Bar Review: Bora Bora

November 9, 2011 9:24 am by

Photo: Sheena Dabholkar.

Bora Bora, as you may know, is a French Polynesian island known for its luxury resorts. At the pub of the same name that opened in Andheri ten days ago, it’s not the beach but the sea that’s clearly the focus. Ship models sit between booths; framed knotboards hang on the walls; and a ship’s wheel decorates the front of the bar; but Bora Bora’s most noticeable features are the barrel-shaped table stands and menus, the latter of which promises “a first of its kind ecstatic journey in time”.

While the ecstasy inducing qualities of the establishment are debatable, the place is unique. Despite the overall nautical theme, the waiters aren’t dressed in sailor’s uniforms but in a b-boy-esque ensemble of a baseball cap, black T-shirt with a bright graphic print, and knee-length cargo shorts. We half-expected our servers to break dance to the bass-heavy mix of chart hits being played by the in-house DJ. So thick was the thump from his tunes that we could feel our seats vibrate and our ears pop. If you can’t converse over the beats, no matter; you can watch television instead. There are no less than 14 TVs plus one projector and another giant, six-panel LED screen. Bora Bora can seat up to 80 people so that’s one idiot box for every five customers.

Sadly, the bar was mostly empty when we visited last Saturday night, so no one was paying much attention to the football match on mute. The lack of a crowd got us quick service, but our drinks were passable at best. The Vh1 Night Stand (as far as we know, the channel has nothing to do with the bar) was described as a martini made of dark rum, toffee nuts, vanilla and coffee. It tasted like Baileys Irish Cream that was made watery by the addition of too much crushed ice. And while our whisky sour had all the right ingredients and a fair amount of froth on top, it wasn’t as smooth as it should have been.

The average drinks aside (priced at about Rs360 per cocktail), Bora Bora has a fun vibe, the kind that makes you want to laugh at the silliness of it all and have a good time. Alas, like proprietor Krishna Tamang’s newest brand of restaurants, Hometown Cafe (Bora Bora is adjacent to the Andheri branch), it doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. The heavy use of wood makes it look somewhat like an English pub but the blaring music—by the likes of Pitbull and Ke$ha—and the multi-coloured strobe lights lend it the feel of a club. Had the DJ turned the music down a tad, we wouldn’t have minded sticking around for a while, but then he played “Baby” by Justin Bieber.

This review was conducted anonymously.