Want to go drinking? It`s time for some quirky shots

Mumbai: Pooja Bhula rediscovers her love for alcohol and now wants to change her seldom-drinker status after a night out at the newly opened pub `He Said, She Said` in Mumbai`s suburb of Andheri

I`m seated on a high chair, with a white, fence-like back and I`m glad that my feet aren`t dangling. It can be very discomfiting for short folks like me, but the foot rest is placed just right.

Fortunately, He Said, She Said: Shots Bar and Cafe has a variety of seating options–we could have easily taken the wooden picnic bench across us or the old-style metal folding chairs with colourful low wooden tables but, my colleague, Avril-Ann Braganza (a shorty too) likes to sit tall.

Taking in the rest of our surroundings–the wall that acts as canvas with paintings of buildings denoting an urban-scape and men and women gossiping or romancing through blurbs (you can write on it with a chalk), the green grass-like carpet covering the entire floor, pots of plants dotting it, white-washed fences, garden lights glued to the walls and lantern balls hanging from the top–you realise the place has been themed to look like a park, giving the feel of an open space in a semi-closed one.

But let`s not allow these distractions to keep us from the shots menu in front me, my reason for being here in the first place. It’s colourful with illustrations for each shot; flavourful with fruits, chocolates, chilli, chai...combined with spirits like rum, vodka, whiskey, cognac, kalhua; and full of promise with categories like It`s Different, Ice-cream Shots (currently unavailable) and Balls of Steel. And so the round of shots begin, mine and Avril`s battled for the winning position.

Round 1: Coco Chanel vs Melon Water
Winner: While the dark rum and chocolate combination of Coco Chanel, served with a Kit Kat finger, is milky nice, you can barely taste the rum. On the other hand Melon Water is a fruity and light, refreshing summer delight with the right amount of vodka added to watermelon juice.

Round 2: Aam Panna vs Hot Shot
Winner: With a stronger flavour of cinnamon and the subtler on of apple, Hot Shot is a good choice, but it doesn`t beat the zesty Aam Panna, especially if like me you`re fond of golas. It`s cool, full of the kachchi kairi flavour and has gola masala too.

Round 3: We Don`t Know vs Imli-nator
Winner: The menu describes, We Don`t Know as a burst of too many tastes and instructs, \"feel free to name\". Well at the end of the drink I really don`t know what was inside, except that it was sweet. My best bet would be cranberry syrup, but there was more. The imli-nator didn`t stand a chance because it just couldn`t match up to imli`s tangyliscious. It tasted well, of just rum.

Round 4: Cha Maila vs Hot Bubblegum
Winner: Even though Hot Bubblegum tastes yummy just like the chewing gum it’s named after, Cha Maila is a lovely blend of caramel and cinnamon that makes you smile and slurp more.

Round 5: Masala Chai vs Falsa Martini
Winner: As if watered down cold chai isn’t bad enough, to it is added vodka. A complete disaster. As for the falsa martini, where’s the falsa? I find only olives, jalapenos and a sour tasting martini. So ‘boo’ to both.

Of all our bitings ...Chicken Dumplings (the day`s special), Shrereed Potato (french fries with a chinese twist) and Pepper and Olive Cheesy Parcels, the last was the best. But none had the wow factor. In fact the dumplings looked and tasted nothing like dumplings, Avril says they were more like meatballs and when we tried to confirm the exact name of the dish, they first insisted that it was Lemon Chilli Meat Balls, even though the bill called it dumplings and on further probing they said it was Chicken Mince Ball in Spice Hot Garlic Sauce.

Clearly not the dumpling for which we were billed, so you better confirm your order and check your bill well when ordering. The waiters were relaxed, yet not inattentive and even on a Tuesday night the music and business were picking up well. At 7.30 pm when we entered, only one table was occupied and Brian Adams and Backstreet Boys wooed us into singing, but as the night grew at least the pub filled up too and the music took a trippy note to complement the happy haze resulting from the shots. Well, to end the night right, I took one more swig of the Aam Panna and Avril downed the Melon Water. Cheers!