Mumbaikars don’t dance. Is that why there are so few dance floors in the city? Or is it the other way around? As you ponder this funky chicken-and-egg situation, here’s the A-list of Mumbai clubs to get into this party season — and why.
A night at Tryst is like attending a spectacular light show, where more than a million color-changing LEDs poke out of almost every corner and bright green absinthe potions swirl around in glasses. If you’ve got the bucks, you’re in the spotlight. The focus of this futuristically designed club is elevated VIP tables with a minimum billing of almost $400 (Rs 25,000) each (The King Table dictates that you spend at least a lakh (over $1,500)), with a personal butler and your own bouncer to boot. Two special VIP tables — Den 1 and Den 2 — even have gadgets built into tabletops that will display your name, a personal message and your customized menu for the night.
“It’s a great way to impress your date,” says co-owner Rajiv Tandon, who’s busy prepping Tryst for the upcoming party season with powerful air conditioners, a fatter hip-hop track list, a glossy new dance floor and if you can believe it, more lights. Many more lights.
So the experiences you can have at China House are varied. You could be turned away right at the door for not being dressed appropriately or for being a group of stags — or you could get in and have yourself some pricey but yummy cocktails — like the Bonnie Beb made with Dewar’s, apricot brandy, apple juice, and Assam tea — and some fun dancing. There’s something for everyone at this club housed at the Grand Hyatt hotel, where new DJs visit every Friday and shutters go down as late as 3 a.m. Special mention for the seriously happy bartender Oster Fernandes, who takes requests for impromptu cocktails that aren’t on the menu, even when the bar is packed. And by packed, we mean packed.
Spot sexy red couches and wannabe models at Trilogy. Here, from the owners of Colaba’s Henry Tham, you’ll find a wooden bar on level one and a glittering red staircase scattered with lounges that leads to a humongous dance floor above it, a thing of rarity in Mumbai. Oh, and there’s also a smoking room inside — another specialty.
Outside, bartenders in fedoras groove to typical Mumbai club music — think David Guetta and the likes — and hand out yum watermelon-basil martinis to a mixed crowd of teenyboppers and the working lot pushing for that once-in-a-while heavy dance night. Bar snack picks Sushi and batter-fried chicken.
Every Mumbai musician worth their guitar would agree: Blue Frog revolutionized the live music scene in this city, with its egg-shaped seating booths, state of the art acoustics, high-tech LED screens, great burgers and steaks, overpriced drinks and we-don’t-care-what-you-think arrogance.
Founded by an eclectic bunch of musicians, admen and filmmakers, this concert hall, recording studio, dance floor, restaurant and bar with a stage in front has hosted an impressive lineup of homegrown and international artists, including sitar player Anoushka Shankar, African pop artist Angelique Kidjo, British saxophone player Soweto Kinch and the immensely popular indie duo Shaa’ir + Func. The club is planning on spreading the music, with a New Delhi branch in the works. People in the capital, take note.
Formerly Hype — which unabashedly billed itself as “the country’s first luxury nightclub” — Matahaari opened with the same exclusive clientele in mind. Kitted out like the famous spy’s boudoir, the club also features a VVIP room separated by a bookshelf that hides a secret room complete with a smoking area, loungers, and a private bar. Despite the fact that it’s located inside a mall, which at first glance would seem an odd choice of address, Matahaari is proving a hit with the kind of A-listers that made its predecessor Hype such a success.
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