mid-day exclusive: New nightclub in Worli is inspired by exotic Dutch dancer Mata Hari
Borrowing from the life and times of Mata Hari, the exotic Dutch dancer and spy, a new nightclub in Worli charms us with its gold doors, massive dancing space and comforting eats
Sweet & Sour Roast Eggplant Bao
A huge, sepia-toned, sexy portrait of Mata Hari welcomed us into Matahaari, a new nightclub slated to open tonight at Worli's Atria Mall. Staring at us with mysterious eyes and clad in a two-piece that accentuated her curves, was the exotic Dutch dancer, who beckoned us into the 7,500 sq ft space, designed to look like her boudoir.
The black-and-gold themed nightclub, owned in partnership by BR Shetty, an experienced hotelier, and architect Bobby Mukherji (spearheaded by Paulomi Shah), is divided into three sections.
A portrait of Mata Hari and a bar dedicated to champagne and wine near the entrance. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
We walked past an ornate golden door into a lounge section with a chandelier-lit bar dedicated only to champagne and wine. Then, we came face to face with a faucet basin that was in the centre of a black-tiled vanity chamber with no partitions.
Beyond a library wall holding faux hardbacks lay the VVIP section dressed up as Mata Hari's parlour, dotted with gold clutches, irons and other items that would have been of use to her every day.
Finally, we entered the main arena featuring a long bar, a massive wooden dance floor surrounded by booths with gleaming golden couches and individual butler service. “Every element has been inspired by her life. For instance, we’ve put horse busts in the decor because she was enjoyed horse-riding,” shared Shah, who — to add to the theme — also scouted through a number of outfits to pick two black-and-gold pieces designed by Manish Arora, which will be on display in glass cases. “These suited Mata Hari’s personality the best.” On another side was a DJ console where Trap or Twerk are a strict no-no since the team plans to draw in those older than millennials.
Along with the interiors, the food and drink menu, conceptualised by Nikhil Merchant, is also an extension of the theme. The five signature cocktails, with names synonymous to the dancer, are versions of the classics served during the pre-Prohibition era. We fell in love with the gin and sparkling wine-infused Femme Fatale (`950), a gorgeous violet version of the French 75 that replaced orange juice with elderflower. Another favourite was the Aphrodisia (`950), a smooth tequila-based drink with egg white foam, tinged with lemongrass and cocoa dust.
Hints of her Asian ancestry find their way into the eats section peppered with Chinese, Japanese and Thai fare, along with Indian dishes that would appeal to those who crave a kathi roll post a night of heavy dancing. The menu offers equal options in vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare, with a separate Jain menu too. The dishes included sushi and maki rolls, salad bowls, baos, Kare Pan (Japanese curry bread), noodle bowls and steamed miso-marinated packets of sea bass or silken tofu. A burst of zesty Asian flavours greeted us as we mopped up kaffirlime laced Thai Herbs Avocado Salsa (`450) with bread crackers. The Chicken Yakitori (`550) scored due to its fall-off-the-skewer meat glazed with a sweet-and-spicy teriyaki sauce. The taste was replicated beautifully in the Sweet & Sour Roast Eggplant Bao (R500) with the vegetable, pan seared to perfection. Packed with soba noodles doused in soya flavoured broth and a host of veggies, the Japanese Mentsuyu Noodle Bowl (R500) was comforting.
Although stuffed to the gills by then, we couldn’t resist 5 Spicy Chorizo Bao (R650) filled with Goan choriz oozing a delightfully smoky flavour. And just like that, in just two hours, we were seduced by Mata Hari's charms.
Opens Tonight (Tuesday to Sunday, 9 pm onwards)
At Level IV, The Atria Mall, Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli.
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