Located in Samdeok So Bang Seo, The Bombay Lounge is an Indian-tinged bar that has a distinct vibe in an area festooned with ubiquitous western-styled bars. Its owner, Oh Dhyan, who is from India, has done what he has always dreamed of and opened his own bar.
Meet Oh Dhyan: Before coming to Korea, Dhyan owned a real estate business in his hometown, Bombay (now known as Mumbai). He left India in 1998 and travelled around the UK and Asia for four years. It was while he was in Korea that he decided it was here where his future lies. “Korea felt very safe to me - and in Daegu I found the people to be very warm and friendly. I wanted to stay here.”
Dhyan arrived in Korea eight years ago and worked as a translator for the police and government. No slouch, he also started his own recruitment company, 'A to Z', which recruited native English speakers to work as teachers in Korea.
But Dhyan has always dreamed of owning his own bar. “I always wanted this bar because I like people – I'm a people person. I like making new friends and I want to have this bar for a long time.”
The look: Funky paintings on the wall; an open-plan design where people can stand or sit down to eat; dim, primary-coloured lighting – all these elements make it feel inviting and relaxing. One of its main strengths is that it appeals to Koreans and foreigners alike, which is a welcome respite from the more foreigner-dominated bars nearby.
The food: On offer there is an array of cross-cultural comfort food: Tandoori Chicken Tacos, Indian Skewers, Hot Wings, Fish and Fries – all modestly priced between 8 to 12,000 won. The portions are big and the flavour is good (I can personally vouch for the fish and the chicken kebab).
The drinks: Cocktails – 7,000; G and T / Whiskey and Coke - 5,000; Shots – 5,000; Draught Beer – 4,000; and if you're the intrepid-type – or it's just the right time – you can buy yourself a Beer Tower for 12,000. (Note: Please drink your tower responsibly, for an irresponsible tower-drinker will find oneself faced with a towering headache.)
Hookah: Not content with just food and drink? Well there is hookah, too, priced very reasonably at 7,000.
Meditation classes: Dhyan is also going to start some Kundalini meditation classes for all those who need to get in touch with their spiritual side; or those just in need of some quiet time to replenish the energy drained from a week's work in the classroom. Classes will be FREE and last for one hour. They will begin daily from 4pm to 5pm in a few weeks' time. You can contact him directly via his Facebook page for more information - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bombay-Lounge/525217814200314.
Opening times: Open daily from 5pm to 5am, though Monday and Tuesday are considerably more quiet and so may close a little earlier.
The bottom line: Though Bombay Lounge is only a few weeks old, it seems to have already become quite a popular spot. The reason for this being that it offers something different compared to other bars in the area. It's a promising start for Dhyan, and his dreams of having a successful bar appear to be turning into reality.
<The way to go to Bombay Lounge>