You won't mind this sting
Viper, Lokhandwala's new open-air bar offers tasty nibbles and potent cocktails, perfect to enjoy the distant nip in the air over a drink
Mumbai winters, though barely there, bring cheer to us. The nip in the air calls for post-dinner drives to savour warm coffee or gossip over pegs of Old Monk and chakna to munch on. And Viper, Lokhandwala's newest air bar, is the perfect spot to make the most of this short, romantic season.
We drop by on a week day and the first thing that hits us is vast space, complete with an indoor area where a female DJ is spinning groovy tunes; the place is surrounded by an al fresco area that offers a 180-degree view of the suburb. Though located off the main road where Metro work is in progress, Viper has a peaceful vibe, and we are able to have an engaging conversation with our fellow reviewer through the night. Plus, there are enough spots to get cool photographs for social media-brag (our attendants happily guide us to the best corners for these clicks).
We seat ourselves in the al fresco section and pick two of their signature cocktails, funky Buddha and venom ('350 each). As we browse through the food menu, we realise that Viper follows a mantra similar to that of most new bars in the city, of serving popular dishes from a mix of cuisines (everything from kheema pav, Thai curry to rajma chawal). The good news is that it's not exorbitantly priced, as we don't consider bars serving vadas on a wooden platter with swirls of chutney for '400 as innovation. Our drinks arrive quickly, and every sip is equally tasty.
Venom has an underlying tea flavour, with some sweetness from the the guava juice, and the addition of egg white. Funky Buddha is a lip-smacking mix of ginger ale, rum, ginger and mango cordial; it's a simple mix but tasty. Buoyed by our cocktails and the commercial music, we order makka arancini ('249) and mock cigar ('379) from the veg and non-veg small plates, and a charcoal chicken pizza ('399).
The arancini balls are similar to the staple cheese corn balls (we didn't think much of their plating), but the inclusion of a peppery sauce and cheddar cream is what makes the order a great bar dish. Likewise, the chicken kheema cigars are delicate, non-greasy and the mango mustard sauce binds the flavours well.
Venom (left) and funky Buddha
The pizza comes with a generous topping of desi tikka-style chicken grill and mozzarella and scores well like its predecessors. We skip the pasta, rice and gravy options from the mains, and head straight for dessert. The Viper dessert ('349) is a gooey, fudgy chocolate platter with ice cream, and some unnecessary bell pepper shavings.
Extremely indulgent, it offers a basic but great dessert (we can't say the same for the Oreo shot that we order). By the end of our meal, when we tally how each dish scores, it's good to see that all dishes though straightforward are winners. The prices justify what's on offer. It's the ideal dinner-on-the-rooftop option with dependable food options that leave you licking your fingers.
Time 6 pm to 1.30 am
At 7th floor, Remi Commercio, near Yashraj Studios, off Veera Desai Road.
4/5 Exceptional, 3/5 Excellent, 2/5 very Good, 1/5 Good, 0.5/5 Average. Viper didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals
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