Party animals, rejoice! If you are looking for a place to let your hair down this month, take the ‘maybe’ out of May and go forth, because partying into the wee hours now comes with a bonus. We’ve been telling you all about our favourite new cocktail — the Johnnie Ginger — and now we’re telling you all about the hottest, funnest bars and restaurants that are offering up a taste of this terrific tipple. From Farzi Café (in two locations!) to Tamasha, The Wine Rack and Theory, here are 10 midtown venues for you to choose from. Head out, savour a Johnnie Ginger and stand a chance to win an indulgent Johnnie Walker Gourmet Experience!
FARZI CAFE AT KAMALA MILLS OR HIGH STREET PHOENIX
A stone’s throw from each other, you’d be forgiven for wondering why Zorawar Kalra’s Farzi Cafe has two midtown outposts in Mumbai. Of course, if you are wondering, it means you’ve never stood in line outside the Kamala Mills hotspot! Yes, this “quirky, chic, modern Indian cafe” (their description, but we agree) is simply that popular. Choose either location for a great night out in the company of beautiful people, with delicious food that amalgamates elements of molecular gastronomy and table theatrics with culinary illusion! Order your Johnnie Ginger at the bar, or alongside a plethora of amazing appetizers at your table, but remember to sign up for the Johnnie Ginger contest while you’re at it.
KEIBA AT THE MAHALAKSHMI RACE COURSE
When we bid adieu to boozy Sunday brunches at Olive Bar & Kitchen’s Mahalakshmi outpost, it was a tearful affair… until Keiba arrived to comfort us! With cherry blossom trees painted on their facade, it’s no secret that what awaits upon your entry is an exploration of all things Oriental. While we’d usually sip on their pandan, lemongrass or matcha infused cocktails, this month it’s all about the golden goodness of Johnnie Ginger. Order yours before you tuck into a single Edamame Truffle Dim Sum or Keiba’s top-notch Som Tam Salad. You can always nibble on some gyoza while that JG soothes your soul, but save room for a bit of Banoffee Pie at the very end!
LONDON TAXI AT KAMALA MILLS
We love London (and its finger-licking food scene), but while in Mumbai, we adore the occasional tipple at London Taxi too and we have Ami Shroff — India’s first female flair bartender — to thank for that! This month though, it’s Johnnie Ginger all the way, so we’ll be heading to the midtown gastropub with Chef Nagraj Bhat’s Spinach and Cottage Cheese Cannelloni and Tamarind Wasabi Glazed Chicken Wings in mind instead. If you haven’t been here already (didn’t read our last list of awesome recommendations, did you?), it’s time for some course correction! Standing tall on the ground floor of the Trade Centre building in Kamala Mills, you cannot miss London Taxi’s bold black-and-white exterior. Head on in for a memorable outing, at a venue that serves up ambience, food, music and masti in exuberant and equal measure. You will not be disappointed.
FLYP @ MTV CAFÉ, ALSO AT KAMALA MILLS
Funky is as funky does at this midtown hangout, where working, playing and partying are all par for the course. Pops of colour add plenty of cheer in the design department, but Chef Ranveer Brar’s food is not to be outdone either. Kick-start your visit with some succulent Coffee Chicken Winglets, but remember the real treat is on the cocktail menu. Enlivened with a shot of lime and topped with ginger ale, there’s a Johnnie Ginger waiting at the expansive bar with your name on it.
PA PA YA AT PALLADIUM
Another offering from Zorawar Kalra’s House of Massive Restaurants, Pa Pa Ya is a modern Asian bistro with a twist. How else could beer-battered avocado tacos and sushi burgers make their way on to an Oriental menu?! Deconstruction and reinterpretation are buzz words here, so you can expect foam aplenty, but there’s substance to go with all that show too. Try the Tuna Tataki Pizza or the Lamb Rendang Curry to settle any debate on the subject, but don’t forget to order a Johnnie Ginger alongside. After an evening spent shopping up luxurious treats at Palladium in Lower Parel, a slowly savoured exotic cocktail is exactly what you need!
SOCIAL AT PALLADIUM OR TODI MILLS
On days when we’re feeling seriously sociable, we head to any one of our friend Riyaaz Amlani’s aptly-named resto-bars. Officially defined as a “collaborative workspace,” that doubles as a cafe by day and high-energy bar by night, Social has redefined ‘hanging out’ in the best possible way. Join likeminded strangers at a communal table or settle in with your buddies, but get to our favourite Johnnie Ginger cocktail before you contemplate the menu. You really don’t want to be one too many portions of Poutine (their house fries served with cheese, sausages or BBQ chicken) down before you make JGs acquaintance! Order a round of drinks and a BBQ Board to share — the perfect ingredients to make a memorable night.
TAMASHA IN LOWER PAREL
When restaurateur Priyank Sukhija brought his brand of ‘Tamasha’ to Lower Parel’s Victoria House in 2017, we told you all about it. Lovely libations (like their classic Bloody Mary) come with lively interactions here, but none are more on-trend than our current favourite whisky-based cocktail — the inimitable Johnnie Ginger. Claim your quota while deciding between the Jamva Chalo Ji thali or a la carte options like their Madras Curry Chicken Risotto and Nihari Gosht. Either way, when you party here, surrounded by more dazzling lights than you can imagine, be prepared to #DekhTamasha!
THE WINE RACK AT HIGH STREET PHOENIX IN LOWER PAREL
If Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary has added to the impression that wine is for snobs, perish the thought. Bang smack in the middle of all the hustle and bustle that is High Street Phoenix, The Wine Rack beckons you to wine, dine and dance your way through a fun night out — and there’s nothing pretentious about it. Yes, they claim to have over 300 bottles of wine from over 45 regions across the globe (and they probably have a few more too), but that feat doesn’t force you to swirl and smell wine all night until boredom gets the better of you! Relax in style while harried shoppers lug their H&M bags past your window, while nibbling at their classic cheese platter and Karari Roti. It’s a vin-vin situation (pardon the pun) when you can order a Johnnie Ginger off the bar menu, while others sniff at their Sauvignon Blanc.
Image Credits: sumesshmenonassociates.com; id8 Media Solutions; socialoffline.in; nrai.org
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