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The tote that counts

Friday, September 30, 2011

Glynda Alves tells you what the newly re-opened Tote Bar has in store for you…
Stepping into the newly re-opened The Tote Bar, you can’t help but be in awe of the forty foot ceiling and the vaulted interior designed that mirrors the trees outside. Though they’ve made minor adjustments (they’ve knocked down one of the staircases to the VIP section and made the lower level more dance friendly) it’s easy to see why Kapil Gupta and Chris Lee’s architectural masterpiece won World’s Best Designed Bar in 2010.
But, that’s not the most exciting bit about the re-opening. What we really want to tell you about is their new food menu, which will let you sample Muslim Nawabi cuisine from Rahul Akerkar’s restaurant, Neel. The menu is simple, easy to read (good idea, since the cocktails are so delicious) and has a good selection of vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food, which includes lamb and beef options.
First on our list were the Kesari Khumb Tikkas (`385), saffron marinated mushrooms that were garnished with crispy okra that provided a great contrast in texture. Next, we tried their Burrah Kebab (`885), six tandoor lamb chops served with dhaniya chutney. They melt in the mouth and forks were tossed aside as we attempted to get every little chunk of meat out. This was followed by the Gilawat Ke Kebabs (`485) and the Mahi Sason Tikka (`485). Even though I’m not a big fan of the kakori style Gilawat Kebabs, my dinner companion and the owner of LoveLunch, was quick to praise the skill and effort gone into making this soft ground beef kebab. But, the star of the evening had to be our final dish. The Mahi Sason Tikka reinforced the joys of Vietnamese Basa. Mildly flavoured and served with a honey, mustard and lime chutney, this dish was perfection on a plate.
Moving on to the drinks, the bar menu is impressive. Their wine list (`390 a glass onwards) is never ending and Tote serves classic cocktails with a new twist. Their Tote Mary (`385), with balsamic vinegar and cucumber, is worth trying out. For the unadventurous, a pint of Kingfisher beer is reasonably priced at `220. In their mocktail selection we recommend their creamy, but surprisingly light, Tote Punch (`175).
Besides the new menu, you can also prepare yourself for different themed nights as they’ve brought in party and luxury event specialists, Network Prive.

Co-founder Akash Sheth tells us that there will be a big Halloween party soon as well as regular retro, RnB and even “Expat” nights.
A night out at The Tote Bar should be on your list of things to do this weekend. Even though the suspended mezzanine will be limited to VIP table bookings (serviced with personal butlers!) we suggest you get your groove on at the lower level. What more could you ask for than a good crowd, great music and
fantastic food?
Where Mahalaxmi Race Course, Opposite Gate 5 & 6, Keshvrao Khadye Marg, Mahalaxmi Contact 61577777 Night out for two `3,000

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