Kofuku and Umame: Old Restaurants Give Way To The New

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Food at Umame
Sushi at Kofuku
Sushi at Kofuku

With public holidays, religious festivals and of course, wedding season around the corner the FnB industry is getting ready for Mumbai to start splurging. It’s a great time of the year to open a new restaurant or reinvent an existing one, capitalizing on the festive frenzy. You’ve already read how Shatranj Napoli got a facelift adding two new segments to their existing fine-dining space. As the trend dictates, it’s time to bid adieu to the old, and welcome the new.

Kofuku replaces Firangipani in Bandra
Firangipani in Bandra was notoriously loud with blaring music, a gigantic bar and bright red walls. This over-the-top party place now bears within it elegant wooden trimmings, paper lanterns and warm cozy lighting. Yelling bartenders have been replaced by soft-spoken staff that greet you with all the refinement expected in a Japanese tea house. The new management has wiped clean the erstwhile nightclub and brought in Kofuku.

Mumbai has only a handful of restaurants serving Japanese cuisine, most of which are very high end. On the other hand the couple of sushi bars in the city are perhaps too casual for a sit-down meal and have a very small selection of food. Kofuku, Bandra’s latest Japanese restaurant falls in between these two categories.

Kofuku is an casual dining and drinking space which aims at creating an izakaya atmosphere, a food culture that evolved in the street side sake shops of Japan. It boasts of a very extensive sushi menu, hot pots, noodle preparations, soups and other Japanese staples. It isn’t cheap by any means and a meal would set you back Rs.1000 per head without drinks. For this cuisine however, the price is on the more affordable end of the scale. So far reviews have been positive. Looks like Firangipani won’t be missed.

Umame, fine dining restaurant, Mumbai
Umame

Can Umame fill the void left by Joss?
When Joss shut down in May this year, much of south Bombay mourned. It had established itself as an integral part of South Bombay’s food culture. But owners Farokh and Dilshad Khambatta were quick to provide an alternative. Their latest venture is a Pan Asian restaurant called Umame, located in the Eros building at Churchgate. Umame opened among much pomp and show attracting many of Mumbai’s restaurateurs and socialites.

Hopefully the place will please patrons of Joss; giving them old favourites along with some brand new dishes. The location is definitely iconic, overlooking the Oval Maidan. Large cushioned leather chairs, dim lighting and marble walls create a refined experience within this 5000sq feet dining area.

Food at Umame

They serve Pan Asian food; from Chinese dumplings, to Signaporean street food and meticulously crafted Sushi and Sashimi. The menu has been created by owner Farokh, who was inspired by his many travels. Hopefully the food will actually take customers on a culinary journey around Asia. Only time will tell if Umame recreates Joss’ success.

All said and done, the fickle city is unlikely to miss the old. It’s the new that fascinates and captivates us. For the better? Who’s to say.

Post By Salonee Gadgil (86 Posts)

I'll chat with my imaginary pet dog and perfect a handstand while the rest of you act like grown ups.

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Salonee Gadgil

Salonee Gadgil
I'll chat with my imaginary pet dog and perfect a handstand while the rest of you act like grown ups.