We often succumb to the monotony of the familiar. We don't venture far into the unknown and take sanctuary in the comfort of the known. It is to avoid this pitfall of human nature that we decided not to visit our regular haunts for our Saturday night evening but go find something new.
We zeroed in on Basant Lok Complex for the variety it offers. Though a good half an hour drive from our house on Janpath, we were sure we would not be disappointed. We started our survey by walking all around (which doesn't take long as its a small complex). For our first experiment, we entered the lounge and bar- Barcode. A 3 storey high building, the bar has been divided basis audiences. Ground floor seats those on a business outing. The first floor is more of couples or groups. The second and third floor house the dance floors. They have tried to give it an urban classy look but in a few places, the decor trades comfort for looks. A bit on the pricey side, a pint of kingfisher beer costs Rs.200 with taxes. The snacks menu is also quite basic with the regular chilly chicken types listed. Not too impressed and a little tired of reading the menu with our mobile phone lights (thanks to the dingy lighting), we decided to make a move and find something more exciting.
By chance, my gaze fell on a non-descript sign on the first floor on the opposite building that suggested of a place called 'Haze'. Curious to see what this place had to offer, we found the entrance behind the market and climbed to the first floor. As we entered, we realised that we had found one of those hidden alcoves that you only hear about by word of mouth. A smallish place with tables seating around 30 people, a portion of the floor is dedicated to bands that perform on weekends. The music here is mostly rock and regulars are a mix of foreign tourists and young rock fans. The menu has a flat rate of Rs.200 for IMFL and Rs.100 for all snacks. All in all, a place where one can let your hair down and drink to the night without making too much of a dent in your pocket.
On this note, we moved on from Haze and decided to have our dinner at Hookah. Hookah is a quaint lebanese and moroccan restaurant in a corner of the market. The decor is very Arabian with bright red wall papers and low seating allowing you to enjoy a hookah in a group. It almost reminds you of the excellent ambience of Cafe Mocha. The menu is a mix of Lebanese, Moroccan and Italian food. We chose the Chicken Caesar Salad (If you read my blogs, you will know why) and on their recommendation, decided to go for the Chicken in Lemon and Carrot sauce. A little sceptical about the 2nd dish, we were pleasantly surprised. The sauce had a tangy taste and was flavored well to titillate the palate. A meal for 2 costs a comfortable Rs.600 here.
So next time the bug bites and you feel like doing something adventurous, just pick up the car and go explore a new area....you never know what you may find!!