It's a rocking urban jungle out there!
Birds and animals seem to be have taken over the city's eating out scenario with owners of several new (and not-so-new) nightspots and restaurants drawing inspiration from the animal world. Dhara Vora decided to delve deeper into this emergent animal farm
For a while now, a drunken monkey, a coloured frog, a white owl, a dog who loves his leisure time, a horse and many other creatures seem to have created a niche for themselves in Mumbai’s buzzing eating out lists.
Animal farm unveiled
While iconic eateries such as Sher-E-Punjab chose to boast their Punjabi lineage, other more recent additions like Cheval sought French inspiration. “At first, we had sourced a branding company’s help to fix on a name for the restaurant, but even after a month we couldn’t decide on anything.
We had heard of a French restaurant named Cheval Noir, which means black horse and that’s when we thought, keeping our location (Kala Ghoda) and cuisine (European) in mind, we should name it Cheval or horse,” reasons Ritik Bhasin one of the partners of the new restaurant.
Dog days, barking deer...
Close to Cheval is TLD (previously known as The Lazy Dog) at Horniman Circle (also at Powai), named after one of its promoter’s much-loved Dalmatian, the late Tsar, whose philosophical belief was to just be and chase nothing. In contrast, the owners of The Barking Deer (TBD) tread into India’s jungles for inspiration: “We wanted a name which had an Indian connect.
The Barking Deer is found in several parts of India. Also, we wanted something quirky, fun and representative of what to expect from our beer — a taste you wouldn’t believe a beer would ever give you, like you wouldn’t expect a deer to bark,” says Gregory Kroitzsh, one of owners of the new brewery in Lower Parel. Close to TBD is another new brewery The White Owl, also in Lower Parel, whose avian inspiration is meant to woo officegoers post work at night into their brewery-cum-bistro.
But monkeys seem to be the most popular choice; Bonobo has been around for a while, 3 Wise Monkeys opened in Khar last year and Drunken Munkey in Andheri is the latest.
“We wanted the name to be something ridiculous and witty, which is when (after several deliberations) we chose Drunken Munkey as ours is a lounge where we serve South East Asian food, hence the connect with the martial art form too,” says Harshall Kamat, one of the owners of the lounge.
Incidentally, Fat Cat Café occupied the place before Drunken Munkey took over, “Curiosity killed the cat,” jokes Kamat. Birds and animals aside, city’s much-loved music venue Blue Frog’s inspiration still is a mystery, “It is an enigma, none of us founders can remember how we fixed on Blue Frog; there really is no logic!” Srila Chatterjee, one of the co-founders informed us.