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    With an all-vegetarian menu and cocktails to guzzle, Elixir offers a break to weary shoppers

    The launch of Elixir makes Express Avenue the first mall in the city to boast of a fully-functioning watering hole. We expect that Hard Rock Cafe at Phoenix Market City, will be hot on their heels. But more on that later. Located on the first floor of E hotel, 90-plus cover lounge bar Elixir opens to reveal spacious seating. In accordance with the norm these days, there’s an island bar counter surrounded by clusters of purple chairs and white tables. No dance floor here, but there’s resident DJ Christie, perched in a corner, putting their spanking new Bose speakers to the test.

    On the cards
    The music will be “upbeat lounge music,” we’re told by general manager Gaurav Gupta as we peer into their menu that chef Balaji Satish Kumar has designed to satisfy vegetarians seeking three or four courses. Not too elaborate, there’s a mix of Indian, Continental and Asian offerings, chosen carefully to go with the liquor. The nachos, spring rolls, vegetable kebabs or potato wedges, for instance, are perfect to munch on over a glass of beer or a martini (do try the satay tofu with peanut dip). And once you’re done sipping, there’s lasagnas, risotto and even biryani or curry and rice to fill up on. The intimidating, paprika-spiked cottage cheese steak with spicy tomato cream, is the chef’s answer if you are looking for something ‘meaty’. But things don’t end there, for there are desserts like orange cheesecake and tiramisu to end on a sweet note.

    Liquid of choice
    Currently serving only domestic spirits (expect the imports in a month), Elixir offers classics and martinis in addition to a few ‘Barmans’ cocktails like the Cassonade (brandy-based with fresh pomegranate and cranberry juice) and Choco-Sin (Bacardi Black with raspberry, chocolate and fresh cream). And if you wish to go home sober, the Melon Crumbler (watermelon, mint, sugar and lime wedges) should just about do. For those who like their privacy, there’s a PDR (complete with larger-than-life plasma and cradle-like couches) available for bookings, and for smokers, a lounge with a small selection of cigars are on offer. And finally, you’ll be delighted to find all-inclusive prices on the menu!

    Cocktails from Rs. 400 onwards. Platters and mains at Rs. 400 each. Details: 28463392

    -Ryan Peppin

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