It’s barely been a month and a half into 2019, and I haven’t been doing a lot of eating out lately. “Then how can you have favourites already, Zenia?” Well because these few places I ate at have been absolutely exceptional and I can foresee them making a distinct mark into Mumbai’s food scene. Here are my favourite meals from 2019 –
1. Tresind, BKC
Modern Indian restaurant Tresind made it’s way to Mumbai after an extremely successful stint in Dubai. Now I know what you’re thinking – ‘Does this city need another Indian fusion restaurant?’ But Tresind is different and here to stay! Firstly none of the dishes feel contrived or forced, and inspite of the occasional fumes and foams the food retains all the classic flavours. Their nine course chef’s tasting menu shows technique and finesse, and is still able to evoke a strong sense of nostalgia and comfort.
I decided to change things up a bit this month, and instead of bringing to you a roundup of my monthly favourite restaurants, bars and eateries, I urged a few friends to help me out. These are some of the most popular food accounts on Instagram, who eat out on a regular basis, risking juvenile diabetes and cholesterol, only so that they can present to you the best of the city’s food scene. In a completely random order here’s a roundup of some of my favourite Instagram food accounts, and their favourites for the month of September.
Saloni has been diligently highlighting the best of the city’s food scene via ‘Food Of Mumbai’ since the past four years now. Food of Mumbai is my one stop shop for updates on what’s new in the food space coupled with street food recommendations and Saloni’s travel escapades. #GirlLove
When I think of Maggi, memories come gushing back to me: memories of that hostel-wala Maggi while last minute cramming for exams late into the night; memories of those long drives in the mountains and stopping by the dhaaba for a bowl of steaming soupy Maggi noodles; but most importantly, Maggi brings back memories of my mother whipping up a quick bowl of noodles for me as an after-school snack. Innumerable women across the globe, just like my mom, continue to resort to Nestle’s various products, including, but not limited to, Maggi to ease their kitchen duties. It is these everyday women that Maggi wishes to celebrate via their show Maggi Kitchen Journeys that airs on ZeeTV. Maggi Kitchen Journeys portrays women armed with determination, zest and an extensive love for food; who decided to build their own destiny.
We journeyed all the way to Vadodara to meet one such lovely lady – the enterprising Charmi Dave. Charmi’s story is special because at the young age of 28, she is the founder of the Maggevala chain of eateries. Maggevala celebrates Maggi noodles in all its glory, with an extensive and innovative menu keeping the humble noodles at the heart of it all. Maggevala is now a chain of eateries with eight branches across the country – three in Vadodara, one in Rajkot, one in Surat and three in Chennai. We sat down with Charmi at the original Maggevala outlet in Fatehgunj, a tiny yet warm eatery complete with rustic ambiance, for a tête-à-tête. Over bowls of signature Maggevala noodles Charmi gave us a glimpse of her story and her brand.
A visit to The Clearing House (TCH) – a swanky dining space in Ballard Estate – had eluded me all this while, until recently. I finally decided to make good use of that one precious Sunday and trekked all the way to ‘town’ for TCH’s special weekend brunch. TCH does brunch a bit differently – for starters their brunch menu is ala carte and brought right to your table. Which in my opinion is a welcome change from the boring ol’ buffets where the food turns cold and insipid after lying out for so long. Their brunch menu is available on both Saturday and Sunday – because why should the joy of brunch be restricted to just one day in the week?
Shamiana at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai is synonymous with all day dining, being one of the first to launch this concept in the city way back in 1973. Ask any uncle or aunty and they’ll all have a story to share about this iconic eatery. They revamped, refurbished and relaunched the entire space in August last year after a small break and I’ve been meaning to go dine at Shamiana ever since.
The entire space exudes ‘Tajness’ and welcomes you like an old friend with open arms. The white canopies on the ceiling above your table pays homage to the restaurant’s name, with the entire space done up in a minimal chic style. The outdoor section with it’s intricate jaali work can get stifling hot during the day, but is perfect for a balmy winter evening. (Wish Mumbai had more of those. Sigh!)
The menu covers all day dining options, a ‘Bombay’ section featuring the city’s best, a nostalgic Shamiana section featuring old school dishes and comfort mains. What deserves a mention is their Taj Autograph Collection featuring signature dishes curated by Taj chefs across the globe.