There’s a fine line between gimmick and sheer magic, and YOUnion could have easily become the former….but it is most definitely the latter. A treasure trove of all things instagrammable, we went there for dinner last week and it’s safe to say, we now know exactly why millennial are having all the fun!
While one usually expects a Kalra offering to be all about fine dine, fine wine, and finer food – YOUnion is not that. YOUnion is a bar. A casual, unapologetically flamboyant, charismatic bar. Packed to the brim with seriously fun design elements, every square inch of the place is a photo op waiting to happen. In fact, at the entrance itself, guests are greeted by a deliciously audacious graffiti façade.
Inside, the enormous space is ushered into four zones each one having its own mystical theme. The Enchanted Jungle theme takes up two zones and is complete with gold cages, tropical prints and lots of neon, while the Flamingo Room takes up another zone. This leaves the whole of the last zone for well, people who for some reason are in the mood to draw and paint and play air hockey too!
Doe-eyed and fumbling around like Alice in Wonderland, we barely managed to grab a seat at the, you guessed it, pink and gold Flamingo Room, where we proceeded to order our drinks. While one may mistake ordering a drink to be a fairly simple endeavor, we urge you to think again. With over 200 shots (starting at Rs. 50), 50 kinds of brews, and a gigantic menu of quirky cocktails – selecting something to drink here, is definitely no simple task. Oh, and did we mention they have slushy machines too! After much deliberation we ended up ordering a sharing cocktail and to be perfectly honest, I don’t think any of us were too surprised to see it served to us in a disco ball. Other tables nearby flaunted Stormtrooper helmets, hearts and vintage suitcases for their sharing cocktails and yes, they too looked more or less as chuffed as us.
Now knowing that this is a Kalra establishment, we were expecting the food to be right up there with the drinks, and it truly was. With global comfort food at its core, the menu was all about the classics. From tava pav to dhokla, to deviled eggs and fresh Mahim shrimp to daal khichdi and panko-fried mussels – you crave it and they’ve got it. We settled for the crispy lotus stem with raw mango which hit all the right spots. And not one, but two Maggi concoctions! Yes, you read that right! We had the Maggi Bolognese with roast garlic edamame and the sublime Four-Cheese Bake Maggi. Do we even need to say more?
Zorawar’s intent with YOUnion (his first restaurant opening since the passing away of his father, the legendary Jiggs Kalra) is simple – he wants to cater to the whims and pockets of today’s insta-happy youth. Says Kalra, “YOUnion is the most ‘non-serious’ concept we have ever developed. We’re acutely aware of the growing importance of the millennial generation and were keen to offer them a product that really caters to their preferences. The major USP’s of the venue has a direct, cultural link to the youth of today. Our bar program is also bound to disrupt the scene in India, as we know it.”
And while the concept may be ‘non-serious’ we assure you, Zorawar’s execution is not. He hits the nail right on its millennial head with YOUnion. And while we may not necessarily belong to the ‘avocado-toast generation’, we’re still going to be going back there for more.
What about you?
D-Wing, Ground Floor, Kamala Mills, Near Radio Mirchi Office,
Tulsi Pipe Rd, Lower Parel, Maharashtra 400013
Contact Number: +91 8433942801 | +91 8433942802
Hours of Operation: 12:00 pm to 1:30 am
Social Media Handles: FB – YouniounMum | Instagram – YOUnion_Mumbai
Meal for Two: Rs. 1500 inclusive of drinks