Oh, it does make a nice change to write an article which isn't going to be one of those reviews that tries to change the fortunes of an establishment that has been getting a heap of bad press...
A friend of mine suggested a much needed beverage after another week of slog in the office. And strangely, we both suggested this place simultaneously.
Soon enough we were being warned by the security guard, who opened the door for us, to mind the step down as you enter. Where I come from, it's more likely that you fall out of bars not into them ;o)
And what a bijou find this is. Small, but perfectly formed, the interiors are great. It reminded me of Western-style bars, and Mumbai has very few of these. And please don't refer me to Firangi Paani or Geoffrey's - the architects of these places have not been outside the state of Maharashtra during the course of their research on interiors. Or they've been getting advice from firangis after they've had one too many beers ;o)
Back to the story: The staff were primed ready for action and we were greeted by Sanjay, who was only too happy to try and please. Once settled into one of the super-comfy booth-style tables (not sure where the barrel tables have gone, but we didn't spot them) it was time to decide on a cocktail/glass of wine.
The prices are very good value, and the cocktails/wine menu pretty extensive. My only suggestion was that the cocktails were all pretty much on the sweet side. It would have been nice to have had more "drier" options.
No matter, as soon as this comment was mentioned to the mixologist in residence, he went "off menu" and was more than willing to mix anything that we liked. Gold star for that effort, young man.
And the same was to be said for the food. We asked for recommendations, and suddenly we were offered items not on the menu. Again, top marks for service.
The staff looked happy and eager to please. Not servile, just as it should be, but which you don't often find. The food was good (have the prawn appetiser - this was amazing - and only Rs 200 for a whole heap of jinga). We managed to squeeze in an entree and still have space for pudding too.
The food, plus a fair amount of alcohol cost us about Rs 2k each, which by most standards is pretty damned reasonable. This place is an ideal place to wind down post-work. It's not too big, nice and intimate, good music, and a formal dining area if you don't want to slob it out in a booth. Even the bathrooms had the "wow" factor. Seems that no detail, no matter how small, has been overlooked here. Faultless.
I only wish Mumbai/Bandra had more places like this.