Sunday, June 26, 2011

Beer and Bombay

Okay so you might have heard that the Maharashtra government has increased the drinking age in the state to 25 (Yo jackasses, stop f***ing around and do something useful for a change). And while that does piss me off, I'm not gonna go all 'if we can vote at 18, marry at 21..blah..blah', every celeb has already said that in Bombay Times, and they tend not to take my view on such things. So I'm gonna focus on happier things and tell you that I decided to stage a non-violent protest, a satyagraha if you will, by drinking everyday after work for an entire week. Drinking aside, Gandhi would be so proud :D
Accha, anyways, so here's a list of places I visited that week. All of them are in South Bombay, mainly around Fort and Colaba. If you are from Bombay, you'll probably already know these places, and in case you aren't from Bombay, or haven't been to any of these places, they're definitely worth a visit. I've listed the prices of beer, and the quality of the food at each place, in case your interested. Also, I haven't included Leopolds since in everyone knows about it, and in my opinion its more hype than anything else.

1) Cafe Universal


So this is like a nicer version of Leos. Like most old cafes in Bombay, this too is an Irani cafe. It looks like an old-British pub (obviously, its close to 90 years old), but its still got a distinct Irani touch. This is cheery cafe, where you don't really go to get drunk, rather just to hang out. Beer is slightly expensive at Rs. 450 bucks for a pitcher, but be smart and order the the 3 litre pitcher for Rs. 750. These are served in tall cylindrical tubes, with an ice filled central core, and taps at the bottom to serve yourself. The food here is absolutely amazing. If you like beef, you should definitely try the burgers and the Hamburger Steak with Cheese sizzler (yes I'm a blasphemous Jain). Why I like this place more than Leos, is because its a lot less dingy, its got much better food and the staff is friendly.

2) Military Cafe


This is by far the shadiest of the lot (yes, shadier than Gokul). But if you're into old world charm, its all there, and apparently the owner thinks the same because he hasn't bothered renovating since its inception which was around a century ago. But on the brighter side, this place is dirt cheap, and you get fantastic food. The Keema Pav is heavenly, and the beer is sold at barely 20-30 bucks above cost price. Plus you can get a bottle of London Pilsner for just 100 bucks.

3) Gokul
Aah, the quintessential, shady, popular, crowded bar which every city has. This is where you go, essentially, to get sloshed. Its got very reasonably priced booze. At first look, it does seem like a 100% male kingdom, but there are enough women upstairs, in the A/C section. Plus, most people appreciate the fact that you can smoke inside. Its dingy as hell, but its part of the charm, or so I'm told. Foodwise? I have no idea, because Bade Miya is right across the road, and why would you eat at Gokul when you get amazing kebabs and roomali roti a couple seconds away. But if you're in Bombay, you'll definitely hear about Gokul. Its the one place where everyone goes.

4) Alps Beer Bar

This is my current favourite place. Its a 2 minute walk from Gokul, and a lot nicer. Like Universals and Military Cafe, its open, but the ambiance is nice. Posters of classic rock bands cover the walls, and usually classic rock is played in the restaurant too. Like its name suggests, you get only beer, and a 1.5l pitcher is available for Rs. 360. Pretty reasonable if you ask me. Its got good fish & chips, and the sizzlers are well made too. Like Leos, and Universals to a slightly lesser extent, this is a back-packing tourist as well. So you can go in expecting a cute European chick.

So these are the places I frequented for an entire week. If you want to explore further, there's always Leos, and Mondegar is pretty great. But honestly, I'd take Universals or Alps over these two any day.

PS: No I'm not an alcoholic. I drank on principle. And because college friends were interning in the same area. If you're looking to keep blood alcohol levels low, its not a good idea to meet them after work everyday.

PPS: I know I've been writing infrequently in recent times, but the internship has kept me pretty busy. It ends tomorrow, so I promise to write more often.




7 comments:

  1. I looove Mumbai...i too interned thr and the office was a NARIMAN POINT...ahhh! The marine drive walk at the end of the day! Priceless!

    Nd Colaba is my fav spot! Nd sadly i havent been to any alchohol joit other than leopold. I looove Mumbai...i too interned thr and the office was a NARIMAN POINT...ahhh! The marine drive walk at the end of the day! Priceless!

    Nd Colaba is my fav spot! Nd sadly i havent been to any alchohol joit other than leopold.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Leos is the most popular, but I like some of the lesser known places more.
    Btw, if you do ever come to Bombay again, try driving on Marine Drive, its amazing :D

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