Looks can be deceiving. But apparently, looks, names, ratings, entrances… EVERYTHING can be deceiving.

Since ‘Drama’ left a decent enough impression on my friends (go figure), we decided to try the place next to it as well. Backstage Café has a pretty interesting entrance and staircase that’s adorned by all things 90’s folks find cool (think old record players and posters). The entrance also looks like something that’d lead to an underground, anti-establishment dive. I was beginning to get a good feeling about this place.

Unfortunately, that good feeling ended the second we opened the door.

Backstage Café is nothing but a shady hookah bar. So in my head, this was basically a sham place. While my friends wondered where to sit, I walked up to one of the servers and asked if this was ‘it’, you know, just to make sure. Sadly, it was.

We sat down at the table closest to the door so as to be the first ones to bolt in case shit went down. The place is one large-ish room and many tables with three TV screens per table (again, go figure). I can’t tell you much else about the décor because everything was obscured by sheesha smoke.

Most of my friends stuck to beers (INR 150 for a pint of Tuborg) but one friend and I decided to brave a couple of cocktails. I went for the Whisky Sour (INR 275) and he went for the Monk Mojito (INR 325). The Monk Mojito was surprisingly good – refreshing and delicious. The Whisky Sour though was the worst concoction I’ve ever tasted. It was what mixing egg with a sweet syrup would taste like. Gack! It was so bad, I sent it back thrice but it didn’t change much. Oh, just so you know, Backstage Café doesn’t have its own bar. They get their drinks made at Drama downstairs! Sham!

Monk Mojito @ Backstage Café
PC: Monk Mojito @ Backstage Café


The food menu is not worth going into but we called for the ‘Fish and Chips’ (INR 275) which was better than we expected. Made with Kingfish instead of the usual Basa, this was a very Desi take on the English staple, with a green chilli zing to boot.

PC: Fish & Chips @ Backstage Café


We called for a hookah because when in Rome… But all of us unanimously agreed that hookah gets boring after the first ten pulls or so.

Once our drinks were done, there was absolutely nothing that could persuade us to stay any longer. Not the cricket match that was playing on the gazillion TV screens, nor the YouTube playlist the ‘DJ’ had queued and forgotten about.

With zero ambiance and absolutely no character, Backstage Café is definitely not up to the mark in Bombay’s nightlife scene. But you could probably order takeout from here. Probably. Toodles!

Where? Mhada Road Junction, Before Versova Telephone Exchange, 4 Bungalows

Cuisine: Continental, Indian, Chinese
Food You Must Try: Fish and Chips
Alcohol You Must Try: Monk Mojito
Dance Floor: No
Avg Price Per Head: INR 1200 for two

 Header Image Credit: Zomato