India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Wine & Dine
October 22, 2010

Chinese Whisper

Tucked in a corner of Juhu, Balthazar, the not-so-little, swanky new fine-dining lounge is sure to get you craving for more

  • Balthazar, Juhu
  • Balthazar, Juhu
  • Balthazar, Juhu
  • Balthazar, Juhu
  • Balthazar, Juhu
  • Balthazar, Juhu

Getting lost on familiar roads is a gift not many people have. So when I got lost on a very hot and humid afternoon despite being right next to the landmark given to me, I was surprised. Some sweating later I discovered the small wooden door with Balthazar etched onto it. Squinting, I stepped in and was instantly taken aback by the sheer size of the place.

Space was one of the must-haves that Anita Raaj Hingorani, yesteryear actress and the owner of Balthazar, wanted in the final look. The high ceilings, well-spaced-out tables and the huge bar highlight the fact clearly. “The idea was to let the place breathe and not make it too cramped,” says Anita, while sipping her jasmine tea. Like in her movies, she plays the part of the perfect hostess flawlessly, smiling and talking to people at various tables as they enter.

And tables there are many! According to the time and occasion you can choose yours. For private quiet dining, there is the lounge upstairs with a view of the entire restaurant, for dining in style there are two huge exclusive Balthazar tables and for those who love their poison a little more than their food is the newly renovated blue label lounge where Johnny Walker will serve its coveted liquor to one and all.

In fact, the bulky dark chocolate wood work adds to the elegance of the décor which is very subtle. Complementing it perfectly are the beige and white walls that give it a soothing effect. Handpicked huge metal lamps, fascinating Buddha statues and masks, paintings especially designed for the interiors complete the classy look. Detailing to design is apparent in the columns covering the pillars with various Chinese symbols for luck and prosperity on them. Watch out for the Buddhist chant as you enter, that completes the sophisticated Oriental feel of Balthazar.

A fine-dining lounge, the restaurant boasts of chefs especially brought in from Hong Kong for the delectable South Asian cuisine. The bar brags of 18 different kinds of beers from around the world and a prodigious list of 30 carefully selected medal winner wines from five countries.

The music, though sometimes a little loud adds an extra zing to the place. Parking can be tricky and so can finding the restaurant at the corner, especially at nights. But judging by its popularity in just about a month, it seems like Balthazar will soon be a landmark for people even though they keep getting lost on simple roads like me.

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