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I must confess I’m not a Man U form, although I happily follow their WAG’s exploits on the Times of India’s sports pages. Fortunately, Sachin’s on song, in a version of the sport, I’m not a big fan off either, but making 200 runs in a 20 over match has to count for something, and watching the fag end of his innings on a giant curving screen at the Man U Bar and Cafe is a good way to kick off the evening. I’ve got back to back meetings with friends here, and start proceedings with Paritosh, who’s also in Mumbai on work from Delhi.
The Man U Bar is part of Palladium, which is a part of the Phoenix Mills development in Lower Parel. Palladium is also home to The Comedy Store, the much awaited comedy club. When we there it was yet to get it’s license to serve foreign liquor, which constrained it’s menu options, so I decided to start with a Green Apple Martini, while Paritosh decided to try out Kingfisher’s new Carlsberg fighter, the all malt Kingfisher Ultra. The menu presented to us had much to criticize, which we did. One thing I do abhor is sloppiness and to be confronted with Absolut, spelt with an “e” at the end, 4 times on the first page of the menu was shocking. The menu itself was poorly designed and divided into too clever by half, sections.
Took a gander around, while waiting for our drinks, and it wasn’t as big as we expected, or as might be needed on a day when Man U is playing. The design of the outlet was fairly conventional, with what appeared to be a dug out area, straight across from the bar. There’s no shortage of big screens, including the aforementioned curvilinear giant. Red Bull had a Street Style promotion going on within the outlet, with one of their international crew doing tricks with a football
My Apple Martini when it arrived was dismal. I didn’t expect to find a lime slice on the rim nor bits of lime floating in my drink! The least I could have expected, given the absence of foreign brands, was the use of vodka with green apple syrup or Smirnoff Green Apple Twist with some syrup, but nope, the bar was on its own trip. I liked the KF Ultra bottle, although Paritosh seemed distinctly cool to the bottle and to the drink, probably a hangover from his day’s managing Foster’s! Post Paritosh, I moved on to chat with Rahul Nair, who was in an expansive mood, and I thanked my stars that Investment bankers were thriving again and tucked into some beer and snacks. Our catching up was interrupted by the entire floor staff and bartenders bursting out at full throttle into the Man U song, Glory Glory Man United while all standing at attention.
All in all, a disappointing experience, and not much to differentiate the outlet or the experience. As Paritosh commented, “it had nothing to either touch you or make you say wow”. On match day, it’s probably going to be a different scene, but if you’re there, stick to beer.
Rahul’s expansive mood continued, and we carried on to Tote, where I had their excellent signature drink, The Tote Mary, but that’s another story..