I’ve never really liked pubs, they’re just bars with people too hot to want to go out with me. If you’re a frequent reader of this page, which would make you a statistical anomaly, you’re already aware of my views towards vegetarians. I’m not suggesting we should round them all up, but accidents happen.
Anyway, a couple of days ago I found a veggie pub, which strangely enough, I quite liked, and it wasn’t just because they have this really cool Redbull fridge whose doors are led TVs. Would I ever drink Redbull? No. Would I ever steal the fridge? Probably. But there’s so much more to Vortex than just cool refrigeration units and chemistry equations plastered onto the walls. It has some of the best cocktails I’ve ever had, and believe I’ve had a few cocktails in my day; including today, while writing this article. It’s also got a built in Hookah parlour for all your pseudo smoking needs including one that lights up, just in case two guys smoking a hookah at three in the afternoon wasn’t enough of a cry for help.
The thing that puts Vortex South on the map is clearly their drinks. They claim to make cocktails which are healthy, and I don’t think they were being sarcastic or trying to pander, because each and every one of the cocktails we had was freshly squeezed fruit juice with a bit of vodka. I don’t know how healthy that is, but I did use it as an excuse not to go to the gym this week. We had three drinks, all of which were exceptional, but the one I really enjoyed was the PPAP.
The PPAP is a pineapple- pistachio concoction that’s based on the PPAP video, a video which if you haven’t seen by December 2016 means you live a much more fulfilling life than the rest of the world. The drink itself is alright, even if it smells a bit like acetone but once you get a taste those pineapple chunks soaked in vodka you can never look at fruit the same way again. They should consider making vodka soaked pineapple its own item on the menu.
Because of some strange deal, Vortex isn’t allowed to serve meat. They serve alcohol and tobacco in rooms where people grind on Saturday nights, but meat is a big no, no. But because they realise the error of their ways they’ve come up with interesting soy substitutes. When I say interesting I mean interesting, not delicious. What was genuinely incredible is the Kremushroom.
Pub food isn’t supposed to taste good, it’s usually just for show. But the Kremushroom is nothing short of vegetarian caviar. It’s mushroom stuffed with hot molten cream cheese, the only two reasons vegetarianism is still a possible life choice.
If you grew up in the dark years of Hookah Prohibition (2012- 2015) the only hookah you’ve ever had probably tasted like exhaust fumes from your dad’s Honada Civic because it was more often than not made by a teenager from Rizvi College who convinced you he knew what he was doing. But real Hookah, from a real parlour is something else, it’s great. I mean I’m not an expert on hookah, all the flavours taste like paan masala to me, but it’s more about blowing smoke out of your nose and pretending to be a dragon. Vortex has some pretty nice flavours like Happy Dent and Cream Salsa (which we tried) but I’m sure they’re all special in their own way.
Vortex South is definitely interesting enough to warrant a try, and if the veg food is too much of a deal breaker, they are planning to open a normal food version in Bandra sometime soon.