Zoo Bar (Ville Parle, Mumbai)

Friends: Where are you taking us tonight A? The voices of trepidation in the back of the taxi murmur.

Me: Mcdonald’s, Ville Parle., I reply in the most earnest tone possible.

At that point, I’m not sure what was of most surprise to them: a Connoisseur contemplating entertaining friends on McAloo Tikkis and Chicken Maharajas or the Bandra-frequenting lad taking them thirty minutes to Ville Parle on a Saturday Evening at 10pm.

“Why do we need to go to Ville Parle for Mcdonald’s”, the more observant friend notes.

The reason is Zoo bar, which sits directly above the American burger chain and serves to put Ville Parle on the map for nightlife. I think expectations were low on all accounts, but Zoo Bar impresses. I opened the door at around 10.30pm and the place is in full flow, the dance-floor is packed and the Bollywood and Punjabi classics are being spun energetically behind the DJ decks.

The crowd is certainly a mixed bag: half of it looks like it was transported from Rock-Bottom in Juhu (yes, I once did have the misfortune of gracing this pit of humanity), the other half looks smart, urbane and displaying admirable comportment. In fact, my self-proclaimed “Sanskari” female friend even engaged in a bit of playful conversation with one of the dapper looking gentlemen at the bar šŸ˜‰

The place itself is decent. Long, stained wooden tables and colourful seating are a welcome sight, without being tacky. However the Zoo theme is rather feeble and tedious in practice; a few animal carvings and hand prints scattered haphazardly throughout the venue are not exactly visually inspiring. I did not sample the food so really can’t comment, but dishes that I saw being rushed around on little black plates of slate again didn’t exactly titillate the taste-buds.

I’m sure I would definitely return on a Friday/Saturday evening, as by virtue of being the only credible night spot in Ville Parle, the place will always be lively and packed to the rafters with young party loving people.

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