Expect the unexpected at Zorawar Kalra’s sassy new offering, Masala Bar, that has just shored up at the culmination of the khau galli at Carter Road in Bandra. Sexily lit nooks with hundreds of beeswax candles (Kinda added to the heat with the heaving hotties at the launch party last night) nestling in light fixtures, on the ledges and lining the steps. Loved the hypnotic inclusion though, of magnifying glass (Team Busride, salaam!) in the window interface with the sea yonder: revs up your beautiful Pakeezah moments when the dipping orb fires the melee of mirrors on the walls, as you caress your pick of the spunky cocktails at the science lab a la bar. Umm… back to the bar.
So Masala Bar circles bullseye in its vantage location, being in buzzing Bandra and licked by the Arabian. Some of the wild, spirited concoctions here make you belly up easily. There is a delicious hook, in the depth and complexity that the drinks bring in. This is big game in mixology and beyond, even as pipes and distil-decanters in functional use stand at the barfront. Of course, Kalra’s perfected the art of a dramatic entry with the elixirs arriving thick and fast midst mysterious smoke in goblets, skulls and chilled glasses. And racy EDM. That’s what I love about MB, the secretive whisper in content. Favourite picks? An Evening in Chowpatty, a smooth rendition in curry laced vodka with a delicious coconut fizz. Fresh, fantastic. The Bollywood Bhang closes in fast in a basil infused vodka dynamo with all the dramebaazi you’d expect from the namesake.
A few starters blow your senses, literally. Take the tasty pirouette of the fancy fungus spread on the mouth melting phyllo pastry in the mushroom bruschetta. Loved it. The mini carbon buns teamed with raven pao bhaji – blame the signature squid ink, makes the titbit ditty yummier.
Takeaway? Masala Bar is the toast of the town, a surreal experience to be savoured more than once. Wish the bartenders would make haste though at tossing it up instead of locking eyeballs with PYTs; and yeah, be prepared for the flurry of little book hawkers as soon as you alight (Makes for the perfect paparazzi photo op for the khan-daan, though, this)