Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bar tales of three cities, Spinnz : New Delhi

He calls me Lalle and I call him Lalle (often appended by Lalle di Jaan, Kocche Qurbaan), don't remember where it came from. Sanjay Malhotra and I decide to have a drink, lets do it without the families. I have known him for 29 years we have met in many avtaars. He is my jeweller friend who dabbles in properties and exposed me to the drinking out culture in clubs (where pretty much nothing els happens) hunting down bars in Delhi in the 80's to some time in the early 90's And often visited the biggest and largest bar in the world Carobar (drinking in the cars). Delhi businessmen respected their establishments so much that at end of business hours they drank at a dhaba, a barbecue joint, outside the wine shop and when they got their cars in a car.With exception of the motor part or auto market businessmen of a certain community who drank in their establishment and topped it with a few lovely!lovely! pegs in the car. Therefore the bar culture was stunted and had a bonasi appeal in Delhi, limited to five stars and then percolated in the mid 90's to the upper middle class frequented restaurants. Hang on this is not about Sanjay, or businessmen or a taxonomy and genesis of bars in Delhi, this is about Spinnz.

On a earlier outing I told my friend Alex that there are no democratic bars in and around Nehru Place and Kailash Colony, he hinted at Supper factory (where I believe you need a lady to accompany you to get a drink now), I know of Ruby Tuesday at Nehru Place, that is hardly a bar, you know what I mean. He mentioned Spinnz owned by a Sardar. I had to go to Spinnz, more like Sins.

Sanjay we are meeting in your backyard at Spinnz. I reach the dark bar with smoke at 7 pm and order a beer, only Kingfisher is avialble, its one of the big nights of IPL semis.But all the big burly sardars with series of cellphones like handguns laid out on the tables are watching tennis French open, that to ladies. I imagine they are filling in their voyeuristic streak with the athletic panty show among shots and the grunts that tennis players emit and turns a few weirdos. I ask the waiter and suggest switching on to the pre match frenzy on IPL. The owner an enormous sardar, defends tennis. I say, who watches tennis, he says yahan laggane wale jaada hain dekhne waale kun( more betters than viewers). I shut up that expalins the grunts and cellphones.

Sanjay comes in turns up his nose, I have begun liking the place and the homely atmosphere the sardar provides as he manages the restaurant from centre court. Sanjay eases,starts drinking beer, he has switched to wine from whisky you see (not much wine here). Studies the menu, its May despite that in Delhi orders fish, and makes a remark, it should not smell. Sardar makes a note. We drink more beer, the fish tikka arrives, its enormous and delicious, Sanjay orders another and another (3 portions so far). Sardar smiles they strike a chemistry. We drink more beer, Sardar is accomdating as many people in this large hall with 15 split air-conditioners, he is now refusing guests at the sametime humoring his existing guests. We drink more beer, now its kalmi kabab after studying the menu and some banter between Sanjay and the sardar they also settle on the next of the eats its a Kali Mirch Chicken (Pepper chicken), Sanjay is rocking and the Sardar is rolling with the overflow of guests. We slurp every morsel and clean the dish with the Naan. Sardar comes and confesses we did this for you, its not on the menu, its for friends and my own guests we eat this after a long day.

As usual we ended up eating more than drinking with all the beers and the eats we settled the commercials at Rs 1500/- way out of the earlier league of the bar trilogy and approx 500 to 800 number. But this is Delhi, and South Delhi for that matter(Kailash Colony) and its IPL Semis.

Well it turned out to be an endearing place, pretty much because we put down our card and pretentions and wanted to have plain old fashioned fun and a chat. The Sardar was a sport, elevated the atmosphere, hard to find an interesting drinking place like this in Delhi.

So Long

No comments: