first in mid-day: The grandmama from a popular cafe has just opened the doors to her husband's den. And guess what? He's been drinking a lot while hopping around the globe
On the not-so-busy streets of Lahore in 1947, when I first laid my eyes on your beautiful grandma, I knew right away that I had found my ideal partner to embark on this beautiful adventure," is the description for When we met (Rs 360), a drink on the menu of the newly opened Grandpa's Den, a travel-themed cocktail bar tucked inconspicuously in a corner inside the new outlet of Grandmama's Cafe.
"All our customers know my grandma, and every time we get shoots done, my grandfather remarks, 'You only click pictures of her,'" the owner Abhayraj Singh Kohli says. A reflection of the travels that four generations of the hospitality brand owners embarked on, the British-style watering hole which took three months to complete, is embellished with vintage artefacts ranging from analogue cameras to tarnished trophies, and is dotted with Chesterfield sofas and walls fitted with louvred panels, built to emulate dingy bars. The kind you're likely to find in quieter alleys of London.
When we met
The menu features 12 craft cocktails curated in-house that draw inspiration and use ingredients from different countries including Spain, France, England, undivided India and Thailand among others. The sawasdeeka (R360) for example, is a creamy and fragrant vodka-based drink made with galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and pineapple juice. Or the royal tea service (R430), which is a British play on the Long Island iced tea, tweaked to replace soda and cola with an aromatic hibiscus tea.
Royal tea service
It's the perfect refreshing thirst quencher, served with a pinch of elegance. And the Patiala punch (R650, serves two), a desi version of the boozy punch made with whisky and Kashmiri kahwa that is flavoured with orange spice syrup and includes condiments like star anise, cardamom, and cloves. Served in a ceramic bowl, the heady cocktail comes with two blobs of ice encasing marigold flowers. "The moment you take a sip, you know it represents India, and that's what we have tried to achieve with all these coktails," Kohli shares.
The menu is designed in a way that makes it clear that its creators are trying to tell more than one story. Be it the love affair between a popular gourmand-cum-grandmama and a globetrotting grandpa, or of regional culinary stories brewed with some imagination and a whole lot of spice. Or of escapades worth a lifetime of memories, all crammed inside oddly shaped glasses with generous amounts of alcohol. They are stories you would love to listen to, but the question is, will you remember them?
Opens Today, 6 pm to 12 pm (Monday to Thursday), 1 pm to 12 pm (Friday to Sunday)
At High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel.
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