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Dinner Under The ‘Skky’!


Unless you’re afraid of heights, the view from the top is always the finest. Capitalising on their vertical advantages, many hotels are creating chic bars and lounges on their rooftops – giving guests and night owls a fabulous open-air space to soak up the view along with sumptuous starters and a few signature cocktails. Nivedita Jayaram Pawar checks out the all-new and inventive Skky lounge where the architecture and interiors are as exciting as the food it serves.

You step out of the elevator and it hits you: the cool breeze, lush green views, softly lit tables and swaying frangipani trees. You’ve arrived at the Skky Lounge just in time to snag a table amidst water bodies with floating candles and watch the sun dip slowly behind the city’s architectural landmarks. It’s going to be one memorable dinner!

Design Dynamics 
Savvy restaurant owners know that open-air dining makes good business sense, and with outdoor space at a premium in cities, they’re looking skyward. Sitting atop Ramada Hotel in Powai, Mumbai, Skky oozes effortless chic with white sofas, wood flooring and numerous water bodies. The city’s first official terrace restaurant, Skky spreads across 8,500 sq.ft., offering an unobstructed and captivating view of the sky. With stars twinkling above and a scenic view of the mountains all around, it offers an ideal setting for the Pan Asian cuisine it serves.

Stylishly modest and characteristically muted, Skky is the sort of place where your eyes can’t decide where to focus because there’s so much vying for attention. The vastness of the lounge is broken up by the water bodies that separate the tables and also exude privacy to diners. Regardless of where you sit, there’s always something to distract you from your iPhone, be it the large LED screen playing football matches or the show kitchen where sushi is being rolled up. Skky is also home to one of the longest bars in the city, which measures up to 510 sq.ft. The kitchen is designed in the open-style format, so you can observe Chef De Cuisine Rohan Koppikar and his team slaving earnestly in their spotless whites and caps. The lounge also has a Tepanyaki counter where Chef Neetesh indulges guests with his flair cooking. The wood flooring  lends a contemporary feel to the environs; it’s rightly balanced by low lighting and an attentive staff.
“The hectic city life takes a toll on people. Mumbaites needed a place where they could unwind and relax over great food and drinks; a place within the city, yet away from it. Skky has been designed as a classy and elegant lounge. It has a rustic touch coupled with elements of fine dining to match the temperament of a well travelled enthusiast. The water bodies that flow uniformly throughout the space, the trees and the flower pots add to the vastness of space,” explains Nikhil Raheja, Director, Ramada Powai Group.

Skky has been put together by designer Pronith Nath, who worked with an aim to create a private dining area for each guest. Apart from the tables is a corner with a 12-seater sofa next to the display kitchen and screen, which is the most sought after spot at Skky. Lounge music adds to the ambience as does dim lighting.

Food Facts
One of the pleasures of eating out in Mumbai is the opportunity for diners to travel around the world without a passport or jet lag! Living in a commercial capital brings you close to China, Japan or Vietnam, if only for lunch or dinner. Skky serves Pan Asian cuisine (read Thai, Malay, Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese). But if you’re not in for something Oriental, you can always ask for a pizza.

Koppikar’s cuisine is particularly attractive as it is light, very fresh and quite healthy. (The restaurant claims the food served at Skky has zero trans fat.) The menu is presented on a tablet, which shows the dishes with a picture while listing ingredients alongside it. The first few courses highlight these characteristics. In particular, the dim sums at Skky make a stellar impression. Shaped like half-moons, the packets are so thin you can see the chopped greens inside; each bite is also meaty with juicy ground chicken. Accompanied by a mix of sweet soy, sweet chilli, coriander, and burnt chilli dip, they make delectable starters. The dragon rolls break fresh ground, too. Dragon-shaped roll of tempura prawn fritters, yellow finned tuna and grilled eel, glazed with teriyaki, tobiko and Japanese mayonnaise is served with wasabi, pickled ginger and Kikkoman. Each mouthful is a salty, smoky joy.

The other fare worth trying includes the Vegetable  California Rolls. Asparagus, cucumbers and avocado are staples in Japanese rolls, but nowhere has it been as appealing as here, where the sticky rice is joined by chilled cucumber and toasted sesame. Even the Teppanyaki Rice, flecked with chicken and veggies, stands out.
The desserts are portioned as if Goliath were their recipient. Plan to share; and ensure that someone orders either the hand-churned Green Tea ice creams or the Tub Tim Krob (sweetened fresh coconut cream with water chestnuts). The Chocolate Zaike Shahi (chocolate stuffed sweet dumplings topped with condensed milk) also makes for great endings.