Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mumbai, the Pub Hub!

Once you've lived in Mumbai, there is absolutely NO place that can ever replace it. 

Now inspite of moving out almost 2 years back, there is still something about the city that just calls you towards it. 

I was lucky enough to spend a week in Mumbai recently and was amazed with the escalating pub-culture in the city. It's almost like every other building has a pub or a lounge; however what's even more amazing is that each one of these places has something innovative (hatke) about it. And no I'm not talking *Gold Plated Stuff* #DubaiContext

Among all the new pubs I visited during this trip, my top 3 favorites have got to be Hoppipola at Khar, Bar Stock Exchange at Oshiwara and He Said She Said at Andheri. 

Hoppipola - Khar 

You say quirky? I say Hoppipola. This is truly a place for you and your friends to have a *hoppy* time! They have an indoor and outdoor seating, however we opted for the indoor seating, which was equally good. Their tables have a blackboard table top and you would find a chalk or two lying somewhere on it, so like everybody else, almost like a reflex action, we too started to play tic-tac-toe. But once we were done doing that, we decided to finally place an order for a Beer-Tower (INR 700) and The Smokin Carlos - Mexican style corn and jalapeno cigars (INR 160) and OMG which are cheese-stuffed button mushrooms (INR 170) now honestly a person who knows me well or has been following my blog would react with an OMG on reading about how both my dishes are Vegetarian, because am quite a non veg fanatic that way, but trust me both the dishes were b.r.i.l.l.i.a.n.t (I like writing this way) and we actually decided to call for 2 more plates of the same dish. Having said that, I would have obviously loved to try out the non vegetarian appetizers too but I was just trying to avoid judgmental looks from my Gujarati friend (jk) was just way too full! But moving on from the food, what really got me excited about this place was the fact that they had an entire shelf filled with board-games such as, Taboo/ Snakes & Ladders/ Pictionary/ Ludo/ UNO etc and what better combination with a mug of beer? I'm already looking forward to my next trip and Hoppipola has quite the role to play. 

Bar Stock Exchange - Oshiwara

Nasdaq/ Sensex, not your thing? Don't worry here is Bar Stock Exchange that could probably make you feel better about your investment skills ;) However I'm not too sure about how your liver would respond to that. 

As the name suggests, Bar Stock Exchange is basically a stock market based pub, where the drink prices change based on a real time demand and supply. 

Now honestly I had heard tons and tons about this place and was sure about visiting it, but I was informed that it's almost impossible to get a table here because of how popular the place was and well also because Mumbai is filled with alcoholics *wink wink* but we being quite the go-getters, we decided to reach there at 6 pm so that we could get ourselves a table, but unfortunately we still had to wait for an hour, but once we did get one, it was absolutely worth it, the concept is fresh and extremely fascinating. We were constantly glued to the LCD screens/ LED tickers and used our phone app to place orders as soon as we noticed a drop in price. Also much later there was a Market Crash that happened, which is when the drinks fall to rock bottom prices. Moving on to their food, we ordered for two bizarre sounding dishes, one was the Popcorn Chicken Tikka and other was TheBarStockExchange Pizaan. The Popcorn Chicken Tikka was basically chicken tikka that is fried and comes with a mint sauce, it was quite crispy and mildly spicy, we all loved the dish and re-ordered for the same. The other was the Pizzan which was a Indianised naan pizza topped with chicken and a few vegetables, now even though I quite liked this but it neither looked or tasted like a Pizza. Lastly coming to their playlist, from what I remember, it was quite random, because it ranged from Akon's Smack That to Pussy Cat Dolls, Back Street Boys to BLUE, so I'm not sure what that was about, but well then again, it's me and I can groove to almost anything, so I wouldn't complain. Overall it was quite a fun experience and is much recommended. 

P.S. Please ignore the nasty lady (keeping it clean) standing outside for your reservations because she perhaps will be your only disappointment at The Bar Stock Exchange. 

This is what TBSE looks like (Yes, free Wifi, yay!)

The Bar Stock Exchange App

The super-fascinating LED screen

He Said She Said - Andheri 

My friends told me about how "He Said She Said" is a place famous for its variants in shots, post which I obviously decided to give it a shot (get it..get it?) okay let's ignore that happened and move on to my review about the place. I'm honestly quite the no-shots person, simply because it does not go down too well on me, but the menu is sure to excite a non-shot drinker like me as well with its diverse range of shots. Right from Kitkat shots to Kadak Chai shots, Ice-Cream based shots to Tropical Shots, this place has it all and that too at very affordable prices (INR 140 - 350)

The interiors of the place is extremely vibrant and colourful and they also have a photo booth and who doesn't like one of those. 

Unfortunately we were done with dinner and didn't try out the food but I'm hoping to try it out the next time I'm in Mumbai. 

The music at He Said She Said was perfect, wasn't too loud and disturbing like most places in Mumbai but at the same was good enough for people to enjoy it. Exactly what I needed on my first day in Mumbai. 

So yes these were the top 3 places on The Anorexic Hog's list. If there is a fun themed lounge you know about in Mumbai or here in the UAE (highly unlikely) then do let me know by dropping me a message in the comment box below. 

P.S. I'm looking forward to similar stuff opening up in Abu Dhabi (Ok maybe that's pushing it, but Dubai atleast? Please?)