Where the wise owl drinks
A new swanky bar in Juhu is the quintessential party spot but a little overpriced, too
We enter a new gastropub in Juhu and are immediately put off by the loud and incongruent Bollywood music. It looks like the kind of place someone like Raj Kamal (played by Jackie Shroff in the '90s blockbuster Rangeela) would take his bae to. We waste no time and decide to head to Hoot, another new bar not far from where we are.
When we enter we realise this is exactly where A Bar Called Life used to be a while ago. The space is divided into two halves — a quieter, dimly-lit zone closer to the entrance with teak-coloured floors and plush chairs; and a large open floor with a mezzanine level sporting a neo-vintage look. Mason jars glistening with fairy lights and chalk white dummy cages hang from replica trees. This is no place for Raj Kamal. This is where Sid would hang out before he woke up.
We are starving by now and are looking forward to having a feast. The simple laminated menus don't go with the interiors and the waiters look confused. The prices jolt us back to our reality, which is most significantly described by our zero balance salary accounts and we realise there's only so much that we can afford here.
Chicken Alfredo Pasta
We call for a long island ice tea and a Rob Roy (Rs 499 each) and to save time, we order the food right away, too — Koliwada fish tacos (Rs 440) and chicken alfredo pasta (Rs 435). We might as well have dilly-dallied with the ordering, for the service seems to be proceeding at a snail's pace. We learn that it is the bar's first day — the cheap laminated menus, muddled waiters and the ironic unavailability of pizza despite a large banner that reads "In heavenly pizza we crust", all make sense.
Long Island Ice Tea
Finally, the drinks arrive. The LIIT is pleasantly strong and not too sweet. The Rob Roy, on the other hand, is overtly bitter and doesn't sit well with us. Our partner however sips it leisurely — he likes whisky. The Koliwada fish tacos are a coastal play on the classic open taco. The fish is soft and spicy and fried to perfection. The hint of black sesame seeds or kala til in it is strong. We wish guacamole and salsa were used to give this light dish a truly unique spin but we settle for the judiciously used spicy mayo toppings. The alfredo has a classic white-sauce that is creamy without being too cheesy. To put it frankly, the dish was as basic as it gets.
We settle our bill with a heavy heart, but we look around us and realise what fools we were to show up at a bar cut out for partying without more of our wise owl friends.
TIME 12 pm to 1.30 am
AT Devle Road, near Chandan Police Chowky, Juhu
Hoot didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.
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