As a media organisation that’s received many a subpoena for its quality journalism, reviewing a place so close to our hearts(what’s left of them) was a very difficult call to take. The only reason we found ourselves at the site of some our fondest college memories in the first place was the fact that it was the only bar we could find open on a Sunday. It was 4pm, and the withdrawal was kicking in. We needed the sweet, warm embrace of firewater. And we needed it now.
St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous) is one of the country’s premiere educational institutions, and we know that to be true because it’s what we yell into our pillows every time we look at our pay checks. You would think a bar that’s been associated with such an important part of Indian academia for decades would be an inherently exciting place where revolutionary ideas were discussed, debates fuelled by alcohol and passion raged, and the leaders of tomorrow congregated.
It took us back to a simpler time, when our wallets were empty, and girls didn’t want to be anything more than acquaintances. Not very much has changed, but least we have slightly nicer haircuts now. Considering we’ve subjected you to a considerable amount of our insufferable attempts at nostalgia, here’s an unfiltered, unbiased, review on Sunlight Restaurant & Bar.
The first thing you’ll notice when you walk into Sunlight is that it’s very dark; whether that’s supposed to be ironic or whether it’s purely coincidental is completely beyond us. It also explains why people go there to make out in the shadows. There’s a non air-conditioned section for the regular crowd, and an upstairs A/C section for underage drinkers. We picked the upstairs section because we had people from Bandra accompanying us who weren’t accustomed to the Southern hardships of life.
The next thing you’ll notice is that the music is very loud. When you’re young, in your prime, and full of ideals it’s very difficult to notice, but once you cross the age of 23 and have the childish wonder beaten out of you, it becomes almost unbearable. Especially when they charge you 10 bucks just to pick a song that isn’t from the 90s and won’t cause a nearby group of men in Kurtas to sway unapologetically.
The thing that really annoyed us is that Sunlight refuses to serve quarters until 6pm, it’s part of their ‘code of ethics’ or something. They also don’t accept cards. The lavatories are bad even by dive bar standards, and climbing down the staircase will be an arduous task for anyone affected by the laws of physics.
And all of that would have been perfectly acceptable if it wasn’t so God damn expensive. We did enjoy their Bombil Fry (which was fried in so much batter it almost made us forget we couldn’t afford surmai), Chicken ’69’, and their signature Butter Popcorn (Rs. 80), which is not popcorn mixed with butter as it is butter mixed with popcorn. If you’re diabetic, consider this a trigger warning.
The Decree: If you didn’t attend St. Xavier’s College, we do recommend you go to Sunlight, it’s an institution in its own right. But if you did go to Xavier’s and still have fond memories of Sunlight, we suggest you don’t ruin them, and give it a pass.