Bandra Bhai is a new drinking den that will be opening on Mortimer Street this July. A stylish homage to risqué, retro 1970s India and the old smuggling dens, the bar will be open until the early hours, making it a perfect venue for cocktails in the heart of London. Accessible only via a concealed staircase at the back of the newly launched Pali Hill restaurant, Bandra Bhai is a glittering gem of a bar for those in the know.
A descension below the bustling pavements reveals an opulent, jewel-toned room which kicks back to a gilded and glamorous 1970s India. Every single design aspect by the esteemed I ME AM Design arrived in one container direct from India, delivering a completely authentic feel. Black and white posters of stylish mustachioed men in white flared suits are illuminated by soft lighting in fringed, brown glass lampshades. Low velvet sofas are bountiful with cushions made in rich, warm fabrics, and leopard print pillows and wall paper provide a taste of the wild.
The copper-topped bar glints invitingly under the low lighting, illuminating the handiwork of Bandra Bhai’s head Barman, Dav Eames. Dav has rounded off a decade heading up everything drinks-related for Marcus Wareing, punching quite the pedigree for all things imbibing.
Cocktails are classic, showcasing skill and experience without distracting gimmicks, each one modernised with touch points of India. Highlights include:
• Disco Inferno. In tribute to Bappi Lahiri – the undisputed King of Indian Disco, the cocktail is a mix of Belvedere vodka with chilli spiced mango served in a glittering gold disco ball
• Rajdoot. A twist on the timeless classic the ‘Vesper’ martini, playing on the name of the Italian scooter bike, the vesper – Rajdoot is its Indian equivalent. The serve combines the quintessential Britishness of Bond with a touch of Indian spice as well as capturing the salty sea air of the smugglers coast – a vodka martini with infused with cassia bark, samphire and sage with a touch of elderflower
• Shetty’s Sidecar – a homage to M.B Shetty, this Indian twist on the classic Sidecar cocktail is Cognac shaken with pineapple, cardamom, almond and celery, finished with maraschino cherry and angostura bitters
The wine list is considered and inclusive, and the beers have been carefully selected to bring to light some exceptional, lesser-known Indian brewers. Champagne is also a focus at Bandra Bhai, with the house serve being Devaux’s Grande Réserve, and a list of plenty more available from the likes of Rathfinny, Dom Perignon and Krug.
The bar will also be looking to host a multitude of collaborative projects, from pop-ups and cocktail master classes to brand showcases and tastings. Themed evenings bring the fun and merriment, and will be announced on the Bandra Bhai website. 35 covers make the bar intimate space that’s ripe for mischief; the perfect spot to lose an evening with a lover, get wild with friends, or share a secret with a stranger. With a license to 1am, Bandra Bhai is set to provide a much-needed pre or post dinner cocktail for those in the area. The venue is also available for private hire.
Open Wednesdays, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 5pm – 1am. Booking advised through