Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Watering Hole Top 10 - Mumbai Edition

Ah, writing a post after really long. Frankly I haven't been Beer-ing around too much off late. Since Whiskey/Rum season just got over and Beer season is on in full swing here is a comprehensive list of my favorite 10 watering holes in the city.

10. Soul Fry
I hadn't been to Soul Fry until very recently. Soul Fry has a nice chilled out Portuguese vibe to it. It's tucked in the bustling Pali Market Lane. They do a mean Calcutta style Mutton and have Kingfisher on tap. It's relatively cheap too. Two Thumbs up.

9. Gada da Vida
Well Gada doesn't really classify as a watering hole, primarily because it's expensive as fuck. If it were a hole then it would be a swanky hole with a sea view and bean bags. Definitely an awesome ambiance for a sunset beer and they serve Stella on tap (not necessarily a nice thing, but who am I to judge). I think a glass of Stella would set you back by about 600 bucks.

8. Alfredo's
Ah the good ol' Alfie's. Since the demise of Sea View this is by default the next best neighborhood pub. I started my drinking life in the low-ceiling upper section of Alfredo's. This also happens to be my Dad's version of 'Central Perk', so before I started drinking with him I used to survey inside through the glass door to see if he was around. And if he caught me in the act there (never happened) then I guess I would just drink up more in order to be numb to the music.

7. Mondegar
I agree Mondegar is overdone, overpriced, overcrowded and overhyped. But there's something about it that's endearing. Like an old friend who eventually became rich and famous. Mondy's would be a much awaited 'trip' in college, it also got me broke as hell. But so long as there tap is spurting out decent KF, I'll go back.

6. Toto's
Yes it's true they have one CD and nobody sits in that Maruti Van you think is a the DJ console. Yes it is so crowded that you can't see your feet. Yes they take forever to get your order. Yes it's the size of an average European bathroom. What are you gonna do? You live in a thirsty populous bustling city. Toto's is probably the only PUB we've got in the most strict sense of the word. Deal with it.

5. Bonobo
In a city starved for open space Bonobo is a star. Their enclosed bar area is pretty tiny and I frankly don't remember setting foot in there, but their real USP is the open outside area. Because it's open it can never get too loud and for the same reason you can accompany your drinks with a smoke. They do awesome conti food and the bar is well stocked with domestic and international alcohol. All it is missing is a tap. Slowly making it's mark as a live venue, Bonobo takes No. 5.

4. Cafe Universal
Now I'm not sure how many of you'll know about Universal. But tucked away at Bhagat Singh Road near Ballard Pier this Parsi Pub is not just an upgrade from Mondy's it's also got much fresher beer and hard liquor too! They make some of the juiciest and most humongous burgers in town. They have this one Really Big Burger for 400 bucks which can feed 4 of me. Their pitchers come in various sizes; they have a normal pitcher , they have a football globe and a tower. Must visit.

3. Mocha Mojo
Mocha Mojo was again a very recent discovery thank's to a buddy. The decor of the place is not it's strong point, their mugs and tap are. The good men at MM serve 0.5 lt and 1 lt mugs of Hoegaarden and Stella for surprisingly fair rates. About a 400 for the 0.5 and 600 for the liter mug that too on tap! ! ! The place is quiet enough for a decent conversation and loud enough to feel like a watering hole. What's more, they make amazing Maggi Burmese style. EPIC Win!

2. Woodside Inn
This is hands down a perfect pub. Awesome pub grub, brilliant tap, a wide range of spirits and beer, wooden interiors, dimly lit and demarcated areas for sitting and standing. It's just perfect! Only a little expensive. But it's worth it.

Now for NUMBER ONE, NUMERO UNO, Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting to you.....

1. Arjun Kanungo's Terrace
Cheap. Magnificent. Cuisine can be whatever you want so long as they deliver. All this on the 7th floor at Band Stand with a sea view so awesome, you might just jizz your pants. PS3 is available for people with such an inclination and Devin. The manager cum owner is this big giant of a man who makes music and gets high. Strangers are welcome with open arms so long as they bear a bottle of Black Label. Advice #1: Do not sit on the bean bag, it has unexplained stains on it. Advice #2 : Stop making out with your girlfriend when his Mom enters the house. Advice #3: Don't ask Kanungo questions when he is high, he is known to throw uncooked meat at people. Advice #4: There might be times when he doesn't know anybody present, at such times be polite and introduce him.

Over and Out.


  1. Absolutely with you on #1!!

    Best watering hole in the world!

    Must be visited again soon.

  2. I resent the 'food-assualt' charge. Completely out of context!

  3. Thanks guy,
    You gave me many options to enjoy my next week. I was upset of drinking beers in the same distric (andheri) and very tired of walking around along other districts just looking for a nice bar and beer.
    I'll try the number 1 tomorrow.

    Nice blog