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Night tales


About 10 years ago, an official government ruling tried to tell Mumbai that its nights were to end at 1.30 a.m. The city that refuses to sleep is no Cinderella and may not be completely obedient, but the ruling has certainly changed the way Mumbai parties. Several of the city’s iconic nightclubs from Colaba to Juhu, from Polly Esther’s to Razzberry Rhinoceros, downed their shutters gradually as the years went by. “Nightclubs tend to come alive only after 12.30 a.m., so it’s hard for them to sustain if they’re allowed to stay open till at least 1.30 a.m.,” explains Riyaaz Amlani, CEO and MD at Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. and President of the NRAI (National Restaurant Association of India).

Hotels continue to be home to some of the city’s most popular nightclubs, including St Regis’ Exo or Li Bai, but there’s no denying the paucity of options. Apart from fewer nightclubs, Mumbai also lacks enough live music venues. Sure, Bonobo continues to host performers as does the rock haven Hard Rock Cafe and the new Luno Nudo Gusta at St Regis, which invites cover bands like The Other People, but Mumbai sorely misses BlueFrog which was a breeding ground for the independent music scene. Nightlife in Mumbai is now dominated by the cocktail bar, the gastropub and the restobar, notes Amlani. This is obvious with the proliferation of pubs such as Amlani’s hugely popular Social, Bar Stock Exchange, the swanky Farzi Cafe as well as craft breweries such as Doolally. As has always been the case, Mumbai is adapting well and welcoming the new. Here are some of the city’s most interesting, innovative, glamorous places to enjoy your nights and in some cases, even dance the night away.

PLAYBOY Finding Mumbai’s naughty sideYou’ve got to be a member to enter this exclusive nightclub, but if you manage to get your name on the guest list, they promise to offer you experiences at par with the most elite clubs across New York, London or Ibiza. The 8,000 sqft club was launched about a month ago by PB Lifestyle Limited, exclusive license holders of the Playboy brand in India. In Mumbai, the club boasts of the best sound and light technology in the country. The three 25 foot bars offer a range of signature cocktails as well as gourmet meals. CELEB QUOTIENT Randeep Hooda, Sunny Leone, Arjun Rampal, Kim Sharma, Dino Morea, Diana Penty, Anushka Dandekar AT Birla Centurion, Gate 2, PB Marg, Worli

MIRABELLA For being Andheri’s OliveYou can choose your vibe for the night at Mirabella in Andheri. It can be a quaint open air Mediterranean café if you want it to be, but also a lounge with dim lighting and great drinks and a dance floor to dance away your blues. General manager Suved Lohia admits to being told several times that Mirabella is Andheri’s answer to the Bandra favourite, Olive. He sees it as a compliment, of course. The latest here is the Khaleesi bar, styled not on Game of Thrones but on the royalty and ancestral heritage of the Bedouins of the Arab Peninsula. If you go later in the week, you’re likely to find live music sessions. Wednesdays are hiphop nights, Thursdays are dedicated to ‘soul mash’ a combination of Hindi and English fusion, a DJ or live percussionist performs on Friday nights and Saturdays are dedicated to commercial music. CELEB QUOTIENT Sharman Joshi, Sushant Singh Rajput, Esha Gupta, Ram Gopal Verma AT Mirabella, Remi BizCourt, Opposite Supreme Chambers, Veera Desai Road.

Dance all night
NOOK For taking the party to the unpredictableThere was a time when South Mumbai, more specifically Colaba, was the city’s go to place when it came to partying. But with Nook, Kurla gets its share of the party scene. Because it’s in a mall, they have the advantage of staying open a tad bit later than the others, so if you’re sleepless in the city this is where you want to go. Launched earlier this year, Nook has some of the best House and electronic artists to inspire you to hit the dance floor. CELEB QUOTIENT Aftab Shivdasani and wife Nin Dusanj AT F-83,84, Phoenix Marketcity, Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, Kurla West

