Reviewed: A Bar Called Life, Juhu
Replacing the good ol’ Villa 69 in Juhu is a swanky new place, A Bar Called Life, that opened its doors 10 days back. Owned by the same management, the restaurant sees more than just a name change. From the menu to the interiors, every bit has been given a makeover, and what a makeover it is. So, if you enjoy some good Pan Asian food, then keep reading.
The easiest way to reach this place is to first head to PVR, Juhu, (yes, we did get lost and had to call the restaurant for directions). Hardly a 2-minute walk from the theatre, and you’ll spot the restaurant’s board. The hostess welcomed us in, wearing a pair of jeans and white sneakers, and that was enough to tell us that this was going to be a fun. laidback space.
Once in, we were offered to be seated in the dimly-lit indoor area, that had the bar on one side and a few tables on the other, separated by a wall. The DJ was in the centre, waiting for the clock to hit 11, so that he could hit the turntables.
The alfresco area was like a whole other world. With the sky as the roof and plants as the décor, it was a more open space and we instantly knew that this is where we wanted to have our meal. And after closely looking at the space, it was pretty evident that they went for a modern vibe with many elements like pretty, hanging lamps.
There was a giant mask structure at one end and various tables of different sizes and shapes, while the other end had an array of seating options suitable for those who prefer a private meal.
Then there was a unicorn. A large, multi coloured unicorn structure stood on the right side of the restaurant and if you ask me, we have no idea what it was doing there.
We were then all set to dive in and eat the scrumptious menu set by executive chef Amninder Sandhu.
After settling down, we were greeted by a friendly waiter who seemed quite surprised that we were 2 girls on our own, ergo dateless. Soon enough, the drinks that were recommended to us reached our table, which we clearly needed.
First up, we were served a drink called Pani Puri. The classic Indian street delicacy, but infused with vodka. So, to sum up, we took vodka shots, with a twist. Now, if you love vodka, the flavours were perfect and if you had all 6, your night would be made.
Next was Gulabo, which lived up to its interesting name. It was a pretty pink drink with a tiny bit of candy floss on top. At first, I tried to remove it, but having failed, I just let it sit there and took a sip.
Unlike the previous drink, this was a lot sweeter and made my palate smile. A few minutes later, the floss started melting, which added an interesting dash of flavour to the drink that was made of vodka, Campari, and white wine.
Lastly, on the insistence of the manager, we were reintroduced to our old friend, Vada Pav. Inspired by the evergreen dish, this drink was a delicious mix of a leafy syrup, tomato juice, and whiskey. It was spicy and gave you that little tinge in the tongue that helped pave the way for the food.
It was time for my favourite part of the meal — the starters. If the menu has a dish called Bhoot Wings, which are essentially chargrilled chicken wings with one of the hottest spice in the world, you HAVE to order it. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that spicy, but it was tasty nonetheless.
Since I am sucker for tikkas (Hello? Punjabi!), so I went ahead and ordered the Lal Mirch Ka Murgh Tikka, and it reminded me of home. Juicy and full of flavour, it was perfectly cooked and I couldn’t help but take 2 at one go.
No, we haven’t forgotten our vegetables. The next starter was kurkuri sabji, which was a mix of veggies, deep fried with an amazing yoghurt base dip, that won our hearts.
Immensely satisfied, we moved on to the next course. For the mains, we ordered the Kori Roti, a Tullu chicken delicacy that is served with thin wafers made of rice. After the spicy appetizers, this one felt a little bland, but maybe that was only because our taste buds were on fire.
The next dish that landed on our table earned some major brownie points for the meal — the Bamboo Smoked Mutton, which literally came inside a bamboo. Beautiful to look at and packed with spices, this one was a winner. Though it was served jasmine rice, the rice were quite normal and you couldn’t really taste the jasmine infusion, if there was any.
By this time, we had eaten too much for 2 people so, with a heavy heart, we had to say no to dessert. But after talking to the manager, we came to know that the Nolengur Ice Cream was quite a hit.
In A Nutshell
Apart from the food and drinks, one should visit this place for a good time, and the ambience only helps you slip into party mode. Since the restaurant revolves around the concept of ‘life’, there are a few interesting things that happen here.
Firstly, their motive is to get you drunk. If you come in by 6 pm, the alcohol is dirt cheap, some 50 bucks a drink, but the price keeps increasing after 8 pm and that keeps going up with each passing hour till 11 pm. Once it hits 11 pm, the price standarises, by which time you’re too drunk to care.
The manager explained that the change in price is because even in our real lives, there is a constant change, and we have no choice but to adapt to it. When I questioned him on why these prices don’t ever fall, much like how life’s highs and lows, he just stood there, smiling awkwardly.
Second, once it is 11:30, all patrons are ushered inside, where a unique show is set up every day. When we went, it was 3 guys doing tricks with a football. Seriously, let’s not talk about that. But once that’s over, the DJ starts playing his tunes and the dance floor is open to all. Clearly, just a strategy to get everyone grooving.
So, head to this place for your next party and rest assured, they will take good care of you, provided you are above 25.
Location: 30, C/O Paradise Banquets, Opposite Juhu PVR Cinemas, Next to ATS Office, Juhu Circle, Devle Road, Juhu, Mumbai – 400049
Hours: 6 pm to 1:30 am (closed on Monday)
Price For Two: Rs 1,500
Contact: +91 22 2620 0122
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