An open terrace, fun music that everyone identifies with, comfortable furniture and fiery, simple tongue-tingling food and drinks at cost-effective prices. That’s almost all it takes to create a bar that you can keep coming back to — for all the right reasons. You don’t go to WTF! because it’s the place to be seen at. You go there because it has a cheerful vibe, good food and you can afford to let your hair down without worrying about its tentacles reaching your wallet.
Whether you love the name or think it’s in bad taste, the quirky, pop-art bar certainly is fun. Wooden, paint-weary furniture and painted oil tin tops form part of the central bar walls and WTF!’s kitsch branding surrounds the fairy light lamps.
The value for money menu has a list of popular starters in vegetarian and non-vegetarian and just a couple of veggie and chicken mains. This is a regular bar and their menu is a strong statement of its identity. Their policy of Keep-It-Simple reflects in their drinks menu too — a list of popular alcohols at decent prices and just around half a dozen cocktails. Nothing pretentious here.
As the cool night breeze soothes our mall-weary souls, our Caipiroska (Rs 265) arrives. The time-tested mint, lemon, ice and vodka blend is a classic and WTF! does it well. We order some Masala Onion Rings (Rs 100) and the strong, spice-coated, crisp breaded onions dipped into spiked tarter heat up the chilly atmosphere. We dunk down some more of our cocktail and order for the Sri Lankan Beef (Rs 160). A generous portion of chunky to shredded meat in a fiery but solid onion-tomato base. Some more Caipiroska goes down.
This is an official visit so we decided to stay away, but, ideally, it was time for a second round of drinks and another round of appetisers. This time, we opted for a bar favourite, Aloo Channa Chakna (Rs 80). One bite of this small black chickpea, onions, tomatoes, chillies, coriander and chaat masala mixture and we can almost feel the waves lashing around our ankles on Mumbai’s beaches.
The appetisers were wholesome portions and after a couple of drinks to go along, most people won’t need any mains for the night. We are on duty and hence pay due diligence. So, we opted for a Mini Chicken Burger Platter (Rs 200) — this is again a starter but with four mini burgers, we converted it into a main. Each topped with a cherry tomato, it was a soft, pliable delight filled just to perfection with a concoction of shredded chicken sitting on a bed of crunchy iceberg lettuce. This is more than a complete meal by itself.
For those who can’t do without a traditional main, they can try the popular Kheema Pav (R200). The other options being a Chicken gravy with Parathas or a Veggie with Parathas. The Kheema arrived looking as delicious and fiery as everything else. It came with a couple of pavs, hot buttered and layered with masala as well. Thank god for our extra order of the paratha to repent for our fitness sins. The Mutton Kheema was well- done in true desi style and the layered paratha went fantastically with it.
Call us desi or Bombaiya in our choice of bars and bar food, but we enjoyed our experience at WTF! It does far better than a whole lot of snotty lounges around the city. Plus, they have some simple but warm service going around. A perfect place to unwind — an everyday hangout.