There are some cities that take music and live entertainment very seriously. In Pune or Bangalore, often you will find a band performing or even a solitary singer crooning on the microphone while patrons enjoy a meal or drinks at the bar. Mumbai as a city didn't see the same level of enthusiasm towards live entertainment till the last couple of years. Now if you want to watch a band perform, there are thankfully more options than before. Restaurants are soon realizing that a good meal and great ambiance are one part of the dining out experience and entertainment is another important one.
Cafe Nemo is a restaurant that is tucked away at the far end of Worli, and without proper signage often gets lost in the crowd. However, regulars are comfortable in this relaxed casual dining space and re-visit for their food and for their musical gigs. The restaurant has a unique space that doubles up as a private party room and a space to host live musical acts which they do quite often. Check with social media outlets or call the restaurant for enquiry.
Sitting tall on the 37th floor of the St. Regis Hotel, Li Bai is a lounge bar named after a boozy 8th century Chinese poet. While the best part of this bar is the aerial view, some would argue and say the best part is their incredibly live jazz performances through the week. It isn't common to hear a lot of jazz unless it’s pre-recorded elevator music or a cd subtly playing on loop at a restaurant. To have live jazz themed evening in the week is a rarity one should enjoy more often.
While the food at the Blue Frog is delicious, The Frog as it is fondly called is more known for their musical events than anything else. The food, the ambiance, the choices at the bar are all secondary. The reputation the Blue Frog has earned is that it is the city's most lovable venue for concerts and dj's. In fact, most musicians prefer this venue as their acoustics are phenomenal. There is never a dull moment here, they have a month long schedule for all their performances so ask for it when you go there.
One of the premier venues for music performances is the Hard Rock Cafe. The perfect blend of good food and good music, both outlets in the city have a roster of performances throughout the month and till date attract a sizable audience.
Though Cafe Zoe is known for their gorgeous food and is everyone's favourite cafe, they have decided to embrace their musical side and work as a lovely venue for live gigs. They aren't as regular as one would think but they happen often enough, sometimes once or twice a week. It is not one of the first name that comes to mind when you think of live music but don't be surprised if it slowly becomes one.
Interestingly the Todi Mills Social deserves a worthy mention as they don't really host performances but have definitely dipped their feet in the pool. Once a month they host a live musical performance and if the crowd is anything to go by, it is quite popular and would possibly turn into a more regular occurrence.
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Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.