Bonobo Is Back: Story Of The Shutdown And Reopening Of Mumbai’s Popular Bar

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Drambuie Margarita
The bar at Bonobo
The bar at Bonobo

A few months ago, amidst all sorts of speculation, Bandra’s much loved restobar that is named after a bunch of randy monkeys, Bonobo, shut down much to the disappointment of its dedicated patrons.

Two theories emerged with regards to its closure. The first, was allegedly that Bonobo’s license was suspended after an offensive and very misogynistically named cocktail (the name of which we are too classy to repeat!) caused a mini riot of women protestors demanding its closure. The second one, purported by its management, was that it had shut for a much needed face lift in the guise of a renovation project where its menu too would reportedly be tweaked. And while I can’t test the veracity of the first theory, I can clearly say that the second theory can easily be debunked. For Bonobo looks, feels and yes, tastes no different from its January 2013 avatar!

Bonobo
Bonobo

MumbaiMag was invited there last rainy Friday afternoon for the launch of the Scottish whiskey-based liqueur Drambuie and I got a chance to check out the place. The same décor with the giant mushroom-meets-trees fixtures, the same Bonobo monkey motifs on the walls, the same faux rattan deep chocolate-coloured chairs, tables and bar stools and yes, even the same food and drinks menu. Finger food like ho-hum Fish Fingers with Tartar Sauce and limp Potato Wedges tried very hard to please as did the dry and chewy Pudina Chicken Tikkas. The only saving grace of the quartet was the sliced Spicy Sausages that had a nice piquant kick to them.

Drambuie Margarita
Drambuie Margarita

And as it was the launch of a liqueur brand, I wasn’t served any regular drinks from its drinks menu (that I did glance through, though). But what I did have plenty of was the golden hued and honey tasting Drambuie in its myriad forms. Behind the bar that afternoon was Rohan Jelkie from Tulleeho, who educated us in the finer nuances of the drink by showing us how to make a range of Drambuie-based cocktails like the yummy Drambuie Margarita and a Rusty Mary. Although the cocktails were quite delectable, I must say that I much preferred the drink neat and chilled to perfection.

As for Bonobo, I guess I’ll have to pay a visit once again and maybe this time in the late evening to get a real feel of the ‘new’ place when it is much more busy and err… randy! Stay tuned for that post.
Where: 2nd Floor, Kenilworth Mall, Phase 2, Off Linking Road, Bandra (West)
Contact: 022 2605 5353

Images by Raul Dias

Post By Raul Dias (102 Posts)

Lists travel, food and luxury as the tantalizing trifecta that defines him. When he’s not travelling, eating or getting pampered at a spa, you'll find him assaulting his notebook's keyboard with a feral vengeance, churning out what he hopes are intelligent, informative and entertaining stories.

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Raul Dias

Raul Dias
Lists travel, food and luxury as the tantalizing trifecta that defines him. When he’s not travelling, eating or getting pampered at a spa, you'll find him assaulting his notebook's keyboard with a feral vengeance, churning out what he hopes are intelligent, informative and entertaining stories.