Features & Business
Fancy-free? Get lounged!
fnbworld bureau/Ridhi chhabra
The latest hangouts post-dusk are a range of fancy lounges known for their ambience, soothing and at times gyrating music, eclectic beverages (alcoholic & non-alcoholic) and multi-cuisine delicacies - essentially meant for those who love the informal hideaways to relax! My first stopover was at Aura, known for its range of eclectic range vodka.
An assortment of 34 distinct vodkas served here, forms the hallmark of Aura. Its attractive and colorful bar gravitates the young crowd towards it. Brands like Jack Daniels, Chivas and Black Label are flaunted in a glass show case with the Scottish and Russian vodkas being the most preferred of the array. The specialties included the unique Luksosowa, made with potatoes and the Zubrowka, made up of Bison Grass, is said to be fed to Polish cows! Bar Manager, Colin Robertson of Scotland says, "We are in pursuit of a few more of the rarest Vodkas like the Skyy 90, made up of Mineral water that has already been launched in the US. Alongside Vodkas, Aura is also known for its assortment of cocktails.
The Apple and Raisin Moita, a cocktail made up of fruit pulp added with a tinge of Bacardi is preferred largely. In the main course category, the Black Pepper Tiger Prawn is a must try. Its seating capacity is around 45-50 people, however it can accommodate about a couple of hundred on crowded days.
The interiors of the lounge are appeasing and provides for a comforting seating arrangement. Mocha-Coffees and Conversations, a lounge cum cafe, in south Delhi's Greater Kailash-I market, was my next destination. The interiors done in a combination of red and yellow and an assortment of seating arrangements like sofas, reclining-cushioned chairs and even a wooden swing outside the entrance, instantaneously catch oneâ€™s fancy. Add to it, the beanbags, different chairs blended around the main table and sections with seating on the floor lending the place a typical Egyptian aura.
The lower-floor of the lounge also hosts a well-furbished bookshop. From chilled milk shakes to ice-teas, granitas to smoothies, Mocha has everything to appease your senses, complimented with a range of appetizers from Paninis to Lebanese rolls. Maggie-two minute noodle also forms a part of the menu. Flicking through the Carte du jour card, I was tempted to try the Chocolate Avalanche Junior, garnished with thickly frosted slabs of chocolate cake and syrup. The dish tasted heavenly as I savored the rich and creamy bites. As the night wore on, the whiff of hookah mantled the place, the white smoke lifting the spirits of all loungers. Offered in apple, apricot, strawberry, mixed fruit, chocolate and mint flavors, the hookah seemed to be hugely acclaimed.
My last stopover: RPM Lounge and Hookah Bar. Nestled on the second-floor in the Greater Kailash-II market, this lounge bar is a brand of the Lazeez Affaire food chain that is housed on the first floor of the same building. As I walked in, the door vibrated with the thumping music belted by the DJ inside. Colorful lights, a long glassy bar ushered me into a royal world of lounging. It was more of a pub with a lounge like atmosphere with leather sofas dispersed around. Said Bhupesh, the manager, RPM meaning Revolution Per Minute is where we want out customers to have something different every second, believes Bhupesh, the manager of the lounge. Gradually, couples moved out of their seats to twirl to the beats of the foot stomping music remixed by the DJ.
The lounge doesn't have a dance floor but its infectious aura lures people to shake a leg and enjoy the music. From juices, shooters, mocktails, cocktails to wines (ranging from Italian, South African, Argentinean and French wines) and champagnes, the place has it all. I settled for a Cocktail christened Cosmopolitan- a mixture of Vodka, Contrea and Cranberry. The drink refreshed me as I looked forward to try a mocktail this time. Popularly known as Italian Smooch, it is one of the best selling mocktail here. For main course, the lounge offers an array of Indian to Mughlai delicacies ranging from shorbas, vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries, tandoori food and biryani. The desserts comprise phirni, a sweet dish made of crushed rice and kulfi, to name a few.
A must try at this place is the Kebab Platter, Gulafi Seekh and Mirch Makai ka Salan. The highly pegged up rates of both drinks and eatables is a flipside of this lounge. In spite of the name Hookah Lounge, hookahs are not readily available here. The beautifully done interior with the fancy lights, add to the tasteful decor of the lounge. Loud discotheques are a passe. The hard-hitting color lights of discotheques have succumbed to the soothing lights of a lounge that provides ample space for people to relax and share a conversation in the placid ambience. The city is opening up to the lounge culture in a big way, the lounges offering an eclectic range of delicacies and drinks complemented by cozy interiors, make the best option for unwinding and catching up with friends.