Phone: +91 8906558888, +91 8906552222
Address: The Orb Chalet Hotel, Unit 14, 1st Floor, IA Project Road, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Marol, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Time: 12 Noon – 1:30 AM
Meals for two: Rs. 2,000
Cuisines: Continental, Asian, North Indian
Facilities: Home Delivery, Full Bar Available, Nightlife, Live Music, Table booking recommended, LGBTQIA Friendly, Indoor Seating
It was 11 pm. Dining alone was kickstarting my adrenaline. The music was loud, the lighting was soft and the restaurant was packed, as was the dance floor. I was happy to get back to my old practice of dining alone. I’d done it for several years while writing one of the world’s first vegetarian guides to Paris, and also for Pune’s Food Guide and Mumbai’s Nightlife Guide. There’s a certain joy in dining alone. It also keeps one focused and razor-sharp alert on the food, service and ambiance without any distractions from chatting with one’s dining companions. In that crowded, hammered by loud music, darkness enrobed space, could the food really be up to anything much? Was ‘Play’ going to only live up to its name? At 1 am, an enjoyable two hours later, I got the answer.
Play – The Lounge, Marol, Mumbai: Decor
Chilled air-conditioning and a lively young vibe here. Play The Lounge, opened in July last year, on the first floor of The Orb in Andheri. It sprawls into two rooms – the glassed-in sheesha room as well as the dining area decked around the dance floor.
Play – The Lounge, Marol, Mumbai: Food
The menu whizzes around the globe. The very first surprise was the mushroom baklava. Neat little crisp pastry pockets hold a mushy, tasty mushroom pate. A tasty Burmese khowsuey with a balanced creamy coconut-infused curry perked up with crunchy condiments and sparkled with lemon juice. The robustly spiced paneer meal was served in the “housefull” bento box complete with fragrant rice, spicy mint chutney. Chef Ranjit Nath (formerly of 212) ensures that even the John Dory was cooked just right and tiramisu had just the right sweetness. Attentive service helmed by Ishwar Pradhan. Plenty of innovative drinks, too.
Dining in the dark to the sound of loud music is not my idea of a great meal. The overcooked, rubbery Angare Chicken Tikka and the hard biscuity base of the pizza disappointed, as did the chalky blueberry cheesecake.
Happy surprises here. In what appears to be a noisy, danceplay (gaming zone et al) boozecentric space, food does play a prominent role. Sure, they have many a hook for everything else – on Monday, alcohol is served at MRP prices and there are exciting drinking games, too. But, the strange-sounding hotch-potch of a menu was tasty and worth trying. Play offers more than just play, for there is playful food served through the day as well.