The relationship between a man and his bar truly is a thing of beauty. In the beginning, she’s always happy to see him, and welcome him with childlike glee and open arms. She’s always there for him after a long day of work, to soothe his sore feet and rest his weary head. She’s his rock, his safe space, a place where he can truly be himself; when he’s with her he feels at home. In lighter times, she’s his best friend and his partner in crime, and never shies away from a night (or afternoon) of wanton debauchery. His friends love her, and everything seems great. Over time, however, she starts to see in herself the beauty that he always saw in her, and begins to raise prices. She now knows she deserves better than him; better clientele, bigger tips. Suddenly, the beer isn’t as icy cold and the bombil doesn’t feel as crispy. Gradually, he begins to resent her.
Now his eye wanders to other bars, other places that’ll serve him like she once did, other institutions that’ll quench his thirst for dark rum and his carnal hunger for fried fish. Luckily for him, there are plenty of fish in the sea.
2 Star, Kalina has everything we look for in a great bar. The alcohol is suspiciously cheap and it’s available in every quantity imaginable from 30ml all the way up to an entire khamba. Unlike every other bar menu in the city, the menu at 2 Star actually has a description for all the items, so you aren’t forced to guess just what the hell a Chicken Baahubali is. The food itself is delicious, especially the Bombil Fry and the Mutton Seekh Kebab and the place is not entirely unsuitable for women; so you won’t have to deal with her incessant whining about “not feeling safe.”
Of the dozens of bars we’ve visited over the years, Chinaar has by far the best ventilation. The food is pretty good too, especially their Bombil Fry which is without a doubt one of our favourites in the city. It will always have a special place in our hearts, because it was recommended to us by a real reader who believes in our cause, and not a disgruntled employee trying to lure us into a violent ambush. They do have outside seating if you’re keen on enjoying the famous Bandra East weather, but we much prefer the inside seating, and its impressive acoustics, so that the entire bar is forced to listen to Derrick the Intern’s rants about the “god damn Bangladeshis”.
If you’re serious about alcohol, fanatical about seafood, and won’t leave the house for anything less than Grecian mural in a Victorian building, then not only are you a weirdo, but you’re also in luck. Because Apoorva has them all. Unlike most other dive bars that claim to serve seafood, but never bother to stock up on anything other than bombil and prawns, Apoorva flexes on the competition with the most exotic of them all; squid. The food is so genuinely impeccable, especially the Kerala Fried Prawns and the Squid Chilli Garlic it outshines the cheap alcohol every single time. As men who’ve had our fair share of run-ins with the system, we were disappointed to find that most of the patrons were lawyers, and even more disappointed when we learnt that they don’t wear perukes anymore. But as far as great places to drink go, Apoorva raises the bar.
What is your regular dive bar? Is being loyal to a bar weird and something that only happens in sitcoms? Do you know a bar that you think we should try? Let us know on Instagram, we would genuinely love to know.