Following the abject failure of our first expedition to Sion, we decided to try again once we found a place worthy of our time. After approximately three minutes of half-hearted, obligatory research on Zomato, we finally identified what seemed to be a suitable candidate. Its name, Amrut Restaurant And Bar. Our journey to Sion started innocently enough, with close to seven rickshaw drivers refusing to take us, and seriously dragging our reputation for ‘not taking no for an answer’ through the mud. After finally coercing a rickshaw driver to take us through bribes and threats, we were finally ready to finish what we started.
We were roughly 90% of the way there when our vehicle swerved abruptly to the right and came to a halt. We assumed it was to avoid hitting a pedestrian, to which we informed our driver that we’re busy men who were willing to pay his legal fees, so long as he got us to the bar before 10pm. But apparently that wasn’t the reason. Sion is custodian to a part of the sacred rickshaw border an imaginary line rickshaws aren’t allowed to cross, lest they and their families burst into flames.
After a good cry, we decided to take a cab, who dropped us on the wrong side of the Eastern Express Highway & then promptly disappeared; which left us with another choice, we could either cross the highway and risk life and limb, or climb a dark, deserted harbour line foot-over-bridge, and risk being violated and then killed. For some reason we chose the latter, only to discover that Amrut Restaurant And Bar wasn’t in Sion at all, but only a minute away from King’s Circle station; we’d been lied to.
We got a seat right opposite the proprietor, which meant we had to suspend our attempts at openly recording a podcast. The menu was vast and confusing, and included delights we never got the opportunity to try, like Kranchi Chicken, Bread And Butter, and Chicken Sathe, but rather disappointingly, no Bombil. The food and spirits were cheap even by our standards, but the beer wasn’t, it never is. Once we managed to get our waiter’s attention for long enough to place our order, we placed quite possibly the most random order ever made at a bar, or anywhere really.
Chilli Cheese Toast
Chilli Cheese Toast is a simple yet fulfilling dish, and while Amrut did manage to mess ours up a bit by making it bone dry and a little burnt, it doesn’t really matter because at the end of the day, it’s still cheese.
Chicken Sholay Kebab
Sholay is possibly our favourite curry western of all time, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect. Would it be a mysterious recipe that finally brought us peace, or was it a code word that would get us shot by a man with a goofy moustache? Either way we were optimistic, which is what made the actual dish somewhat disappointing. It was just chicken tikka. Out of everything we tried at Amrut, it was the only dish that wasn’t dry.
The Prawns Koliwada at Amrut were excellent, and pretty cheap too. They were smaller than we were hoping but were so deep fried that we could actually eat the prawns whole, tail and all, without the worry of rupturing anything important. They weren’t very spicy, or flavourful for that matter, but they were really crispy, from all that deep frying. Overall we’d have to say it was easily the best thing we’d tried, even if it was ridiculously dry.
The Decree: Drinking at a dive bar is far more complicated than just good food and cheap drinks, it’s all about feelings and experiences. Amrut doesn’t have the best food or cheapest drinks, but we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t a fun place, and that the journey, as perilous as it may have been, was thoroughly exciting. You should definitely try it out, but make sure you take the Harbour Line to King’s Circle instead of going through Sion. You can thank us later. In the mean time we’ll be covering more of Sion’s great bars in the weeks the come, so if we disappear without a trace, don’t panic.