Taj Mahal Hotel,
#1 Mansingh Road
Map Reference: Click Here
For my money, an evening at Rick’s is paid for in full by one smile from the hostess. Don’t believe me? visit it yourself, the proof of the martini is in the olive (intricate pun, which didn’t quite carry). Anyway, Rick’s is what arose when the Taj Mahal hotel pulled down the Captains Cabin and decided to replace it with an East meets West blend, kind of Casablanca making out with Bali Hi. For those who haven’t cracked the name yet, Rick’s is named after Bogey’s bar in Casablanca in the movie of the same name (based on a play called Everybody comes to Rick’s).
Anyway, the first thing you’re confronted with in Rick’s is a bar menu with a couple of stylised forks (At least I think they were forks) on the cover. Opening the menu reveals a varied selection of the right stuff as also something solid to line your stomach with.
The bar itself stretches down one end of the room, so you have the choice of sitting on a barstool or lounging on a sofa in the middle of the room. If you want to get away a bit, then you can move up a little to one of the tables, which are a bit further away and also are the same level as the pianist, who sits there and belts out her stuff (I think her name was Natasha).
As soon as you settle into your seats, a massive bowl of nachos and salsa is served up (which is replenished when u desire). After glancing through the menu, my wife ordered a classic Champagne cocktail (sugar coated in angostura bitters and cognac topped with champagne) and I ordered a Guav-Berry martini (a fruity vodka martini). We waited for our drinks and surveyed the scene around us, and listened to snatches of conversations (Naresh owns 20% of Spectranet, darling please get me a bottle of Smirnoff, and other such dazzling bits and pieces). Our cocktails arrived duly. My wife pronounced hers to be excellent, which I must say it was. Champagne with a zing from the cognac and a bit of spice from the bitters. My guava-berry on the other hand was a drink I could have done without. My fault, I should have avoided a fruity drink. No doubt it would appeal to those of the fairer sex (funnily enough though, my wife didn’t like it too).
We had also ordered some excellent chicken wrapped in banana leaves (some of the best chicken we’ve tasted in our lives).
I quickly moved on from the fruity vodka to a Mojito which was really rather good – in a long glass with lots of ice, and sprigs of mint – it’d make the perfect drink for a summer afternoon – a pitcher of mojitos, sipped gently with some grilled prawns. Heaven! We in the meantime were also busy placing requests with the pianist who obliged at rapid speed. She even played As Time Goes By on our request (the seminal song in Casablanca).
Anyway, Rick’s filled up by 10 on the Friday nite we went in. They don’t reserve tables, but can block a seat for you (what’s the diff?). Keep swinging Rick’s; we’ll drop in again when we’ve saved up enuff moolah.