Admit it, all of us have thought of owning a time machine that could take us back to a golden era. Well, while that may not be possible, you sure can get a taste of the past at one of Mumbai's favourite restaurants – The Bombay Canteen!
As an ode to the city of Mumbai, they have crafted an all new cocktail menu - Talkies Of Bombay - inspired by the glitz and glamour of the city in the 1930's.
For the 3rd edition of Canteen Cocktails, Bar Manager Raul Raghav takes inspiration from the forgotten talkies of the city. These single-screen theatres in Mumbai formed the essence of culture and entertainment in the yesteryears, owing to the city's love for cinema. With each drink named after a movie that was the first to release in each of these talkies, the menu tries to revisit the captivating charm of these classics.
The well-crafted menu is a product of months of collaborative efforts by team TBC along with their branding agency Please See and Simin Patel, heritage tour operator and founder of the Bombaywalla Historical Works blog.
Won’t a gateway for you to travel back to the golden age of cinema, be the perfect way to start the New Year?
Here's what LiveInStyle tried and recommends from the very special Talkies Of Bombay menu at The Bombay Canteen!
Located near Byculla station, the state-of-the-art talkie house Imperial Palace took pride in screening both Indian and international ‘All Talking, Singing and Dancing’ pictures. It’s first release was Whoopee! – a musical comedy by Thornton Freeland. Just like the fun and playful movie, the cocktail is a quirky medley that enchants you with a plum-flavoured kiss with every sip. The flavours pay an ode to the plum cakes from the nearby Regal Bakery which were overtly popular during the holiday season. Oh-so-merry!
Miss Frontier Mail
Inspired by the Indian action crime thriller Miss Frontier Mail, packs a punch – just like its namesake. As ferocious as Fearless Nadia, it’s TBC’s version of the classic White Lady cocktail. The movie directed by Homi Wadia, premiered in Lamington Road’s Imperial Cinema which then called the shots in silent movies. But Miss Frontier Mail speaks volumes about its inspiration and packs a punch with rosemary-infused Gordon’s London Dry Gin, triple sec, lime, egg white and orange. Fierce, isn’t it?
Dadar’s Plaza was famed for bringing the best of South Mumbai to the suburbs. An icon in the Marathi film industry, it stands tall even today. V Shantaram’s cult classic Pinjra released here in 1972 and revolved around the Tamasha folk musical theatre of Maharashtra. While the inspiration for the movie came from The Blue Angel, a 1930’s German tragicomedy, it’s namesake cocktail uses the Butterfly Pea flower with Gordon’s London Dry Gin to create a soothing blue sipper. A true-blue extravaganza indeed!
If you missed the premier at Imperial at Lamington Road, you only had to stroll down to the second-run house Alfred at the corner of Grant Road. In 1962, it famously screened Shakti Samanta’s Chinatown. This black-and-white movie, starred Shammi Kapoor in a double role, featured the popular song Baar Baar Dekho. Paying homage to the classic, TBC uses Chinese elements like Pandan and Hibisus along with Johnnie Walker Red Label to create this tea-like concoction. Búyòng xiè!
In 1942, Aurora was introduced to Matunga’s resident Iyers and Iyengars as a breath of fresh air. The Bollywood film Sikandar, directed by Sohrab Modi screening at it’s opening and won accolades for Prithviraj Kapoor’s performance as Alexander The Great. The epic, in turn, inspired TBC to create this heady concoction with ingredients sourced from Matunga’s local market. Using clarified milk and a little liquid alchemy coupled with Captain Morgan Original Rum, White Rum and brandy, this one is all things South Indian!
Offering the best of both - Bombay and Mumbai - though their food and drinks comes easy to The Bombay Canteen. And the Talkies Of Bombay menu goes to great lengths to prove it. Head here post work or maybe celebrate your New Year’s Eve with these yesteryear cocktails – you’re in for a treat either way.