A Shot Bar is a specialty lounge that appeals to the youth because of the energetic, zesty and lively atmosphere. Appeal moreover, to the ones who would vicariously like to spend without second thought. A thought to the potency of the shots, quality of food and usually even to the décor and ambience. They are oblivious to detailing. It works simply on the premises of hip shaking music, drinks and screaming friends ganging up. Drinks guzzled down in large numbers and tapas to add some more charm.
Influenced by a trending Barcelona concept, ‘He said, she said’ launched in backstreet Veera Desai, Mumbai. A lounge for those of you cruising the bar scene. A place to stop for a shot, or eight (rising to the potency of one) interspersed with beer mugs and some tit bits.
Their full service bar specializes in shots, apart from offering domestic and international draft and bottled beer. Their extensive and exotic shot menu is designed by mixologist, Nischal Gurung. So whether you are looking to buy a round of shots, or just throw a few drinks back, HS3 is quite a charmer.
But does an extensive- exotic menu warranty taste, flavours and heady mixes? Often not. A line up that reads fruity, chocolatey, spicy, Mumbai special, layered, balls of steel, ice cream and much more is fun but what further?
We tried the Red Hot Chilly Peppers as the partnering owner, Kuber Sarup insists upon. He teamed the spicy shot along with Cha maila. Being the owner’s favourites amongst the rest does assure you of the shots.
‘Red hot chilly peppers’ is supposed to be peppery vodka muddled with some sugar and green chilly. But, neither did the name read vodka nor did it taste of. It was amber, if not red but certainly hot chilly peppers. Coupled up with a 30 second break, we down ‘Cha maila’ and we all say aloud, “Cha Maila, did the owner seriously suggest this?” It was caramel, whiskey and cinnamon. A lethal combination you ideally cannot go wrong with, but for someone to manage it, quite an achievement, must say. We vigorously shake our head post the sweet guzzle and the steward announces them to be the two ‘most-ordered’ shots. I am sure, its Kuber’s way of tricking all guests to order and have them, 30 seconds from each other. Smart!
Vodka shots include ‘Majama che’, was all of strawberry essence, syrupy sweet and with a smidgen of vodka. Paantini and ‘watered melon’, oops Melon water both left us ‘high and dry’, with absolutely no sign of vodka.
Next we are shot in the arm, with gin, star anise and mint flavoured ‘end of the road’. The mint is super charged, leaving other flavours with absolutely no chance to even raise their heads. “Taste of mouthwash is the reason why I think they have named it so”, says a guest at the table, who was taken aback with the line up so far.
With a lot of finger food flowing in, not one could catch our fancy. The ‘Michelin star tag’ could not be any saving grace either. ‘Spicy Jalapeno poppers’ were over breaded croquettes, with no jalapenos to abide by the name. ‘Okra kurkure’ is a welcome change in taste and quiet a novelty in the usual lounge menus , knowing the tediousness of getting okras patted dry, thinly sliced and fried. In a place where, food needs to flow as quickly as the beverages, this is quiet an effort and thought worth appreciating.
The most expensive starter on the menu, pepper and olive cheese parcels does not justify the price though. Use of philadelphia cheese, peppers, phyllo and olives does no magic. But maybe, when and if you get high, the cheese can just do the trick. Barbequed chicken wings are succulent and well charred on the outside, but were clearly not cooked on a barbeque. Just serving it laced in barbeque sauce doesn’t work for me. But like I said the one’s visiting there for the charm of spending good time with friends wouldn’t bother much. Crumbed and fried fish tequito with fresh fruit salsa was bland. Did the chef forget the? Only for him to answer.
Before we leave, we give the lounge and shot menu one last chance and we are glad we ordered ABC, layered with Amaretto, Baileys and Cognac. Need I say more about this heady, racy and warm shooter? Unfortunately, we had preconceived notions about its potency. Thanks to its other counterparts. But this one stood far and a clear winner!
A well thought fare for sure with a lineup of whiskey, rum-dark and white, tequila, gin and more, but a little more thought on the fun and taste quotient would have added up to a lot of flair to the shot and tapas menu. Having the burden of being India’s first shot bar, a mixologist and Michelin star chef on board, it’s not worth, despite being absolutely wallet–friendly.
However, like I said before, a new hub in town, for youngsters over some thumping music, cheap booze and food, is all what it takes to fill up the place. This lounge for that matter, still has a lot of baggage and hash tags to do justice to.