Kolkata is a charming mix of the old and the new, and Jalsa, the modern Indian restaurant located in the heart of the city at Ho Chi Minh Sarani, fits right into the eclectic mix. Housed inside a colonial building with a 100-year-old history, its interiors transport you to a distant era, yet exude a contemporary glamour.
The restaurant, co-owned by Harsh Sonthalia, Apurva Salarpuria and Aman Chitlangia, remains true to its name, Jalsa, meaning celebration.
“The interiors had to evoke a certain joie de vivre. With vibrant colours and art, the interiors set a happy mood for all kinds of celebrations, small and big,” says Ajay Arya, interior designer and founder of A Square Designs, who crafted this chic eatery.
Jalsa: History of Harrington Mansion
Harrington Mansion, within which the restaurant is located, is more than a century old and houses the iconic Harrington Street Art Centre on the second floor. The building was in dire need of repair and restoration, and came with its own set of challenges including dampness and peeling plaster. “We carried out civil restoration with some plaster work, and chemical treatment for the iron grills. It has a ceiling height of around 16 feet and we took care of the acoustics using cladding materials,” explains Arya.
The building retains its charming colonial façade, and the interiors were created in harmony with the exteriors. The original details were retained; big arches, arched windows and the high ceiling were given a face-lift.
Jalsa: Modern Regal
The entryway to the restaurant is quite narrow, but Arya wanted to create a showstopping element. The deep red walls, black and white striped marble flooring and some concealed mood lighting did the trick.