As humans, pioneers, and explorers, our adventures across Bombay have taken us to some of the city’s most amazing bars. But this article is not about them. Instead, in the interest of serving our country in our outmost capacity as right-wing food journalists, we’ve decided to weigh in on yet another great question that’s been hotly debated amongst Mumbai’s normie population, ‘Is Yacht better than Gokul?’
Before we begin, we’ll address the elephant in permit room by saying that Yacht’s transition from the nation’s strategic rodent reserve to a ‘resto-bar’ in 2017 did bother us deeply. And while we can and will blame women for permanently ruining the delicate ecosystem of a nice shady bar, maybe in the fragility of our old age we’ve grown accustomed to luxuries like there being enough light for us to actually see our food before we eat it, without the latent dread of what we’ll find.
More to the point, the prices are still considerably low, and the weekday crowd is relatively unchanged except for the occasional blue-haired white lady, but again, this is Bandra, and Bandra has fallen.
The new Yacht is well lit, impressively clean and they’re two-for-two with the bathrooms having both toilet paper and flushes. While we never really cared too much about the old Yacht to the same degree as the people who’ll undoubtedly be calling us out in the comments section, the new Yacht is definitely a place we’d consider going to, before not actually going there.
Aside from adding fairy lights and loud music to their A/C smoking section, Gokul hasn’t really succumbed to the perils of gentrification. This bar, which is a dark, dingy, and deceptively massive rabbit hole of isolated rooms filled with people, feels more like a large, shady party than an actual dive bar.
In this instance, we were accompanied by our female correspondent the night before she was tragically shot by a Russian spy, on the orders of Derrick The Intern. Even though she blew our cover by telling the manager we were food bloggers within ten seconds of our arrival and thinks that BSE qualifies as a dive bar, a wamen’s opinion matters, and so we let her tag along.
We never particularly cared for Gokul either way despite our numerous visits, not because it has any noticeable faults but it because it’s very noisy, always crowded, and it always gives us the imminent impression that shit’s about to go down, although nothing ever happens. On the plus side however, it is just about dark enough to conceal the shame & loneliness we must endure while drinking alone on a Thursday afternoon. Despite all its success, Gokul still hasn’t fully transitioned into a resto-bar (just yet), so you have to give them credit for not entirely selling out. We certainly do, and our approval means something.
To settle this debate, we evaluated Yacht and Gokul on 3 different parameters, the price, the food, and because we’re an objective media outlet; how they made us feel. While the prices of food at Yacht and Gokul were more or less the same, alcohol is an entirely different story. A single bottle of Kingfisher Premium at Yacht was just Rs. 280 while Gokul’s was a good bit more at Rs. 320, which we think is unacceptable for a dive bar. As far as the actual quality of the food goes, the two are more or less evenly matched. But we’d have to give Gokul a slight edge because its Bombil Fry is marinated in Koliwada batter, something you don’t really find anywhere else, while Yacht’s is just boring, oily, and not very appetising.
As far as our feelings go, we like that Gokul’s lack of lighting obscures the things in the bar that would’ve made us like it less, but we still prefer Yacht because it’s less stuffy and feels like a place you could actually go to if you’re looking to relax, as opposed to just have a good a time. Even then, it’s really close.
Yacht and Gokul are both incredible places, and while we like to disparage people who go there, we only do so because our poor career choices led us to a life where we’ve discovered better bars. But if you held a gun to our heads and told us to choose one; we’d have to pick Yacht. And once you released us, we’d head on over to Janata on Pali with an incredible story to tell, because it’s clearly the better than either.