Afraa had been the first restaurant we had decided to visit after moving back to Kolkata. Our son was just eleven months then and we chose to skip having a meal there eventually because not a single listing on any of the sites related to food or restaurant mentioned it as kid friendly. An almost impulsive decision to go at the City Centre Mall on the first weekend of the year finally got me to visit Afraa Restaurant and I definitely felt that this should have happened much before.
Afraa lounge is located on the sixth floor and the restaurant on the seventh floor. We had visited on a Saturday afternoon and it is always advisable to reserve a table beforehand because they run packed houses most of the time. The seating area comprises of well spaced out cozy chairs and tables. They also have high chairs available for the kids. The best part is the area that gives a gorgeous view of the city and it’s timeline. They have well designed arrangements for a large gathering and it came as no surprising to see two of the areas meant for family union abuzz with people. The place has beautiful interiors that makes one feel welcome and comfortable. It is chic and spells class. On a Saturday afternoon, the natural light from the sun was enough to keep the place running – glass panes and windows add to the overall look and feel of the restaurant.
Between buffet and A La Carta, we decided to give the buffet a try. They had a collection of salads, sausages, breads and chat in the starters. What caught my fancy was the chicken rings and fish starter that were served on the table. The main course deserves a special mention. They had a wide range of items in the main course. Though I would say the rice items probably need to have atleast one more add-on. I could find only peas onion pulao and steamed rice. The burnt garlic noodles had a great taste. The vegetarian section had diced potato massaman curry, dal jugalbandi and char grilled vegetable lasagna. The lasagna happens to be one of the best that I have tasted and I can keep going back to Afraa only for this dish. In the non vegetarian section, they had prawn alfredo, sliced fish in chili oyster sauce, oven roast chicken with red wine and bhuna gosht adraki. While fish tasted the best with the noodles, the mutton found its perfect combination with butter roti. It is rare to find a spread that has every item meeting a benchmark standard in terms of taste and quality and I must give extra credit to the chef for the superior quality of this buffet spread. They also had a live counter serving Mongolian dish that day. The spicy mongolian rice dish was simply mind-blowing. In the dessert items, they had an assortment of tarts, small-sized pastries and mousse in different flavors like orange, mango, strawberry along with cut fruits, mihidana sweets and icecream. My toddler was enamored by the yummylicious orange flavored pastry and mihidana. The buffet gave an option of choosing an alcoholic or non alcoholic beverage juice based lemon flavored drink that was recommended was indeed delightful. Overall the buffet spread is elaborate covering a variety of options in non vegetarian dishes specially.
After being seated at our table, it took around five to seven minutes before a staff attended to us. Barring this small initial hiccup, the service at the restaurant deserves to be classified as exemplary. The staff who attended to us – Amrit ensured that every need was catered to even before we asked. The starters arrived piping hot at our table and Amrit repeatedly kept checking on our need of roti/ dishes from the live counter. He even went an extra mile and arranged to get a small glass of juice for my toddler. That gesture indeed made our visit extra memorable. I spotted quite a few families enjoying their meal with kids at Afraa and I definitely consider this place to be kid friendly. Courteous and polite staffs with a strong will to serve definitely makes Afraa score an extra brownie point in attracting and retaining customers.
The lunch buffet from Monday to Saturday is priced at Rs.749 inclusive of taxes. Considering the range of items in the delicious spread inclusive of the beverage and taxes, I would consider this to be a steal deal.
My rating across various parameters would be –
Ambiance – 4.5
Food – 5
Service – 4.5
Price – 5
Overall – 4.75
The charming ambiance coupled with delicious food leading to appetite satiation along with the impeccable service with a pricing that doesn’t pinch the pocket makes this as a coveted destination for experiential dining with friends and family.
Link to the review on TripAdvisor is –