As the food blog voted ‘most likely to challenge a reader to a fist fight’ three years in a row, we at The Bombay Report are no strangers to being exceptional. And as pioneers and explorers who don’t spend our nights crying because every rando who calls themselves a foodie has better numbers on Instagram than we do; we settle for nothing but the finest bars in Mumbai. However, even as tireless perfectionists, we do sometimes make room for mediocrity. We wouldn’t know to tell a good bar from a great one if we hadn’t tried them all. This is the story of three dive bars that we found on our (ongoing) journey to find the best bar in the city. They aren’t near the top of the list, and they’re certainly nowhere near the bottom, but their existence is imperative to there being any list at all.
Ever since it was brought to our attention that Sion might hold ancient secrets about the origin of Prawns Koliwada, we’ve been sending interns there in droves to find clues and question the indigenous population. On one such expedition, we decided to take a break at New Madras, a bar that seemed to possess a certain regality that we previously thought was non-existent in Sion. While New Madras had impressive interiors and an extensive menu, we were disappointed to find that they didn’t actually stock up on much besides salted peanuts and chilli chicken. Definitely not a remarkable experience, but a fair place to chase your existential crisis with a cold beer.
Our trip to Amrut was anything but exciting, except for the part where our cab driver stranded us on the wrong side of the Eastern Express Highway. Still, the alcohol was cheap enough to help us through the trauma of crossing a four-lane expressway in the middle of the night, and get over the fact that they didn’t bother stocking up on any Bombil prior to our arrival. Overall, the food was above average, but with nothing overwhelmingly exceptional, or memorable. We did quite like the Prawns Koliwada, but they were a tad bit too dry, and we did like the name of the Chicken Sholay Kebab, but nothing else about it. Overall, Amrut isn’t the greatest bar out there, but we appreciate it nonetheless.
The food may not be the most exquisite, the drinks certainly aren’t the cheapest, and the waiters don’t ever really acknowledge your existence, but Food Search is perhaps Mumbai’s most intriguing bar for one simple reason; an enormous Renaissance painting. How it got there, nobody knows, and why it’s been left to rot in a sealed room where people smoke, is beyond the purview of this website, but regardless, it will dominate every conversation and the piercing gaze of its mysterious Elizabethan figures will drive you to the point of insanity. As far as experiences go, there’s nothing more satisfying than sipping a cold beer and pondering a
lost work of art. But honestly, better service wouldn’t kill them.
Are these bars too mediocre for your liking? Do you know any bars that are even more average than these? Is ‘meh’ not a compelling enough impetus for an article? Let us know on Instagram and we’ll comb through all your answers for the wittiest one.