Entering this lounge bar, I wonder: cricket hysteria, here? It’s a funky, sparse, impersonal space, throbbing with electronic House music. But I change my mind as the evening warms up. White has lined up quite a few baits.
A 51-inch plasma screen (in the seating area) and a projector on one of the walls in the bar area beam live action until 3am, when a match ends. The commentary plays full blast on its five hi-frequency club speakers until 11pm, by when the 250-odd people are probably high enough to relate cricket to electronic rhythm.
If you order a “premium drink”—for example, a large peg of Belvedere or a Scotch that costs Rs295 plus taxes—you’re entitled to bet on scores and get a second drink free. A Tequila shot is on the house for every wicket that falls in the opponent’s team when India is playing. The cover charge is Rs1,000 for a couple.
The seating, mostly low stools, may be a problem. Choose the bar area where the stools are higher and the screen bigger.
Fluid, Hotel Mosaic, Noida
This popular hotspot has six LCD screens and one plasma TV spread over its two floors for cricket-crazy lounge lizards. There are fresh fruit cocktails, especially rum-based ones, to keep the Caribbean spirit high. Rout for your favourite cricketer while munching on ‘Sadde Yuvraj da Tandoori Kebab’, ‘Irfan’s Pathani Seekh Kebab’, ‘Dhoni Dhingra Dulma’, or enjoy desserts such as ‘Kumble’s Googly’ (a hot chocolate soufflé)—all from the special a la carte menu. Cocktails start at Rs300 plus taxes, and snacks start at Rs240 plus taxes. Here’s the hottest deal: Each table can choose their winner within the first 15 overs of a match. If that team wins, you get a flat 50% discount on your bill.
Geoffrey’s, Marine Plaza, Mumbai
With cricket memorabilia on the walls—a bat signed by Ian Chappell, a replica of the Ashes—Geoffrey’s has always been a cricket fan’s den. These days, it’s beginning to look like a quaint cricket warehouse. Waiters in blue India T-shirts, six plasma screens, snacks named ‘Googly’, ‘Yorker’ and ‘Hat-Trick’—Geoffrey’s is definitely not a hip place to go for your cricket.
When India defeated Pakistan in a World Cup match in 2003, all hell broke loose here.
Fans stomped on tables, howling and whistling, and the manager and the staff joined in. That’s the charm of Geoffrey’s—it’s old-worldly, but casual. The best part this year: no music at all. A draught beer here (their mugs are of the rotund, heavy variety) still costs Rs150.
Laidbackwaters, Hotel Qutab, Delhi
This lounge bar, capable of squeezing in 150 people, has a 6ftx8ft plasma TV. The special cocktails that start at Rs425 plus taxes include ‘Lazy Wicket’, ‘Yorker’ and ‘Hat-Trick’ (a deadly mix of Tia Maria, Blue Curacao and Captain Morgan). It’s known for its live music on Fridays, but for now, the bands have been asked to play on a different day.