Do pardon the following analogy that my fashion writer alter ego just can’t resist! Mumbai, recently, my fellow foodies, has been witnessing the mushrooming of ‘prêt-à-porter’ versions of ‘haute cuisine’ restaurants, where more casual, smaller in size and fuss-free spin offs of the Real McCoy are dishing out almost similar nosh at cheaper rates and in some instances smaller portion sizes—perfect for a quick lunch or a bite on the go.
With the latest being BusaGo—the ‘lite’ doppelganger of the über popular Pan-Asian Busabas at Colaba and Lower Parel—that launched a few weeks ago, I decided to bring you a few such spin off eateries that are no less fashionable than their spiffy older siblings and where the food is just as delectable…
Indigo Deli at Colaba, Lower Parel, Bandra and Andheri
Billing itself as the country’s first delicatessen, Indigo Deli at Colaba started giving Mumbai diners a taste of its more illustrious sibling (and neighbour) Indigo way back in June 2005. Over the years the brand has mutated into three more outlets all over the city under the hawk-eye attention of Chef Jaydeep Mukherjee who leaves no stone unturned to make sure diners get what they bargained for.
Translated, that means yummy goodies that range from typically American deli staples like Bagel & Lox, Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches and addictive PB&J Sandwiches (where the peanut butter melts into the gooey blueberry jelly) to sophisticates like Risotto of Wild Mushrooms with a Red Wine Jus and desserts like Croissant Pudding with Bourbon Sauce and Banoffee Pie to finish it all off with!
Colaba: Ground floor, Pheroze Building, CSM Marg, Apollo Bunder, Call 6655 1010
Lower Parel: First floor, Palladium Mall, Phoenix Mills, Call 4366 6666
Bandra: 8 Fatima Villa, 29th Road, Pali Naka, Bnadra (W), Call 2643 8100
Andheri: Clifton Trishul Co-op Housing Society, off Link Road, Andheri (W), Call 6632 6262
Cost: Rs 1,250 for a meal for two without alcohol
Café Moshe at Colaba, Lower Parel, Kemps Corner, Juhu, Ghatkopar, Malad and Goregaon
The amazing trajectory of the quality of Middle Eastern food available in our Maximum City can be summarized as BM and AM i.e. ‘Before Moshe and ‘After Moshe’! Taking simple staples like Hummus and Falafel and giving them his unique spin made Chef Moshe Shek and his eponymous Cuffe Parade restaurant Moshe’s so popular that they have spawned seven (yes, seven!) café versions like some sort of culinary amoeba!
Widely considered as being one of the best breakfasts to begin a Mumbai morning with is Café Moshe’s legendary Shakshouka which is a symphony of sautéed tomatoes, bell peppers, za’tar and chili into which three cracked eggs are slowly introduced and simmered till done and served with crusty bread. Other popular items on the menu are the pillowy soft Pancakes with a range of syrups to anoint them with, Crostini in myriad varieties (Roasted Harissa is my guilty sin!) and sandwich options like Broccoli Tapenade and Smoked Salmon with dill. Wash it all down with a refreshing Lemongrass Cooler and don’t forge to thank me later…
Colaba: 3, Feroz Building, Gateway Of India, Colaba, Call 22020934
Lower Parel: Palladium Mall, Phoenix Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Call 24912210
Kemps Corner: Crossword Book Store, Near Peddar Road Flyover, Kemps Corner, Call 23862799
Juhu: Janki Kutir, Opposite St Joseph’s High School, Juhu, Call 26148188
Ghatkopar: R City Mall, Amrut Nagar, Ghatkopar West, Call 23171272
Malad: Infiniti Mall 2, Link Road, Malad West, Call 28898555
Goregaon: Oberoi Mall, Off Western Express Highway, Goregaon East, Call 28415512
Cost: Rs 1,000 for a meal for two without alcohol
Single handedly responsible for amping up South East Asian street fare to high gastronomic standards, Chef Nikhil Chib the man behind Busaba at Colaba sure has the Midas touch when it comes to food. Barely had he opened a second branch of Busaba at Lower Parel, when he now gives us BusaGo, a tiny, yet power-packed spin off of his popular duo. This Bandra eatery may just have a two page menu and even less than two metes of dining space, but the reasonably priced food does the talking.
Freshly made momos, Asian curries with rice and stir fries are the only dishes served, but this clever editing of the fare shows great results as each dish is prepared with the attention to detail one only sees at much bigger (and not to mention pricier) restaurants. The Koren Beef Bulgogi and the Burmese Chicken Kaukswe are clearly the dishes to look out for here. They also serve a range of fresh juices, smoothies and organic teas. The only let down are the desserts (Lemon and Chocolate Tart) that are as boring as their names. Talk about unimaginative! Now, how about some Lemon Grass Pannacota on the menu, Chef Chib?
Bandra: 11, Gasper Enclave, Oppostie Gold’s Gym, St John Road, Bandra West, Call 61278897
Cost: Rs 800 for a meal for two without alcohol