Review: A sneak peek of Episode One

From one city with a strong club culture to another with a penchant for ‘blue-chip’ hangouts, Episode One opens its second outlet in Mumbai after Kolkata to turn the gymkhana culture on its head while retaining all the best parts. We had a kickass evening here. Here are the reasons why it’s worth a visit, (actually many visits):  

Some dope drinks 
If you find the drinking experience at clubs comforting, the state-of-the-art bar at Episode One takes it to a whole new level. The Taproom is an all-access, inviting space with custom cocktail tanks to dispense ‘taptails’ – cocktails on tap. An Episode One specialty, ‘taptails’ makes the best of draft technology to serve up cocktails better, quicker and keep them tasting consistent each and every time. Pick from the vodka-based Berries & Rose & Lychee Lemongrass Carbon Lemonade, the gin-based Blue Tea & Gondhoraj or the whiskey-based Old Fashioned with Mogo Mogo tea and homemade bitters. Or raise a glass to inclusivity with special Episode One theme-based cocktail like the Victorian Raj with dark rum, Victorian shrub & passion fruit fizz, Brown is Beautiful – whiskey, cinnamon orange jam & ginger, and The Revolution – a truly lit gin and peach concoction.

Interior inspiration 
The design of the 8000 sq.ft space interestingly, excludes paint which is otherwise a given finish to the surfaces. The blacks on the massive ceiling are achieved by charring natural wood to give it a beautiful texture throughout. The walls are covered with fabric which is further rendered into numerous layered thoughts by artist Sajid Wajid Shaikh. The fluted design transforms the marble and natural wood into a unique texture as elements.  The custom furniture with solid wood and cane along with bespoke lighting elements add to the finer nuances of the spatial feel.

The foyer of Episode ONE leads into these pragmatically divided zones; the BALLROOM, the collective high energy community space; the TAPROOM, where cocktails, brews, and spirits flow out endlessly; the CHAMBERS, ordered dining, and feasting area; the VERANDA, which exudes a warm outdoors feel being the articulated transparent connection between the outside to the inside; and the BIDI ROOM, the smokers enclave.

The food factor 
At Episode One, The Chambers is a club-style section inspired by colonial dining areas, designed to encourage community and interaction over drinks and food from around the world, while at The Veranda one can indulge and spill the tea with some help from a ‘tipsy high tea’ menu. A long way from soggy club sandwiches, here one can pick between a vegetarian and non-vegetarian high-tea option with scrumptious bites that include dumplings and Cheetos-Crusted Sliders among other things to go with hot high tea or cold ‘spirited’ teas.

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With the intent of providing the same comforting experience of going back for seconds at a gymkhana restaurant, the Episode One food menu is elevated to provide everything ranging from sushi and sliders to curries and pizza. We highly recommend small plates like Avocado Galauti Kebab, Soft Shell Mutton Tacos, Pav Bhaji Dinner Rolls and Goan Chilli Chicken along with Short Eats that include options like Cornflake Potato Croquette, the Brexit Breakfast Tray and the World Mezze Platter served with edamame wasabi hummus, makhani dip, classic hummus, and assorted bread.

For bigger meals over longer sessions, one can take a trip around the world – from Linguini Carbonara and Mac & Cheetos, a take on the classic mac and cheese tossed with flaming hot Cheetos, Smoked Salmon Pizza, and Polenta Steak to comforting Asian favorites Chilli Basil Fish, Cantonese Prawn Noodles & Braised Tofu with garlic fried rice and warming Indian flavors in mains like Lamb Ghee Roast & Prawn Malai Curry served with coconut rice. 

What we love about it
Whether you’re having your own intimate party in the disco-ball clad restroom or sneaking away for some chill time to the ‘Bidi Room,’ there’s ‘inclusive access’ everywhere for absolutely everybody with no room for minor snobberies or offensive rules. So come as you are and do as you please – we’re starting afresh with Episode One. Helmed by Anjan  & Avik Chatterjee of Specialty Restaurants, Episode One is designed to bring colonial nostalgia together with contemporary sensibilities sans dress codes and memberships. 

Where: Delphi Building, Binge Central, 1st floor, B-wing, Orchard Ave, Hiranandani  Gardens, Powai.
Phone: 7506813554

Note: The critic was invited by the brand but all the opinions expressed herewith are her own

The luxe factor is:

8 Service
9 Interiors
8.5 Hospitality
8 Food
8.4
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