Retro chic

Thursday night saw us drop in at the China Garden at five minutes to midnight, just as designer Abu Jani was about to cut his birthday cake. “It’s completely retro,” Moet and Chandon’s dynamic Gaurav Bhatia whispered to us about the evening that had been much awaited.

Sandeep Khosla, Jaya Bachchan and Abu Jani

Bhatia was referring to not only the music but also the location of the party itself at the site of the restaurant’s now defunct popular eighties lounge the Piano bar, the scene of much revelry and glamour two decades ago, where the likes of Princess Ira Von Furstenberg and Hyderabad’s Princess Esra would party.

To be sure, Abu’s party was a worthy successor to the Piano Bar legacy with the likes of Jaya Bachchan, Neetu Kapoor, Amrita Singh, Christian Louboutin, Rima Kapoor, Poonam Bhagat, Jean-Francois Lesage, Rita Dhody, Hasina Jethmalani, Rocky Malhotra, Pinky and Sanjay Reddy in attendance.

Neetu Kapoor and Christian Louboutin

By the time we got there, the Bollywood numbers had got every one on the floor, Nelson Wang ‘s legendary Manchurian fare was much appreciated and the party looked like it would go on well in to the wee hours of the morning.

High point of the evening? Terminal 2’s celebrated creator Sanjay Reddy’s mean moves on the dance floor!

Love me, love my shoes
We’d broken dim sum with him at the Abu Jani party on Thursday night and had discussed our mutual admiration for the films of Pedro Almodovar, a close friend of his, so the next morning we saw designer Wendell Rodricks post about wearing internationally celebrated designer Christian Louboutin’s creations when he’d gone to receive his Padma Shri at Rashtrapathi Bhavan, we could only smile.

Wendell Rodricks

‘Vice President and daughter obviously share my shoe fetish. They were fixated on the metal tipped Louboutin brogues’ wrote the Goa-based fashion icon.

What are you doing in Mumbai, we’d managed to ask Louboutin once we’d established film cred. “I’m here in connection with my new store in Bandra,” he’d replied.

Given his high profile fans in Delhi perhaps his next stop should be in the Capital.

Eggs Kejriwal anyone?
He may be the toast of liberal society but Thursday evening when we dined at a leading Sobo club with a select group that included actress Anju Mahendroo, author Kishwar Desai, economist Lord Meghnad Desai, journalists Anil Dharker and Amy Fernandes, policy wonk Vikram Mehta, museumologist Tasneem Mehta and lyricist Prasoon Joshi, Kejriwal was the main choice as a dinner option. 

Lord Meghnad Desai, Kishwar Desai, Prasoon Joshi, Tasneem Mehta

How so? Well, nearly all guests opted for the club’s famous Eggs Kejriwal on the menu.

Yes, it came scrambled but was not flaky. And no, it was not a political decision.

Anil Dharker

Hats in the air!
A proud moment for our friends Camellia Panjabi and Namita and Ranjit Mathrani. Their one Michelin star restaurant Amaya in the heart of London’s Belgravia is the only ‘Indian’ restaurant to make it to the prestigious Elite Traveller and Champagne Laurent-Perrier annual list of the world’s 100 best restaurants, published two days ago. 

With Amaya making it to 76 on the list which saw two of Heston Blumenthal’s restaurants occupying both third and 23rd place, and Britain’s second entry in the top 10 as the two-Michelin star The Ledbury in London’s Notting Hill— it is a rare honour indeed.

But the absence of any other Indian restaurant on the list will disappoint many an Indian chef like London’s Karam Sethi or Bangkok’s Gaggan Anand we are sure.

However, India’s tally could be notched up a little if one counts Zuma, which made it to the 99th spot as an Indian restaurant (it’s promoters are Indian). And for those interested here are the top ten restaurants on the list:

1. Alinea, Chicago, US
2. DANIEL, New York, US
3. Fat Duck, Berkshire, UK
4. Eleven Madison, New York, US
5. Le Bernardin, New York, US
6. El Celler Can Roca, Spain
7. Azurmendi, Spain
8. La Pergola, Rome, Italy
9. The Ledbury, London, UK
10. Osteria Francescana, Italy

Easy Ridin’ Rolls
Blame it on Rajneesh (in picture) but ever since His Grooviness went ahead and decided that the gates of heaven could only be reached in a Rolls Royce, the car has occupied a special place in the hearts of Indians.

Given that the legendary limo gets to be sold in a shopping mall, the fact that it’s journey in these parts often leaves much to be desired does not come as a surprise.

Gone are the days when the car was revered for its stately presence. A few days ago our attention was brought to a rather curious sight of a Rolls Royce painted with skull heads across its entire lower body.

Its occupants, a Mr and Mrs Big Bucks were exiting Bandra’s Nido in their contraption with their Indian bodyguards, foreign bouncers and sundry hangers-on when we spotted them. Who are they we enquired from a passing cop. And were not surprised to hear the names of a prominent builder’s family.

The latest term of reference
And all ye who still say ‘babes’ should be cognizant that the word that’s au courant in air-kissing gal pal circles these days is ‘darl’- short for ‘darling’. 

Kangana Ranaut 

Simi Garewal uses it in her SMSes, as does Kangana Ranaut (and given their mutual admiration society for each other may be one picked it up from the other). Sandeep Khosla meanwhile prefers its longer form ‘darling’, Taken from the Ajit ‘Mona darling’ dialogues perhaps and in keeping with the retro Bollywood wave that’s sweeping dance floors and fashion runways these days, it appears to be on everyone’s lips. Not babe, not sweetie, not honey — but ‘darl’.

Simi Garewal

Now how long before the brigade changes all nouns from singular to plural and that mangled babe to babes will change it to ‘darlings’?

A music lover at Customs
Often life is stranger than fiction. Given that our sources bring in information from all directions, a tip off that intrigued us even while it amused, was the fact that the enigmatically named Yo Yo Honey Singh was apprehended at T2 at Customs last week for carrying a suitcase full of protein shakes. 

Honey Singh

Apprehended for carrying protein shakes? We never thought they were illegal substances.

Or may be the Customs officer was just a music aficionado?

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