When you think about where to have a gala time in South Kolkata, the first name that crops up in mind is Park Street, and rightly so. It is THE party street in the city of joy. Park Street has it all — distinguished landmarks, famous showrooms, eateries with the most delicious cuisine, the hippest bars, the best kathi roll shop, and even premier educational institutes like Max Mueller Bhavan, cenotaphs and tombs of prominent historical figures from the colonial times and more.
Now, with new establishments being constructed every now and then, Park Street has become this interwoven tapestry of nostalgia dating back centuries combined with contemporary opulence. The renowned thoroughfare beautifully weaves itself into the fabric of the city, and Park Street’s latest addition, AMPM ingeniously embraces this sentiment in its design. AMPM Park Street is a café & bar that transports guests to a bygone era while seamlessly incorporating modern aesthetics.
AMPM draws inspiration from the city's legendary British-era clubs, which have long been at the heart of its social scene. However, it offers a coeval twist that sets it apart. The space effortlessly transitions from a daytime coffee haven to an evening venue for live music, cocktails, and engaging conversations. In a city divided between colonial-era bastions and high-decibel bars, AMPM Park Street suffuses the gap with its mellow and versatile café-cum-bar experience.
Stepping into AMPM Park Street is like stepping into a time machine and winding the clocks back. As you exit the elevator, black-and-white chequerboard tiles pave your way into a corridor adorned with sepia-tinted prints and antique objets d'art sourced from Kolkata's auction houses. A bright red Remington Travel-Riter Monarch Typewriter, antique glass lamps, and gilt-edged mirrors captivate the senses. The walls are adorned with black-and-white photographs of early 20th-century cricketers and polo players, reminiscent of Kolkata's club culture. Trio hand-painted blackboards proudly display the names of rock, pop, and jazz legends, paying homage to the city's musical heritage.
The café-cum-bar expands into an elegant Art Deco-inspired space. Divided into different sections with stylish signage, AMPM Park Street boasts a fusion of Jazz-era glamour and contemporary sophistication. Rattan and tufted sofas, gold accents, and a captivating monochromatic palette create an atmosphere of refined elegance. The walls feature niches adorned with books, musical instruments, vintage mirrors, sports equipment, and statuary, adding character and intrigue. Large windows invite abundant natural light during the day, while the mood lighting sets a captivating tone as the lull of evening sets in.
AMPM Park Street showcases two focal points—the sprawling island bar and the stage. The former is divided up between its coffee counter and bar while the latter occupies center stage in the main seating area. This thoughtful layout offers guests a variety of seating options, moods, and physical spaces. Rajan Sethi, the co-founder of AMPM, envisions each establishment as a distinct entity, catering to the specific characteristics of its location. The Kolkata outpost sets itself apart by offering live music performances instead of relying on traditional DJ consoles. The stage becomes a platform for local singers and bands, promoting homegrown talent and adding a vibrant energy to the space.
The café-cum-bar's crowning jewel is its exceptional coffee program. Ngarum, the in-house brand, takes pride in serving freshly roasted coffee sourced from Nagaland. These single-origin nano lot coffee beans are meticulously sorted and roasted at OMO café, another venture by Bright Hospitality under the guidance of chef Vanshika Bhatia. Ngarum coffee finds its way into an array of delectable brews on the menu, as well as craft cocktails that captivate the palate. Indulge in the Park Street Negroni, where coffee-infused whisky dances with other harmonious flavors, or savor the Before PM Martini, an exquisite blend of Bengali chili liqueur, tequila, and Ngarum espresso. Classic cocktails receive a local twist, such as the AMPM Old Fashioned, featuring Aberfeldy 12 whisky, nolen gur, orange, and bitters. The bar aims to elevate the coffee and cocktail experience, offering a harmonious fusion of flavors.
The culinary offerings at AMPM Park Street are a testament to its diverse menu. Executive chef Ayush Sood orchestrates a symphony of tastes, taking inspiration from Indian, European, and Bengali cuisines. From hearty pasta dishes and flavorful tacos to delectable toasts and satisfying sandos, the daytime menu caters to varied palates. Indulge in a traditional Spaghetti Puttanesca or embark on a culinary adventure with an Old Calcutta Pork Sausage Taco. Continental classics like Fish and Chips, made with Kolkata bhetkti, and Chicken a la Kiev add a touch of familiarity to the menu.
As the evening unfolds, AMPM Park Street unveils an enticing range of tapas and small plates. Delight in BBQ Corn Ribs with a refreshing mojito crema or savor the flavorful Goan Chorizo Masala stuffed in a poi. The Bacon and Blue Cheese Kulchas offer a tantalizing combination of textures and flavors. For those seeking a light snack, the assortment of Crispies featuring kur kuri bhindi, kaccha kela, and shakarkandi paired with a dip of beetroot pachadi is a delightful choice. To conclude the culinary journey, the desserts strike a perfect balance between sweet and savory. The Matcha Phirni, made with gobindobhog rice and garnished with candied pistachios, offers a unique twist. For those with a penchant for local flavors, the Nolen Gur Cheesecake drizzled with extra virgin olive oil is an absolute delight. A standalone espresso shot serves as a delightful finale to any meal, be it day or night. The café-cum-bar is still in its nascent stage and the menu will evolve in the days to come with seasonal cues and guest feedback.
AMPM Park Street beckons visitors with its enchanting ambiance, meticulously crafted beverages and an enticing array of culinary creations. It stands out among the restaurants on Park Street, promising a unique and unforgettable experience that will leave guests yearning for more.
AMPM Park Street
Location: 5th Floor, Park Centre, 24, Park Street
Price: ₹3,000 plus taxes (Meal for two with alcohol approx)
Timings: 11 am-midnight
You can find out more the AMPM Park Street here.
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