Goa magic in Mumbai
THALASSA For bringing a little bit of Vagator to MumbaiIf you’re not heading to Goa this holiday season, don’t fret, Thalassa has come to you. The good news is that the menu and the quality of the food remain the same, the bad news is there’s no sea view. And yet, the large (by Mumbai standards) space is able to maintain a wonderfully relaxed vibe that becomes amazingly upbeat when it wants to. The restaurant is divided into three zones aptly named after Greek gods Zeus, Athena and Poseidon. The “walk of fame” leads straight to Poseidon, where Greek dancers perform every Wednesday and Thursday night. It’s where you should ask to be seated if you’re in the mood for some live entertainment and to shake a leg. CELEB QUOTIENT Diya Mirza, Imtiaz Ali, Amrita Arora, Karan Kundra, VJ Anusha, Roshni Chopra, DJ Aqeel, Ekta Kapoor AT 21st Road, Shubhangan, Khar Danda Road, Khar West

Party like Powai
MADEIRA AND MIME For taking a good thing and making it betterWith its smoked, foamed, innovative cocktails and equally experimentative mocktails, Madeira and Mime is a gastropub that focuses on flavours. If you’ve visited Mirchi and Mime, you probably need to know little more than the fact that the restaurateur duo Prashant Issar and Anuj Shah also run the gastropub. Their concept, of hiring hearing impaired servers, remains the same at Madeira and Mime next-door. But Issar admits that here, the vibe comes first and the food second. So while their cocktails are exciting, their food menu stays simple. “It’s food that makes sense with a drink and is shareworthy,” explains Issar. CELEB QUOTIENT Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, Zorawar Kalra, Chef Prateek Sadhu AT Lake Blvd Rd, MHADA Colony 19, Powai

Sunset by the sea
MASALABAR For its cocktails and viewsCome for a sundowner and stay for the candle lights. With a view of the Carter Road promenade, in the right season you should go early to catch the sun melt into the Arabian Sea. The bar, headed by mixologist Zac Abbott, has some of the most interesting progressive cocktails including the Bollywood Bhang, an unusual combination of thandai, basil and mascarpone cheese. Abbott has the luxury of two “ridiculously expensive” distillation machines, making this the first bar in the world that’s distilling cocktails. “We can make pinacolada rum, old-fashioned whisky, negroni gin,” says Abbott. Next time you visit, do ask him for his clarified old-fashioned. It’s not on the menu. CELEB QUOTIENT Sharman Joshi, Nishka Lulla, Raveena Tandon, Mandira Bedi AT Level 1, Gagangiri Apartments, Carter Road, Bandra West, Mumbai.

Going deeper underground
AntiSOCIAL Giving music in Mumbai new groundThere’s little that Riyaaz Amlani doesn’t do right and Khar Social’s basement brother is no exception. Although AntiSOCIAL is a “versatile space” that lends itself to all kinds of events, including poetry readings and film screenings, by night it becomes one of the most exciting places for live music lovers. The space has in recent times been host to some of the world’s most looked out for performances, including the uber underground Boiler Room and the Magnetic Fields pre-party. CELEB QUOTIENT Madboy/Mink, Louiz Banks AT Rohan Plaza, 5th Rd, Ram Krishna Nagar, Khar West

Work hard, play harder
PLAY THE LOUNGE Because playing games isn’t just for childrenThis all-day diner is a lounge bar by night. Hot on the heels of another similar concept bar, MRP in Dadar, Play has the advantage of being bang in the middle of Kamala Mills. Unwind from a long day of work with fun games including alco hockey, beer pong, kings cups. Reserve a table and you can play their “table games” free. Their games include versions of classic games like chess (played with shot glasses), ludo, snakes and ladders and jenga. A little bit of nostalgia never harmed anyone. CELEB QUOTIENT Apurva and Shilpa Agnihotri, Shantanu and Nikhil, Lauren Gotlieb, Karishma Tanna, Upen Patel AT 1st Floor, Trade View Oasis Building, Kamala Mills, Pandurang Budhkar Marg, Lower Parel

Source: India Today

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