When we walked into a mall that was preparing to shut at 10 pm, we weren’t sure of what to expect from a nightclub right there set to open its doors to patrons next week. Located on the first floor of Kurla’s Phoenix Marketcity, Nook, just like its name, is nestled in a quiet corner. We opened a door to take a flight of steps, lined by shimmery brass chains that led to the entrance of the club. By this time, the décor had managed to make us forget we were in mall, offering a sense of seclusion, which we liked.
All dressed up
In appearance, the latest offering by Bellona Hospitality, the food and beverage arm of Phoenix Mills Ltd, (think Craft Deli.Bistro.Bar and 212 Café & Bar) is a mix between a groovy nightclub and lounge. Just as we were wondering why go to Kurla for a nightclub, owner Romil Ratra reasoned, “The entertainment hub is shifting to the suburbs. Within a period of a year or so, the suburban population will be monopolising nightlife. Also, Kurla’s close proximity to BKC and the corporate catchment made us pick the place.”
Chicken Malai Roll
Our attention was diverted to a well-stocked bar on the right flanked by a series of eight cocoon-like seating spaces called the Nooks, built on a slight elevation to ensure a sense of privacy to guests who reserve tables. The brass chains made an appearance here too, this time in a floor-to-ceiling avatar and changed colours to give an understated discotheque feel. Two of the eight nooks come with a private built-in bar and personal butler.
Song and dance
The music, unlike most pubs does not change according to the day of the week. We enjoyed latest chartbusters along with music which we hadn’t heard in ages. DJ Emaan Shah (who had a long stint at Dome previously) played everything from RnB, Hip Hop, EDM to a bit of Bhangra and Bollywood tracks too.
Nook’s dancefloor exudes a trippy vibe. Pics/Satej Shinde
Food and poison
The bar menu included the usual spirits, wines, beer, cocktails along with a ‘by the bottle’ section for larger groups. The first cocktail we tried turned out to be the one we enjoyed the most. The Fruit & Nut (R600), a heady mix of vodka, an almond base, red berries and homemade cream mix, was perfect for those who don’t like an overpowering taste of alcohol in their cocktails. Next, we sipped the Midnight Whisper (Rs 600) which featured vodka, white wine, olives and lime juice. It was a bit too stiff. Then came the Wild Night (Rs 600). We enjoyed the combination of vodka, red wine and orange juice.
Careful not to drink too much without having nibbles, we browsed through the food menu, which mainly included bar bites like tapas, thin crust pizzas, kathi rolls, chicken wings and sliders prepared by Chef Paul Kinny. We picked the Calamari Tempura (Rs 400). The pieces of calamari were perfectly crunchy and came with pickled mayo. We recommend the House Pizza (Rs 340), topped with smoked bell peppers, mushrooms, roasted artichoke, baby spinach and mozzarella. It worked perfectly with slightly sour cocktails, even wine and beer.
Thumbs up: What we liked most about the club was the UberSAFE Breathalyser, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the city by Nook and Uber. The club has installed a Breathalyser booth, which is a kiosk that analyses the alcohol content in a patron’s blood. We made our way to the booth, blew into the kiosk, with a straw (that was opened from its packaging in front of us). The device measured the alcohol levels in our blood. If your reading is over the legal limit, you receive a free first Uber ride home up to Rs 150. To date, UberSAFE has been launched only in Toronto.
The Chicken Malai Roll (Rs 340), stuffed with tender pieces of marinated chicken and onions rolled in a soft, thin roti, made for a filling snack option. Of the vegetarian fare, we tried the Pan Tossed Cottage Cheese (Rs 300), made with basil and thyme infused chunks of cottage cheese and Vegetable Parcels (Rs 300), which resembled mini samosas with a thin coating, stuffed with a spiced veggie mix. Both were finished within minutes.
We liked the idea of having a space that’s different from the pubs, resto-bars and breweries that seem to be the latest rage. So bring out LBDs and stilettos, and dance the night away in Kurla.
On: Open from Wednesday to Saturday (starting March 5)
Time: 9 pm to 1.30 am
At: First floor, Phoenix Marketcity, Kurla (W).
(Dress code: Closed shoes mandatory for men. Entry via guest list)