Bar Review: Trilogy

September 13, 2010 8:32 am

After reading a couple of press previews that said entry to Trilogy, Henry Tham’s new bar at Hotel Sea Princess in Juhu, is only via guest list, we wondered whether to review it. It’s our editorial policy to only review establishments that are open to everyone. When we double-checked with Trilogy and their public relations team, however, they assured us that “couples only” and “Rs1,000 entry fee” were the only requisites. So when we went by on Friday night at 10pm, we weren’t expecting to be stopped by a couple of doormen, asking if we were on the guest list or had a reservation (VIP tables can be reserved for up to eight people at a minimum billing of Rs25,000). When we told them we had called and checked, they insisted that we had been given the wrong information. We then phoned the PR team, but even before they could ring back, a suited gentleman arrived on the spot and confirmed that if we paid Rs1,000, we could enter.

By then, the owners had been dialled, and they sent down another gentleman to escort us to the bar. He told us that the men at the door must be “new”—we presumed all the staff is, considering that the bar had only been open for three days—and that couples and stags could both enter if they coughed up a grand. He then told us that one of the owners was waiting to meet us. We hope Mr. Tham didn’t think us rude, but we spent the rest of the night avoiding him because we didn’t want to compromise our anonymity.

We’re not sure if the good service was on account of the staff knowing we were journalists; we can however objectively judge the decor, food and drink. Trilogy is split into two floors. The ground level recreates the ambience of Tham’s lounge in Colaba with a lot more seating, a little more flash (dull gold is a favoured decor colour) and the added feature of a sea view. The mezzanine, reached by climbing a set of sparkling-red stairs, houses the dance area, the most remarkable feature of which is the ceiling lights: cubes filled with LED crystals that change colour in sync with the music. Overall, the look is glitzy but not trashy, except maybe for the VIP tables on the landing (see photo).

Trilogy’s menus weren’t back from the printers yet so we had to rely on staff recommendations. We’d heard that they had retained much of the bartending staff from Colaba, so we ordered an old favourite: the Groove Armada. Only Bablu (ask for him) knew the drink, and was happy to make it for us even though it wasn’t on the Trilogy menu. While it could have done with less ice, Bablu served up just the right balance of vodka, guava juice and tabasco, in a salt and chilli powder-rimmed glass. Fruit cocktails are apparently Trilogy’s speciality: the watermelon and basil martini, and the apple mojito were both excellent. But it was the whisky sour—made with the egg white that so many bars choose to leave out without asking—that got full marks. Frothy, smooth and perfectly mixed, we’d go back just for it.

The bar snacks weren’t quite as exceptional; the tender chicken teriyaki was a great suggestion, but the salmon sushi didn’t taste very fresh. We spent our evening at the bar counter in the lounge, which remained relatively empty until midnight, by which time the dance floor area upstairs had filled up. Barely anyone was dancing though, probably because the DJ was spinning electronic dance music instead of the commercial hits that were played on the launch night. Not that it mattered: by the time we left there was a small swarm of mostly girls at the door, trying desperately to get in. So dear reader, while we could recommend a visit to Trilogy just for the stellar cocktails (Rs500 plus tax), we can’t say with certainty if you will be let in. Our advice: if you live in and around Juhu and don’t mind taking a chance, drop by but make alternative plans. It’s worth it just for the whisky sour.

Drinks and snacks for two, approximately Rs3,500. All reviews are conducted anonymously.