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Food: Tuck into biryani in a jar at this SoBo lounge

Sip on cocktails from hookah pots and crackle over papad-coned fare at a new, cosy Kemps Corner lounge

A much-needed breather from frequenting Lower Parel and Bandra hangouts, our ears perked up at the mention of District Lounge, the latest addition to Kemps Corner launching tomorrow.

Papad Chicken Tikka Roll. Pics/Bipin Kokate
Papad Chicken Tikka Roll. Pics/Bipin Kokate

Sunny Sara, Ritik Bhasin, Shashi Thadani (co-owners of Liv and 145) along with Rishi Acharya (of Tryst) have partnered with The Shalimar Hotel for District Lounge, which replaces the hotel’s earlier bar, Smooth.

Pot Full Of Pimms
Pot Full Of Pimms

Stepping in, we were teleported into a cosy, comfortable living room that presented a boho chic-meets-vintage grunge vibe with lit-up welded plumbing pipes and work-in-progress reproductions of Leonardo da Vinci sketches adorning the walls.

Paneer Lucknowi Biryani
Paneer Lucknowi Biryani

Focussing on North Indian flavours and quirky presentations, the lounge offers a variety of appetisers and limited mains, but an extensive drinks menu.

The interiors of District Lounge
The interiors of District Lounge

Pimm and proper
We began with the refreshing rum-based Plum & Basil Mojito (`525) and moved on to the smooth Elderflower Day (`650), with gin, tonic and elderflower liquor. While we observed one of Da Vinci’s sketches, a hookah pot appeared on our table.

The well-stocked bar
The well-stocked bar

It contained Pot Full Of Pimms (`1,500), a concoction of fruit slices, gin and Pimms liquor. Breezy, and generous-sized, it made for a great drink during the day. With a touch of orange-flavoured ice cubes, Twisted Mimosa (`700) took the classic champagne-and-orange juice mimosa cocktail to the next level.

Plum & Basil Mojito
Plum & Basil Mojito

Papad cone, anyone?
Among the vegetarian appetisers, we liked the Paneer Coin Paratha (`380), bite-sized parathas topped with spiced tandoori cottage cheese mash. A retainer from the Smooth menu, the crispy Open Chilli Cheese Toast (`280) came loaded with cheese and veggies.

Vermicelli Fish Fingers
Vermicelli Fish Fingers

The Bhuna Gosht Pav (`430) won us over with the melt-in-the-mouth cute mini pavs stuffed with succulent, flavoured mutton. Meanwhile, the crunchy Vermicelli Fish Fingers (`450) went well with the accompanied tartare sauce.

Bhuna Gosht Pav
Bhuna Gosht Pav

High on presentation, and mildly spiced with tender meat, the Papad Chicken Tikka Roll (`400) was another hit. Who knew papad could be such a good substitute for the roti version!

Paneer Coin Paratha
Paneer Coin Paratha

Of the mains (the recipes have been derived from Gulmurg, another restaurant housed in the hotel), we loved Paneer Lucknowi Biryani (`455) that was served in a jar. Well-cooked and richly spiced with generous amounts of fried dry fruits, crispy onions and soft cottage cheese, it made for a perfect end to the meal.

Twisted Mimosa
Twisted Mimosa

Opens from: January 7
Time: 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm and 6 pm to 1.30 am
At: The Shalimar Hotel, August Kranti Marg.
Call: 66641000

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