Many throng to Ice Lounge like you would to a tourist spot. They have not ever seen anything quite like it. How can a bar be made entirely of ice? Ice walls, ice sculptures, ice bar counter, ice sofas and chairs and come on...even drinking glasses made of ice!
And not just any kind of ice blocks stacked together either. This is ice in its purest form, 35,000 kg of it flown all the way from Canada and sculpted by Julian Bayley, skilled ice designer and co-founder of Ice Culture, the leading designers of frozen bars - from Las Vegas to London to Dubai to now, India.
The theme is Mughal India and Julian has left nothing to chance. An ice lady in an ice saree greets you with a namaste as you enter. Motifs from Mughal architecture form design elements. In case you have missed the point, Indian national bird, the peacock, occupies pride of place behind the ice bar counter. Not enough? Ok, turn around and an ice tigress with frozen cubs greets you. The Taj Mahal is sculpted in ice on one wall. Though 21 Fahrenheit in Mumbai is really the first ice bar of the country, Ice Lounge takes the lead in introducing ice sculpture to India and being the first in Delhi.
Your breath forms clouds of fog as you breathe in the beauty of the place and breathe out a sigh of marvel. What do you order at such a bar? Vodka, explains the dapper Kanav Chadda, who along with Puneet Tayal and Amrinder Singh owns the place, is the only alcohol that does not freeze at even minus 40 degrees, and then it just changes into a gel form. So, vodka it is! Bloody Mary does not seem quite the appropriate name to utter in these pristine surroundings, but that is the drink of choice!
As you touch the frozen glass to your lips, the warmth of your mouth leaves an indent in the ice glass. At minus 10 degrees Celsius, they recommend you stay in there for a maximum of 45 minutes, no more. At Rs 1000 per entry, you will try to stick through till that time, even after your complimentary vodka drink is over; no matter if you are frozen to the bone despite the warm cloaks and gloves they provide!
Starting off with just vodka, Kanav and his friends soon realised they had an excellent platform for selling shots as clients slowly froze. Tequila followed, then Jagermeister, and then some premium whisky labels were added to the bar. Of course, no food is served here for fear of generating heat and foody smells; so in order to eat, you wind your way to the regular bar at the entrance of Ice Lounge. This is the place for food and music. If you land up on a Sunday, as we did, you are treated to a Karaoke Night with DJ Manish leading one popular number with another in his most attractive voice. Kanav joins in and the two set the place rocking.
However, there is no doubting that the Ice bar is the main attraction at this place. The idea for this bar came when Amrinder visited Absolut Ice Bar in London; it was then that these three friends from Modern School decided to go into business together. Future plans include expansion in different parts of India, beginning may be with the City Beautiful, Chandigarh.