We haven’t trusted snakes ever since a serpent expertly manipulated & deceived the first human woman ever, with nothing but an apple and some simple mental gymnastics. We haven’t really trusted women either, ever since the first human woman ever was intellectually bested by a garden animal. When we first heard the name of the restaurant, we were puzzled as to why anyone would want to name their establishment after a cleaning apparatus; maybe the standards of hygiene in Andheri were finally getting better, and the owner wanted to wear it on his sleeve.
After a quick but awkward conversation with the owner, we learned that the restaurant was in fact named after a deadly venomous snake, and that unfortunately, the standards of hygiene in Andheri are still as low as they always have been. We’ve been to pubs with ridiculous suffixes in their names before, & none of them really made much sense. Viper, however, stays true to its claim of being an ‘air bar’, with a sprawling property high above the Andheri wilderness. From Viper’s extensive balcony, you can enjoy the view, take in the cool Mumbai breeze, & spit on the extras leaving Yash Raj studios next door. Not only is the balcony massive, but there’s also a rather large indoor seating area, complete with fancy leather furniture and almost unlimited references to snakes.
After we were seated, we were greeted by an overly enthusiastic waiter, who insisted on winking at us with a playful smile every time he took down an order. It wasn’t overly creepy, but it did give us the feeling that he maybe wanted to hang out later. We decided to play hard to get, and proceeded to order only the most bizarre items on the menu.
Anyone who knows us knows we care deeply about minorities, and so as an attempt to gratify our trivial vegetarian audience, we make it a point to order Chilli Cheese Toast everywhere we go.
Presumably an attempt at some sort of hip-hop related pun, the menu said the ‘MC Toast’ was a masala cheese toast, with ‘schezwan mayo’. Unfortunately, the MC Toast wasn’t toast at all, but some strange, bruschetta-corn-sabji type deal. We don’t really understand why vegetarians do the things they do, but who are we to judge.
For sworn enemies of communism, we’re surprisingly fond of cigars. The menu said these cigars were stuffed with chicken kheema, and served with a mango mustard. They were a sort of wild hybrid between seekh kebabs and spring rolls, served in a fascinating vertical formation. Interesting, but not in a good way.
As trained experts in the art of mixology, we know a thing or two about making cocktails. We tried a couple of Viper’s signature drinks, and were pleasantly surprised. They were unique, delicious, and presented to us beautifully in strikingly elegant glassware. Not flower pots, not birdcages, but whiskey tumblers so solid they could be used to crack open the back of someone’s skull, should any shit ever go down.
The Decree: Viper may not be in the most obvious of locations, it’s 7 stories above a quiet lane behind Yash Raj studios. Once you walk in, however, you’re transported to what looks like Satan’s private cigar room, with embellished leather furniture and serpentine sculptures almost everywhere you look. While the food might be kind of hit-and miss, this is not the kind of place you go for a full meal. The cocktails were flawlessly prepared, and the huge balcony and cool breeze are enough to make this a relaxing place to hang out over a couple of drinks. Just don’t forget to wink at your waiter on the way out.