Stick to the view when you are up in the Aer

A Bird's eye view

I finally made it to Aer, the popular rooftop lounge bar at Mumbai’s Four Seasons Hotel,  a couple of weeks back. 

I must begin by saying that I am no longer a night club person and rarely frequent them so am not representative of night club aficionados. I have been to quite a few across the world though.

I do know of folks from the city, as well as visitors from outside, who love going to Aer.

When I reached Aer the other night, I realized the reason for its popularity. The view from that height, the 34th floor, was breathtaking. This was at around 9.30 pm. Sitting under the twinkling stars and watching the fairy lights of the traffic and streets and houses down below felt great. 

I also realized that Mumbai is pretty cool up there. Literally. 

It felt very pleasant. One didn't feel the heat though it is an alfresco place.

Not so silent nights

The music, as I am told it is in nightclubs, was pretty loud. I was there for a work meeting and with someone whom I was meeting for the first time.

We had interesting stories to exchange. That literally involved us to bend  forward towards each other and talk so that we could hear each other. Not the most lumbar friendly of conversations.

I ordered something called a Mumbai sour, a whiskey based cocktail, which had a weird aftertaste which probably needs getting used to. I tried a Long Island Ice Tea which was competent. There was nothing remarkable about the presentation. 

The dark side of the menu

I don’t have pictures of the food to show you. It was too dark to take pictures. So dark that it was nearly impossible to read the menu. The staff didn’t seem to be the most loquacious and weren’t able to say much about the food. So this was a problem.

A simple solution would have been to keep small torches to read the menu. I have seen them do that in other such dark places around the world. Least one could expect from a 5 star hotel lounge and a popular one at that.

A few years back, I had gone to the Australian Hotel at Sydney’s Rock precinct. It is supposed to be one of the oldest pubs there and serves pizzas with interesting meats such as kangaroo and alligator meat among other things. I ordered a pizza which I was very unimpressed by. I blogged about the same. A local replied saying that its pub food and one can’t be too picky about that.

I guess the same applies to Aer.

The squids or calamari fries were soggy , chewy and a tad smelly. 

The Mumbai chaat pizza had a completely dense base and an inert taste. It displayed none of the freshness of flavours or play of textures that one expects with a good chaat and which one had hoped had extended to the pizza. The possibilities here were limitless but the execution futile.

The miso cod was soft and bitter and very fishy, pun intended, and that I returned as the quality seemed dubious to me.

We tried out a mushroom and spinach quesadilla at the end and that had an extremely bitter after taste.

They had served some masala peanuts at the start. Those were good.

Take it or leave it

The service bugged me the most. They took back the cod without a murmur of protest and didn’t charge for our subsequent orders which was good. 

However, we had left most of our food and drinks untouched, and no one even bothered to ask us if there was anything wrong after our plates went back.

And this at a five star hotel.

Luckily for me, The Lucky Restaurant was still open in Bandra so I ordered a biryani to have for dinner when I returned home with an aching back. I had not planned to have dinner at home earlier but I refuse to subject myself to poor quality food.

How to make the best use of your money at Aer

We were on an expense account but otherwise this would have been a very bad waste of 6,100 odd Rupees.

I know I have been avoided critical write ups these days but if I came across something which I feel I should keep you alerted on then I will post that here. Hence this post.

So here’s my tip for Aer. 

Go there for the view. Don’t expect to have much of a conversation if you are with someone. Stick to  regular drinks out of bottles versus cocktails. Have the masala peanuts that come with them, don't order much food and have a backup plan for dinner.

Our visit was unannounced and paid for by us

Earlier post on the Australian Hotel