Let down by Leos OR the brownie that Shantaram left behind

Leos or Leopolds was one of the landmark hangouts at Bombay when I shifted here in the end nineties... along with its neighbour Mondys (Mondegar), Totos and of course in a different level, Gokul. These were pubs. This was before the time of Barista, CCD and Mocha when folks used to hang out at pubs...and the suburbs were not well developed.
I'd spent a lot of time there with my other, largely 'immigrant', friends from office. I used to quite like the buzz around the place and Colaba was my favourite place in Bombay till I discovered Bandra. Even today when I go out I'd prefer to got Colaba with its Martins, Churchill and the new Theobroma over any other place for an outing.
The wife and I used to often go there for lunch when we were working in 'town' before we were married. We used to eat out every night and would head for Leos when we felt like Chinese. I remember eating there after her last day in the office where we first met.
Lunch would normally be downstairs which wasn't air conditioned and would seem like a place in Europe with the huge number of foreigners around. At night the place was packed so we would go up to the quieter, air conditioned AND more expensive section upstairs.
We would normally order prawn fried rice and beef chilly. For some reason we both thought that the other person liked beef chilly when actually neither of us did. We would also order the brownie which was nice and moist though tiny ...hated sharing it though we did share it:(
After getting married we have hardly visited Leos. Most of our town meals are limited to Martins (Beaf steak fried, Goan sausages) and Churchill (Sausages in firecracker sauce and prawn newburg) and off late the Yacht Club with uncle J .
Though reading Shantaram did bring up memories of Leos and we felt like going there. So the wife and I finally made it there for dinner recently.
We sat upstairs as it seemed quite hot downstairs. Though I would definitely recommend the lower section if you are going with friends as its really buzzing and alive. More 'private' and quiet upstairs.
Along with our drinks we had really yummy chicken sausages. We ordered fish chilly which was quite decent. The prawn fried rice was a bit too bland and the prawns were a bit gone (felt soft).
The disappointment of the evening was the brownie which we HAD to order for old times sake. It was hard, crumbly, too sweet, stale, a far cry from the soft, moist, tiny, unique brownies one never got enough of.
And the pricing seemed a bit unjustified...all of this and 2 vodkas for around 1000 bucks. Even the ambiance wasn't too hot and the loo was dirty too. But hell that's what's called living of one's reputation. After all Leos is a legend
PS My only regret was that I didn't have an entire brownie when I could as I doubt whether I'll ever get my Leos brownie again


Unknown said…
While staying at Tardeo, I would hit Leos for their three in one rice (a nice combo of schezwan fried rice, chicken and chopsuey...a sweet and sour combination), dry chilly chicken and chicken drumsticks.... Havent been there for almost a year, so not sure if the quality is still maintained.... But would recommend you to try them, in case you would like to