If there are two commodities that are way up there on many Mumbaikars’ list of luxuries, it would be space and a good bar. Or, at least, that’s our theory. So, it was pleasant to step into Dragonfly and find both in one package. Kind of like getting a Rajesh Pratap Singh dress and a quilted Chanel carryall for the price of one.
Seriously, though, at almost 6,000 sq. ft, Dragonfly is big by Mumbai standards and seems even bigger when you factor in its Nariman Point location. Started by Aashiyana Shroff, the owner of Vong Wong, the Chinese-Thai restaurant on the same floor of Express Towers, Dragonfly has the same (from some spots, even better) expansive view of Nariman Point and similarly high ceilings.
The good stuff
Shroff’s done up the place herself, with a wine glass chandelier over an undulating long bar, while an LED screen runs under the bar, displaying video content which includes news and stock quotes. The space is split into three levels, with a 60-seater fine dining restaurant which distinguishes itself from the bar by giant cocoon-like pillars, adorned with rows of golden rings. The pistachio-green and white Wedgewood-hued restaurant opens later this month, with a South African chef, but meanwhile, the canapes at the bar reflect the cuisine of the restaurant.
The wooden-floored bar, with a special VIP section (don’t miss the racy wallpaper here) is open after 6pm, ready to receive parched executives from the neighbourhood offices. The jazz is soothing. You can perch yourself on the bar and have a good post-work chat.
Or maybe a cocktail; we sampled a few. The Guava Spiked Marguerita with vodka, triple sec, tequila and guava juice was gimmicky, but we liked it, especially the chilli flake-salt rim. Our co-taster loved the whisky-based Apple and Hazlenut Martini; we found it a tad sweet. The Pom-A-Melon with vodka, pomegranate and watermelon juices was refreshing. The Bellini and the other champagne cocktail we tried (alas, our memory was a little fuzzy around the edges at this stage) were both subtle and fresh.
The only eats at the bar are what they call the Tasting Plates. Seafood, open sandwich, vegetarian and mixed plate are the options; you’ll get a large dish set with dainty five-six bite-sized canapes. They were, without an exception, inspired (ok, we didn’t dig the nori and carrot mousse roll).
But, the singularly best thing we ate was the sweet-potato chips, made in-house, and served as a bar snack. They were crisp, with a caramelized sweetness and sprinkled with rock salt; we had to ask for seconds. Sometimes the best things in life really are free.
The Mojito, a basic test for any bar, somehow didn’t make the cut. The flavours were fresh and vegetal but there was too much sugar (we crunched through our first few sips). Also, a majority of the cocktails have a fruit element. While that’s great for people who love fruit, there are not many options for those who don’t.
A word of caution if you’re going to order the Tasting Plates: Notice how we used the word dainty earlier? Well, they really are. If you aim to fill yourself on the munchies at the bar, you’ll definitely need two plates (that’s if you have an average appetite).
Cocktails are from Rs350 to Rs425; 30ml of JW Black is Rs470 and beers range from Rs200 to Rs320. The Tasting Plates are from Rs325 to Rs625 (per person).