Food Bytes: Top Five Eateries That Give Travelers The Real Taste Of Mumbai

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That food is a great introduction to any culture is an undisputable fact! It is one maxim that I have time and again subscribed to whenever I travel to a new place. In fact, one of the first things that I do—often even before I have checked into my hotel—in a new city, is to have a tryst with the food scene… the more local the better. And a city like ours is one such place that is brimming with superb eateries that expertly reference the multi-cultural dynamism that this melting pot of a city has in constant supply. Eateries where the ethos of Mumbai is present in every fish fry or held within the silken folds of every yummy panki.
The places that you will encounter below are places that I make it a point to flaunt out, to every one of my visiting friends from around the globe who always return back to their lands with fabulous foodie tales of this Maximum City that is just waiting to pull out all the stops to impress the forks out of visitors’ hands!

Indigo
For almost a decade and a half, this fine dining European-meets-Indian cuisine fusion restaurant has been holding up its title as the purveyor of eclectic nosh. Housed in a charming old bungalow off the bustling Colaba Causeway, Indigo exudes a certain style and sophistication, yet keeping that intrinsically warm spirit of the city close to its heart. And there cannot be a better time than right now to take your foreigner friends to this eatery as they have painstakingly curated ‘The Best Of Ten Years’ menu to include all the top favourites over the last decade like the Lobster Bisque ’99, the Tandoor Roasted Chicken with Shiraz Glaze and the Chocolate Jalapeno Fondant.

Top Dish To Impress: Red Snapper With Kokum Onions & Roast Potatoes, Bok Choi & Roast Corn Sauce
Where: 4, Mandlik Road, Colaba. Call, 022 66368980/81

Mahesh Lunch Home
With its humble beginnings as a small nondescript Mangalorean seafood place laying down the foundations for the tremendous success that it is today, Mahesh Lunch Home is the culinary equivalent of the archetypical Mumbai rags to riches story. While it may not be anything to look at with its rather tacky and gaudy interiors and fish tanks on display, all is forgiven when one is presented with a platter of the freshest fish and sea food that is delectable to the very last ‘bone-chew’ as it were. Right from the fried Gabuli (fish eggs), the Pomfret Chilli Fry and the Prawn Gussi, every dish celebrates the city’s rich maritime history with aplomb.

Top Dish To Impress: Lobster in a Pepper-Garlic Sauce
Where: Kings Apartment, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu. Call, 022 66955559, 66955554, 65720059 (also at three other locations in the city)

Ling’s Pavilion
We in Mumbai are truly blessed that we have our very own scrumptious hybrid Chinese cuisine we prefer to call Bambaiyya Chinese (or should I say ‘Chainess’!) with menus abounding with miss-spelt, but yummy versions of Cantonese dishes that will always feature paneer and are but always garnished with coriander and green chillies. And although, the very modest Ling’s Pavillion has their spellings pat in place, the food that they serve is the perfect example of Indian Chinese fare. Treat your friends to oddities (for them) like Chicken Chow Chow and Egg Fuyong and don’t forget to finish off with some Fried Bombay Duck, Chinese style!

Top Dish To Impress: The mixed meat Rainbow Rice
Where: 19/21, Mahakavi Bhushan Marg, Behind Regal Cinema, Colaba. Call, 022 22850023/24

Swati Snacks
The serpentine lines of hopeful patrons outside this humble pure vegetarian Tardeo snackerie waiting for a table is evidence of how immensely popular Swati Snacks is. With an emphasis on fresh, wholesome ingredients cooked with minimal oil and spices, this place is a dream for the health conscience. But that’s not to say that taste is compromised in any way. Au contraire, the fare here is akin to that made by your BFF’s indulgent mother who makes everything with love. A recent batch of my friends from Australia freaked out on the Dal Dhokli, the Fada Ni Khichdi and the Mungdal Sheera all washed down with the Coconut Punch and the Sugarcane Juice.

Top Dish To Impress: The Panki Chutney
Where: Karai Estate, Opp Bhatia Hospital, Tardeo. Call, 022 65808405/06

Diva Maharashtracha
This ornately decorated restaurant is the perfect introduction to the edible bounties of the state of Maharashtra which has strangely been eclipsed by the city’s more popular konkan and gomantak eateries. But here is where the pomp and glory of the old Maratha days is on full display. Also on full display is the warm hospitality of the owners who make it a point to personally visit each and every table dispensing their recommendations on what to try out from the extensive menu. A few such stellar recommendations are the Kaju Kothimbir Wadi, the Prawn Kolhapuri Sukke, the Mutton Shaoji and the Prawn Khichadi.

Top Dish To Impress: The spicy Chicken Zhanzhanit Soup
Where: Near Hinduja Hospital, Shivaji Park, Matunga Road (W). Call, 022 24440202/0707 (also at two other locations in the city)

Pics courtesy: www.anothertravelguide.com, www.stay.com, www.tripadvisor.in, www.burrp.in.com

Post By Raul Dias (102 Posts)

Lists travel, food and luxury as the tantalizing trifecta that defines him. When he’s not travelling, eating or getting pampered at a spa, you'll find him assaulting his notebook's keyboard with a feral vengeance, churning out what he hopes are intelligent, informative and entertaining stories.

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Raul Dias

Raul Dias
Lists travel, food and luxury as the tantalizing trifecta that defines him. When he’s not travelling, eating or getting pampered at a spa, you'll find him assaulting his notebook's keyboard with a feral vengeance, churning out what he hopes are intelligent, informative and entertaining stories.