Veg bars have well and truly become a thing in Mumbai. There’s a clear audience for it, and people like me, who thrive on non-veg food are slowly opening our minds to such places because hey, you’re going to follow the alcohol at the end of the day. On a Tuesday evening, I somehow managed to land at Tardeo, a place, that in my head, was always a fictional locality in Mumbai.
That evening, Tardeo got as real as real can be, because not did I just manage to reach the place, but I found myself in a gorgeous looking resto-bar in the heart of the locality. Stallion – Pure Veg Bar & Restaurant it said, with the word ‘Stallion’ impressively adorning its entrance in big bold orange letters.
My sole intention was to drink that evening, and I was caught off guard by a visibly enthusiastic and extremely welcoming employee, who politely checked if I had come for the Sheesha lounge or the bar. It’s not very often that you enter a bar to be received by its Marketing Head. That was surprise number one. Surprise number two came in the form of learning that they had even a Sheesha lounge, a space they have created on their first floor.
On understanding my need of the hour, she led me to a comfortable seat in a corner of the bar area, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel like a privileged customer. That feeling quickly died down when I looked around to see that I was the only customer at that hour (Hmph). She defended the empty tables and chairs by saying that not everybody is as excited as me to come drink on a Tuesday evening. That’s really not a valid reason but I think the lady still had a point.
The décor was impressive. It gave a very up-market family restaurant vibe, with lamps neatly dangling from the ceiling to shed just the right amount of light required for a table. I was envisioning this place to be filled with people, and it made for a good picture. The Marketing Head did her bit of glorifying the place by saying that getting a table on weekends is extremely tough. Now, she’s bound to say that because it’s part of her job, but I don’t think she was lying. The place just had that give.
They have an expansive bar menu, and when I found myself in a dilemma as to which cocktail to order, my personal host for the evening called on her bartender to my table and asked him to suggest a cocktail based on my taste. He told me to go for the Mandarin Mojito (INR 250) and all I could do at that point was blindly trust him. I think I did the right thing because he conjured up a rather soothing concoction. Their Pepper Cottage Cheese (INR 250) could’ve been a lot less chewy, but I made peace with it anyway because hey, I was having my own little private party.
Another interesting aspect about their interiors was a giant fish tank seamlessly built inside the bar counter. It was innovation at its best for me, because I don’t think I’ve come across anything like that before in a bar in Mumbai. Have you?
This is just the kind of resto-bar that can give you the motivation to travel to a locality in Mumbai that never registered in your consideration set. Head on a weekend if you may, but going by what I was told, it’s safe to make a reservation well in advance.
Where? 1A1B1C, Raheja Excelsior, Tardeo, Mumbai
Food you must try here: Paneer Tikka, Cheese Baked Nachos
Cocktails you must try: Mandarin Mojito, Stallion’s LIIT
Is there a dance floor? No
Avg price per head: INR 800 approx