As Lower Parel welcomes two new vegetarian rooftop resto-bars, here's the verdict on how each fares on ambience, food and alcohol
On a Tuesday night, we navigated our way through the fairly dark and deserted Raghuvanshi Mill compound to visit its new vegetarian, rooftop bar. The open-air sheesha bar, the brainchild of three friends (the owners of Panayaa and Firki) is called Tre, which means three in Latin.
It is the newest entrant to Lower Parel's nightlife hub, Kamala Mills. 1Above is a rooftop resto-bar that launched last month. Started by Kripesh Sanghvi, Jigar Sanghvi and Abhijeet Mankar, the space offers vegetarian food and a variety of sheesha - think frozen melon, lychee sangria and pina colada. They've already hosted a wedding party and will soon have movie nights, music and stand-up comedy gigs.
The bar menu offers cocktails like Murabba Mule (Rs 393; bourbon shaken with murabba, galangal extract topped with gingerale), Paan Angoori (Rs 393; paan-infused, gin shaken with sour mix) and Jager LIIT (Rs 493; Jagermeister, sour mix and an energy drink). Among the mocktails, we settled for a Green Mango and Kiwi Slush (Rs 243). The frozen mix of raw mangoes and kiwi with chaat masala was refreshing.
The bar menu is extensive with more than a couple of options for malt and whisky fans. We liked the Creamy Mocha (Rs 675). The chocolate and coffee-drenched whisky cocktail had a creamy, frothy layer and a nice bitterness from the coffee. Similarly, the Whiskey and Nut (Rs 525) tasted like a whisky sour but with the flavours of apple and cinnamon. The menu also includes a section dedicated to Prohibition drinks. We liked the dry Negroni (Rs 800) but found the Sazerac (Rs 800) too bitter.
Green and Mango Kiwi Slush. Pics/Sneha Kharabe
The first level of Tre resembles a warmly lit brickhouse. With royal blue sofas and walls accessorised with geometric cut-outs of bottles, the space has a contemporary look. The dimly lit staircase with cool graffiti on the walls leads to the rooftop. The 2,100-sq ft asymmetrical space features cosy, white cabanas and offers a view of the city's high-rises. The rooftop serves as a designated smoking space with sheesha and a separate bar.
At the entrance is the DJ console, above which is a massive screen that we were told will soon show movies and matches. The resto-bar has slightly enclosed alcoves that skirt the edges of the space. There's a fun bar seating, with a floor that lights up as we walk onto it. A separate enclosed space, shielded by soundproof windows, is for private events. The music, when we visited, was peppy and played at a volume that didn't disturb conversation.
Garlic Pulla Pie
The menu is limited and offers basic fare. From the appetisers, we tried the Potato Trifolati (Rs 303). The baked baby potatoes seasoned with herbs had a mild flavour. The Garlic Pulla Pie (Rs 350) featured warm, soft, bread that came topped with onion, tomatoes, coriander (the kind you'd find on a bruschetta or a masala papad) and lots of garlic that lent it a delicious flavour. Next, we ordered for the Green Garlic Risotto (Rs 473). Cooked in a pesto base with hint of basil, the soft and creamy risotto was flavourful.
The food has the staples - dim sums and sushi, pizzas and pastas, and Indian food. Jerusalem Artichoke Cream (Rs 225) was a comforting, hot bowl of soup with crispy artichoke and a tasty chive cream. The Crunchy Cucumber Remoulade (Rs 325) was a light, refreshing green salad with cucumber, edamame and green apple slivers. The standout was the Kheema Pav (Rs 425) - the minced mushroom mixed with masala was as close as you could get to the non-vegetarian version and just as flavourful.
We would return here while the weather is still comfortable, for a quick, tasty snack and the relaxed open-air ambience.
TIME: 5 pm to 1 am at 25, Raghuvanshi Mills Compound, SB Road, Lower Parel.
We will return for a movie night or on other gig days to sip on the whisky cocktails and dig into some vegetarian kheema.
TIME: 6 pm to 1.30 am
AT: Kamala Trade House, 2nd Floor, Kamala Mills, Lower Parel.