Opening on December 11, the terrace bar at the Four Seasons Hotel is the most anticipated new entrant on Mumbai’s burgeoning bar scene. But ten minutes into Aer’s launch party on Saturday night, we, along with our sky-high expectations were brought firmly down to earth.
Bursting Our Bubble
Split into two connected sections, the space was packed to the rafters, a circumstance that we imagine will hold true for at least the next couple of months. It took us a good fifteen minutes to maneuver our way to the makeshift bar, a quest we pursued in anticipation of a glass Moet & Chandon, which Aer will reportedly serve at half price during Champagne Hour from 5:30 to 8 pm daily.
But when we got there we were politely informed that the bar wasn’t serving any champagne. Or shooters, or cocktails. A real damper, and surprisingly stingy for the Four Seasons. They did, however, have some good beers (Carlsberg, Hoegarden) as well as excellent whisky (Chivas). Also available were Absolut vodka, Havana Club rum, and a couple of white and red wines.
Clutching glasses of Jacob’s Creek, we wound our way toward the glass-framed boundaries to check out the view: dusty and largely disappointing. To be fair, the night was unusually smoggy, and reduced the far-spreading cityscape to little more than a blur.
Nothing they could do about that. But there were other things that the management could control, many of which they got right (apart from the perplexingly limited selection of alcohol). The décor was perfect – elegant and urban, with couches and individual seats in black and white, and a truly beautiful egg-shaped bar. Service was as good as one could have expected in the face of the throng, with cheerful wait staff circulating through the crowd. And the music was hot, manned by the very talented DJ Shaan Bhavnani. A flash of the hospitality Four Seasons is famous for was evident on our way out, when we were handed a very nice gift bag containing yum candy and macaroons as well as a set of handkerchiefs from The Collective.
Castle in the Sky
There’s no denying that Aer fills a gaping hole in Mumbai’s nightlife – we’re evolving into a city of skyscrapers and we need a real terrace bar to enjoy the view (the Dome is lovely, but it’s only on the eighth floor). This place will probably show off best at sunset when the crowd is less overpowering, the champagne chilled and relatively cheap (they have Rajkhan Pathan who crafted the delicious champagne cocktails at Wink on board, so be sure to try one of those as well), the green of the Race Course and steel gray sea visible in the distance. We’ll take in the cool breeze, make a toast to our fair city, and decide it was totally worth knocking out of work an hour early.
Getting there: Four Seasons Hotel, 114 Dr. E Moses Road, Worli, call 24818000.
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