We Attended The Opening Of The Newest Wine Bar In Town: Wine Villa

By Mallika Dabke October 26, 2018
Wine Villa's ATM Machine style Wine Wall.

With the opening of so many wine bars in the last year in Mumbai, it’s natural that more and more Mumbaikars are choosing wine. For so long, Indian drinking audiences didn’t look beyond a stiff whiskey soda. Wine Villa certainly sounded like just another wine bar in the city, but it is so much more than just that. It’s the first Indian bar to have more than 100 kinds of wine available on tap. It’s also not sultry, chic or quiet, like you’d expect other wine bars to be. Instead, it’s high-energy, pumping, and loud. On behalf of Mumbai Foodie, I attended their opening night party, looking forward to seeing how this new party space holds up.

When you walk in, a wall full of wines in glass cabinets with electronic taps stands on your left. Above the wine wall, is a big cheeky neon sign which says “Wine me, dine me, sixty-nine me”. To the far right is a big cocktail bar, and the rest of the sprawling space is decked with tall tables and couch seating.

While the other guests filtered in, one of their kind sommeliers helped me try out a few red wines to begin with. He explained the difference between all of them, and worked with my preference. I finally settled on an Indian merlot. All I had to do was a push a button to choose whether I wanted a tasting portion, a half glass or a full glass, and the wine poured effortlessly into my wide mouthed wine glass.

Grilled King Prawns with Deep Fried Shrimp and Belachan Butter at Wine Villa, Juhu

Grilled King Prawns with Deep Fried Shrimp and Belachan Butter at Wine Villa, Juhu.

For the party, they had created a special menu, which was a condensed version of their original and was printed on stickers on wine glasses that was kept on every table. One part of their menu has been created by MasterChef Australia 2017 winner: Diana Chen.

We started with a Burrata with Green Chilli Chutney and Poppadums. It sounded so cool on the menu, but was just that: a ball of burrata that sat atop green chutney, with a side of fried poppadum. Having the burrata with the Indian chutney was very new to me, and together, the three of them worked surprisingly well.

We then ordered something called Melting Moments, expecting it to be something cheesy and gooey, but they turned out to be mushroom tikkis. They were good bites to have, but they weren’t what I was expecting. I enjoyed eating their Five Spice Spring Rolls. They were elegantly made, the wrapper was thin and crisp, and the vegetable filling packed a punch of flavour. Lastly, the Mountain Chilli Prawns were good, too. Big, juicy and succulent pieces of prawns were served to us mixed in a slightly spicy sauce. The sauce didn’t overpower the prawn’s natural flavour, which I loved.

Staying true to the theme of the restaurant, we didn’t stray away from wine. From the cocktail menu, my companion and I had a red wine sangria and a white wine sangria each. Unfortunately, both the sangrias were basically just juice and didn’t even mildly taste like they had any wine them. I do understand that it might’ve been watered down due to the large scale of the event, so we ditched our sangrias to head to the crowded wine wall again.

By the end of the night I just had to grab whatever they offered me, as the staff was overwhelmed with the crowd. I called it a night and went home after that. Wine Villa has a lot of what it takes to be the coolest new spot, so I’m sure I’ll be visiting again on a quieter night to truly familiarize myself with their wine collection. I’m personally not a sucker for club-style events, but I enjoyed my little time at the wine wall there. I think this is the kind of place I’ll be going to post-dinner, just for drinks and chats with my girlfriends, and maybe shake a leg if there’s good Bollywood music playing.