We love Love Bar. It's kitschy, it's quirky, it's chill. The boozy upstairs offshoot of Flamingo House, it's an extension of the restaurant's theme and vibe. The Love Bar fits in well with the dramatic and romantic story that sets the scene for FH; the secret affair of Sir Alfred Clarke and his local lover Satyavati, and the magic realism of their love and deaths involving flocks of flamingos and dream sequences. If you want to read the whole thing, go check out the panel on the wall downstairs smoking section.
It's a fairly small bar, but the existing space has been utilized well. It's gently divided into 4 areas, a charming fairy-lit smoking area on your left, a dimly lit lounge area with couches, the general bar area with high chairs and the DJ console, and another larger outdoors area for getting some fresh air or smoky air, depending on your luck. The outdoors area also has some romantic neon lighting (much like the marginally less romantic neon lighting at strip clubs and "karaoke bars").
The decor is pretty much the best aspect of the place, with extreme attention to detail. Every bit of kooky bric a brac, velveteen curtaining, and ornate upholstery is intentionally curated to come together in a colourful explosion of funk. Even the bar top is made up of glass-walled cupboards housing everything from old teddy bears to flowers to vintage suitcases. It's eclectic yet strangely cohesive. Here's a photo from their FB page, since our photos didn't quite seem to do it justice.
We've quite enjoyed the drinks everytime we've visited. My personal favourites are the Mirtilo Mojito and the Flamingo Rosa both at Rs. 900. All of their custom cocktails are immensely diverse with heaps of fresh fruit and in adorable dressings (flowers, leaves, twine etc).
I attempted a Mirtilo Mojito this time around, a twist on the classic mojito involving the usual white rum, mint, lime ice, along with kiwi and blueberries. It was delicious, a little alcoholic fruit platter which I envisioned being perfect during a summery day in a park somewhere. My friend tried a classic cocktail, a Bloody Mary at Rs. 850. It was a solid, savoury pick-me-up, the perfect bridge between a hangover and newfound inebriation.
We also proceeded to get thoroughly carried away and ordered some shooters. They have an interesting selection of shots that they term "Love Potions" (fairly accurate seeing as alcohol has served this purpose for millenia now). We ordered a bunch of Passion Shooters at Rs. 600. It was essentially an icy blend of passion fruit, vodka and cointreau. Sweet and strong, but not eye-wateringly potent. Perhaps a tad too much crushed ice for a shooter though.
Since all this libation was making us a bit peckish, we asked for the tapas menu, which was non-existent. It's essentially just the starters section of FH's menu, with about 7 options. None of these really lent themselves to accompanying drinks either (I mean, beers and foies gras? What?). We reckon they ought to have a bar nibbles menu too. We ended up choosing the Dim Sum Assortment at Rs. 650. It was a meek portion, but the vegetables, shrimp, and chicken were flavoured well.
So this is where we were a little dissapointed at first. There was a happy hour discount from 5 to 7 PM, so we turned up at around 6:30 PM eager for some half-priced drinks (who isn't?). They told us it was only downstairs, so we happily complied and plopped ourselves downstairs. It was a bit rainy outside so we attempted a foray into the funky inner area.
The waiter took a keen look us, and promptly told us that all the tables were busy/reserved (keep in mind it was 6:30 PM at this point, and only one table out of about a dozen was occupied). I fixed him with an equally keen look and was about to become equally promptly unhappy, when a manager/bar angel named Ayaaz took stock of the situation and swooped in. He quickly took control, apologized, told us that we were more than welcome to sit upstairs and he would send up the drinks to us at the happy hour rate. *crisis averted*
After that, the service upstairs was efficient but lacklustre. We sort of had to make all the first moves in terms of asking for menus and drinks and service, but the waiters were nice enough and made lovely drinks. It's a LOT harder on Friday and Saturday nights though, so I'd recommend you sit right at the bar where you're within the line of sight.
We're totally into the eclectic-decadent funk vibe of Flamingo House. It's a tad expensive, but so is any other upscale bar in town. They've got great cocktails, ambience and use of al fresco seating. It's a good spot for either a date, post dinner drinks with music, or a cosy elegant chill with a couple of friends. It's interesting to note that the crowd's ages were as diverse as the decor. The only real criticism from our part is that we'd love to see a dedicated bar snacks menu and a bit of a service revamp in the future. For now, go enjoy the fruity cocktails in the soul of vintage chic.