There is an honesty bar within Kala Ghoda’s new watering hole, Hyde, where unsupervised, you make your own drinks and pay as you please from a list of suggested prices (Rs 60 to Rs 240). The hawk-eye cashier is just an olive’s throw away though, so cancel all plans of drinking and dashing.
The honesty bar system runs from 6 pm to 8 pm daily, following which it morphs into a regular pub where you don’t have to do all the work or tell the truth. This is probably when the neighbourhood’s lawyers will rush in.
Vegantails Are A Thing Now?
Fries are better than lies here at Hyde, where bar snacks provide the essential Cs - crunch, crackle and cheese – without being slick with oil. Start with onion rings, battered and gratifyingly stuffed with cheese. Margarita is a good basic cheese pie, but crust feels a under-baked.
When the Honesty Bar shuts post 9 pm, perch on a steel chair not for cocktails, but straight up drinks. Here’s why: A Spice Garden potion of gin, green tea tonic, cardamom and nutmeg syrup is undrinkably bitter; Vegantail (cucumber white rum, basil leaves, bell pepper syrup and cherry bitters) has too much basil and tastes synthetic, like metallic apple juice. The music is also louder now; mostly English staples you’ll hear at a wedding.
It’s opening night, which means the owner is around, collecting feedback and replacing cocktails that patrons did not enjoy, us included. He recommends Pour Homme (ladies drink whisky too, by the way), a cocktail ofrosemary bourbon, maple syrup, absinthe mist and bitters. This is a good order for Old Fashioned swillers or really just anyone who is amused by a handsome cocktail glass wearing an orange peel moustache. Yes, we met on Rind-er, okay? Vodka-based Dessert Time should not be ordered, unless you want a sweet slushie to drown the alcohol’s potency, and a rush of peanut butter to blunt the burn of vodka.
While the bartenders break in the bar, and learn how not to squash the Hyde’s cocktail ambitions, we suggest you stop by, if you must, for straight up drinks with a side of the truth.
Getting there: Currimjee Building, 111 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort 400001. Open from 6pm to 1am. Meal for two Rs 1,500-2,500
Accessibility: A single step to get into the bar.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
This review was conducted by Aatish Nath, a freelance food and travel writer.
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