Mumbai’s first #HighOctaneLab

Nitrogen-infused cocktails… were the first thing that came to mind when I heard Zorawar Kalra is launching a mixology bar. Known for his brilliance in molecular gastronomy, I was eagerly waiting to see what his latest venture has in store.

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On Saturday evening, the team behind Masala Library, Made In Punjab, Pa Pa Ya and Farzi Cafe (opening soon in Dubai, Mumbai & Bangalore) hosted a spectacular launch party at their highly anticipated #HighOctaneLab – MasalaBar. Located at Bandra’s bustling Carter Road, this mixology bar is surely a fresh change from the regular drink holes in the city.

Strategically positioned above Café Coffee Day, MasalaBar is an ideal spot overlooking the Arabian Sea from where one can enjoy panoramic views of the setting sun. With reflective mirrors and classy interiors, the place has a warm, feel-good vibe to it. Rumored to be the world’s first candle-lit bar, light bulbs have been replaced with old-school candles thereby offering a first-of-its-kind intimate experience. Over 800 organic candles brighten up the place by creating innumerable tints on the walls by reflecting on their generously placed mirrors. Never before have I seen something so beautiful! Imagine lightening a bar with candles only… Now that’s an innovative first, isn’t it?

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As I set my eyes upon the bar, I am transported to Chemistry lecture days that most of us never really took seriously. It’s a sight to see bartenders stir up dramatic cocktails using scientific tools with post-modern techniques and local ingredients like thandai. Their aim is to make you enjoy your drinks like never before with their limited but unique range of signature cocktails – each one known to have an identity of its own! Every one of their heady concoctions has unusual but intriguing names like an An Evening at Chowpatty, Malabar Point, Sunset @ Carter, Bollywood Bhang, and Mumbai Matinee among others. Not just that, their wines and single malt list adds to their expansive beverage section, thus providing a premium bar experience to every guest. Whether you drink or not – be prepared to get intoxicated by simply watching the action at their high octane lab-like set up.

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Photo Credit – Anurag Banerjee

A perfect accompaniment to the bar is their innovative tapas menu that offers a selection of various dishes. From classic bar bites like Fish Fingers to Carbon Pav Bhaji, a modernized take on the regular street speciality, the menu has interesting choices to pick from. Other options include buns and sliders, fries, lip-smacking Pork Ribs, Chicken Wings, Khari Naan Khatai and lots more. Though I couldn’t sample all of it on Saturday, I enjoyed what I tried. However, don’t raise your expectations too high with the food as the focus here is mainly on the drinks.

MasalaBar will surely be the city’s buzzing neighborhood bar once it opens to public (opening on 16th March). Upon being asked about his newest space, Zorawar Kalra said, “From the most ancient form of illumination to the most cutting edge form of intoxication, MasalaBar seamlessly imbibes technologies of different eras. It surely is the next level, of the next level!” As of now, this seems to be the most promising bar among the relatively newer bars in the suburbs – but let’s just wait and watch.

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View my food journey on Zomato!

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