The city has a new addition to its list of jinxed places. It’s called Fort Bizarre, found at the extreme end of Kala Ghoda. It opened as Chor Bizzare last year, but shut due to liquor license issues. Even the ‘restaurant and bar’ signboard has the word ‘bar’ blackened out.
The entrance is an intricately carved wooden door, supposedly imported from Rajasthan. Step inside and you wonder if you are indeed in the desert state. The place is dimly lit for a romantic feel. A huge steam fan hangs on the wall, reminding you of black and white movies.
Next to it is an antique window also from Rajasthan. The well-equipped bar is huge, complete with windows that have been converted into arches. A DJ kiosk churns techno, house and retro hits, but at 9 pm, there isn’t a single patron and the waiters look bored.
A spiral staircase leads you up to an attic, transporting you to old world India with Maharaja-era daybeds. A separate lounge area is reserved for private parties. As you make yourself comfortable, the waiter serves you complementary crispy wafers. The alcohol menu is not yet printed, but we are handed a printout of the prices.
The Fruit Punch (Rs 70) is very sweet. Vodka (Rs 300 for a large peg), whiskey, rum and wine are the other options. Currently beer isn’t served. For starters, there is Lazeez Tandoor Jheenga (Rs 300), which is a plateful of big prawns. Murgh Chandni Kebabs (Rs 250) come with silver foil. The prawns stand out while the the kebabs taste the same as in any other South Mumbai roadside eatery. For your main course, the Dum Ghost Lucknowi Biryani (Rs 270) is bland and a waste of money. So is Murgh Chettinad (Rs 270). Save for Gulab Jamun, the joint doesn’t serve desserts.
The restaurant’s only ticket to success could be the nightclub Tawook, which is right next to it and relatively well-known in the area. The owners need to seriously look into the taste department, if they want to recoup their investment. Foodies, avoid it.