Bar Review: Wtf!
Wtf!, the pub’s official Facebook page tells us, is divided into three zones: a courtyard, a bar area, and an American diner-like section. We presume each is meant to offer a different experience. When we went by this weekend, we weren’t quite prepared for how vastly different those experiences would be.
We reached around 11.30pm, and expectedly—the pub has already notched up over 600 members on Facebook in just ten days—all the tables were occupied except for one in the courtyard. Despite the heat, we found the al fresco option comfortable. The service was attentive and helpful. The headwaiter impressed us by not only suggesting that we not order a Pina Colada—it’s best to avoid pineapple juice in this season apparently—but also by recommending the delicious Jesse’s Kerala beef fry. The tender meat and masala gave the dish a distinctly homemade taste.
With its whitewashed stucco walls, gravel covered flooring, and World music soundtrack, the outdoor section, as a friend noticed, felt almost like Olive, albeit a budget version of the Union Park establishment. The crowd may not be as pretty, but the drinks are not half as pricey and the ambience not half as pretentious. In comparison, the inside section felt like a nicer version of Hawaiian Shack, where the music is your standard issue retro pop and rock but the décor is more interesting and the service a bit worse.
From the giant bulbs over the bar and the booths, to the Tamil film posters and the column covered with typos commonly seen in bars across the country, the décor in the bar and diner-like area is both creative and quirky, making Wtf! the best-looking pub in its category. But when the place suddenly filled up at a quarter past midnight, the easy feeling of the outside section was sharply contrasted by the crowded chaos inside.
We ordered our drinks at the bar just seconds before Wtf! got packed. Forty minutes later, despite repeated assurances from the always-polite staff that they were on their way, our drinks still hadn’t arrived. When we finally protested, we were told they had run out of mojitos. Simplifying our order to a beer and a Breezer got us our drinks within minutes, which is just as well because while the cocktails at Wtf! are pocket-friendly at just Rs250, they weren’t quite perfect. The mandarin mojito, though not short on fruit or alcohol, could have been mixed better. The Strawberrytini was blended well but was not as chilled as it should have been.
It’s clear that Wtf! has still to come to terms with its overnight success. Though it shuts at 1.30am, the music stopped and the lights came on at 1am, giving the staff half-an-hour’s worth of buffer time to clear the bills. That said, almost everybody seemed to be having a good time. A few were, Hawaiian Shack-style, dancing between tables in the absence of a dance floor.
If you’re planning to visit on the weekend, it’s best to get there early and keep your order basic. For now, it seems that Wtf! will break the jinx and outlast On Toes and Simply Goa, two short-lived venues that were housed on the same premises. Residents of Bandra and Khar who have been waiting for a nicer looking space to do the same old thing, have just got a new place to party. As for us, we’ll be returning, but only to the courtyard, once the weather gets cooler.
Drinks and snacks for two cost approximately Rs1,000, inclusive of taxes. All reviews are conducted anonymously.