Secret passageways, passwords whispered between friends and a bathtub full of moonshine, this is the legacy of the Prohibition Era. Between 1920 and 1933, the manufacture, sale and consumption of alcohol was banned in areas across the United States by pious do-gooders trying to rid the world of the evils of liquor. But when a door closes a window opens and innovative individuals (read: mafia bosses and crime syndicates) took advantage of the situation to open their own covert watering holes which became known as Speakeasies due to the fact that patrons had to speak in hushed voices to avoid detection. Today, the necessity for protective measures and guarded guest lists is well behind us, but the rebellious charm of the Speakeasy has never quite dulled.
India has seen a wave of Prohibition-style clubs and bars that pay homage to the roaring 20’s and the latest to join the pack is The Little Easy in Bandra West. Unlike some of their counterparts they’ve done away with the password gimmick and embraced a more modern take on the concept, limiting the traditional Speakeasy hallmarks to soft jazz and a titillating selection of cocktails.
The ambience is retro chic meets modern industrialism with glass walls and ceilings, exposed pipes nestled with leather and dark wood. The menu is eclectic with traditional Indian favourites like butter chicken sharing the page with steak with a lavender jus. They haven’t shied away from the dreaded ‘fusion’ with a smattering of Indo-Chinese and Indo-Mexican to keep things interesting. Though a tad chaotic, it does serve the purpose of catering to every palate so this is definitely the place to congregate a group of picky eaters.
The true highlight of their offerings however, are their signature original cocktails. From the ‘Angels Share’ that is Christmas in a glass, (maple syrup, citrus, egg white, orange bitters, cinnamon and ginger), the ‘Diamond Heist’ (Raspberry liqueur, pineapple, lime and blue peakao tea) and of course, the must try in any speakeasy, the ‘Moonshiner’ Gin, orange juice, rosemary, hibiscus and bitters) there’s a good chance you’ll want to skip the food and spend all your money at the bar.
Bandra has many enviable locations for the avid foodie, and The Little Easy is right up there with some of the best. For date night or for a casual outing with friends, it provides the atmosphere and endless opportunities to sample the delicious and unusual. Though a little on the pricier side for portion size, for people looking for a new experience it’s definitely worth a visit.
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