Avni Mehrotra

reformed journalist

disgruntled restaurant marketer
always hungry, always foolish
What the hype is all about: The Bombay Canteen, Mumbai

What the hype is all about: The Bombay Canteen, Mumbai

Everything Indian with a  firangi  twist

Why The Bombay Canteen-

An era where the lines between Indian and Modern Indian cuisine are barely visible, Bombay Canteen reinvents cuisines hidden deep in the interiors of India and acquaints them with the nouveau intellectual South Bombay fine dining spotlight. Be it presenting tacos made of theplas, or multi grain khichdi, or serving starters in the forgotten pattals (leaf plates), everything is downright desi, with a subtle firangi twist.

Frankly, a restaurant opens in Mumbai every fortnight but not many create a stir and a haul as anticipatory as The Bombay Canteen, which recently opened in Kamla Mills, Lower Parel, Mumbai. Opened by a New York returned chef Floyd Cardoz and Thomas Zacharias, the simplicity and intricate ‘Indian-ness’ of it all, comforted us as we dug into our delicious staple food.

The Menu resembles registers we scribbled on, commencing our tryst with everything Indian, as we observe buzzing tables and bar stools on a Tuesday evening. We spot Rahul Akerkar (Indigo) being ushered in, as perch ourselves atop their high chairs and browse through their crisp, intrinsic Indian menu. Kept interesting and intriguing, the menu is not a barrage of endless pages, with overbearingly ‘creative’ dishes, seen at most restaurants, which just seem to try too hard.

The Indian-ness

The dishes aren’t of course your usual butter chicken and dal makhani, as the chef took an Indian road trip to discover dishes that define India, right from a Mallu drumstick soup to a Tamil kuthu roti, street dishes, from the interiors of India have been thrust under the spotlight of the South Bombay fine dining scene.  A first, which is barely scene at any Indian restaurant, you are served from an assortment of chintus, more like farsan or chaknas, which are priced at Rs 40, while you wait for the main course. The multigrain khichdi comes with the masaal daan (spice-box) carrying an assortment of pickles, chutney, onions, etc. followed by the must try-Arugula salad. Paneer bhurji comes with pao,a Parsi typical, nudging me to stop writing and dig into this creative play of simple dishes. The food is exactly ‘ghar-ka-khana’, as we try dish after dish without feeling heavy or bloated.

The Bombay-ness

At this India inspired café, the décor is a lot like old Bombay buildings and hospitals, with stained glass windows and different mosaic flooring.

The hype-

If someone comes to Bombay,this is one place, where I would really want to take them. Not because it’s totally

Bombay, but because it’s completely Indian, in a city that celebrates and shelters the diversity which we call India.

Fact File

Where- Kamala Mills, Lower Parel, Mumbai

Cost for Two- Rs 1500, excluding alcohol and taxes

Must try- Mallu drumstick soup, Kuthu roti, Paneer bhurji, Gulab Nut

Dress code

- Smart casuals

Pictures: The Bombay Canteen

The veggie havens of South Bombay-Spice Klub and Quattro

The veggie havens of South Bombay-Spice Klub and Quattro

No Indian restaurant has impressed me: Gaggan Anand

No Indian restaurant has impressed me: Gaggan Anand