Lower Parel’s Ra, which shut down earlier in the year, has given way to a brand new swanky nightclub Tryst. Ra used to be perpetually crowded and it seems like the popularity of the erstwhile club has caught on with the new one. But things aren’t really what they seem to be on the surface at the new joint.
The place opens at 9.30 pm according to one of the employees manning the front gate. Another says it’s 10.30 pm, and yet another manager inside the club says it’s 11 pm. But one thing is certain — the place winds up at 1.30 am. At 10.20 pm on a Saturday night, we aren’t allowed to get in, but 15 minutes later the management relents and we head inside.
The entry for a couple is Rs 2000, for women have to shell out Rs 1000 a head. It’s a cover charge and you can redeem the amount with alcohol or food. Though the place claims that your name has to be on the guest list, most people who walk in aren’t registered. There is no seating, except for a narrow enclosure near the entrance.
Having your name on the guest list also means reserving a table. The tab for each table is a minimum of Rs 30,000. There’s one for Rs 45,000 and another for Rs 75,000. The interiors are big enough to accommodate scores of people, but even at 11.30 pm, there are hardly any patrons. The smartly done interiors and synchronised lighting go well with the ambience. The two bars counters though are stocked with limited Indian brands. Prices are very reasonable compared to the great feel and ambience.
A small (30 ml) rum costs Rs 240 and vodka is Rs 500. Starters like Lemon Grass Chicken (Rs 250) and Stir Fried Crispy Fish (Rs 300) are yummy and taste better than what’s served in most restaurants. But the order does take about half an hour to be served. Smoking isn’t allowed, like in all nightclubs. But we saw enough smokers puffing away to glory. It could be that the management is deliberately turning a blind eye to attract customers.
Most questions asked to the staff go unanswered. Music by choice is only trance, which even aged patrons in their late 50s seemed to be enjoying when we wound up at 1.15 am.