried the crispy lotus fritters, the twice-cooked pork ribs and the popular Chongqing Mala Chicken. We’d definitely recommend starting your meal with one of their signature dim sums — the truffle-scented edamame has our vote. Do stay for dessert and try the simple yet delicious matcha cheesecake or the baked coconut custard. Nori has quickly become one of Kolkata’s preferred fine-dining venues and has taken Asian cuisine to a new high in more ways than one.
Nori is at The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat, Action Area – II, New Town, Rajarhat, Kolkata 700156; Phone: +91-33-40371234. Meal for 2: Rs 4,000