I’m not sure how many people know there is a pub with a decent dance floor near Garia, otherwise thought to be as a typically middle class residential area with not much to do). Sitting inside the Metropolis Mall (Hiland Park), Illusion is one of the only three reasons behind any footfall in this mall, the other two being the Big Bazar and the Fame multiplex. I’ve been visiting this place for quite some time, even before it was named Illusion (it used to be known as i-bar before the management changed). But I would say despite going through major changes, the place has always been serving good food. Illusion has four kinds of seating – you could choose the bar counter, the high chairs or the lounge family style seating, or as many people would like on a weekend, plop their lazy behinds on the loungers around the dance floor. If this is not enough, you could fool around at the pool table with a beer while you wait for your order (pool is free). And duly respecting the Kolkatan urge to light up, they have a smoking room as well, glass wall-partitioned so that you do not miss out on the fun happening inside the lounge.

They have a fair list of cocktails to choose from, although I must admit I usually stick to beers or at the most, a rum-based Zombie while my friends go for Bloody Mary and Screwdrivers – and nobody’s ever complained. What strikes me most is that, unlike other watering holes where booze takes centrestage as the food takes a backseat, this place has a fairly large food menu to choose from. On our recent visit, we got to gorge on some items from their new menu. We ordered for the Chicken 65 (Rs 175) and Stuffed mushrooms (Rs 175). The Chicken 65 was as close to the real thing as possible, fried in a spicy crunchy coating with just the right amount of tang and heat. The mushrooms appeared to be stuffed with minced veggies, topped generously with cheese sauce and baked. They were yum. The husband also likes their pan fried noodles which is one of the more regular orders he places.

Overall, its not a bad place to unwind if you stay this side of the city. Especially if you have a movie to catch, possibly the last show on Friday night, like we do. Yes, we do keep hoping this mall starts hosting better places though, a cafe for example, or a fine dining place. Yes, that would make us happier. Until then, Illusion is, like I said, ‘not a bad place’.

*Cover pic is from the internet