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 was on a self-imposed diet last week. Which basically meant I was out every day of the week, stuffing my face with food. Gee, thank you Mr. Murphy. Last week I re-visited an old favourite restaurant, dined at someplace new, and discovered a wonderful, healthy home delivery service. Read on for all the scoop:
Mighty Small Cafe, Lower Parel
I had been to the Mighty Small Cafe in January when they launched, and fell in love with the adorable carnival themed cafe that sits snuggled inside Smaaash. It’s the perfect place to entertain children and those who are children at heart! The food menu criss crosses over a variety of cuisines and small plates, with the aim of food being fun.
An American friend of ours was visiting the city recently, and in the mood for some Peruvian food. She was taken aback to hear that a city as cosmopolitan and global as Mumbai had not a single South American restaurant. Two weeks later, Lima arrived to the shores of Mumbai, and the city received it’s first ever South American tapas bar. Better late than never, I’ll say!
Lima is yet another ace that emerges from Chef Atul Kochhar’s pack of cards – the previous one being NRI at BKC with whom Lima shares a wall. (Read more about NRI here.) But they both are as different as chalk and cheese! While one serves up global Indian fare, the other emphasizes on cocktails and small plates from the South American region, namely ceviches from Peru, grills from Brazil and street cuisine from Mexico.
My experience with Peruvian food is limited to a single ceviche dish I had abroad, years ago. So I really have no basis to judge the authenticity of the food here. I know for a fact the cuisine is centered around their local produce, simple preparation, and dishes where the ingredients are the hero. Some dishes also have a Asian and European influence owing to the large migrant population there.
I love restaurants that tell me a story with their food. Restaurants that transport you to a different place or time, with food that enriches and enlightens. Which is what happened when I dined at Not Really Indian – shortened to NRI – the newest addition to the ever increasing list of restaurants opening in BKC.
I learnt about the lineage of dishes such as South African Bunny Chow, and a Caribbean Goat Curry. I tasted dishes such as the Mamak Lamb Chops, for an authentic taste of which I’d have to travel to Malaysia.
This is the entire concept of twice Michelin starred chef Atul Kocchar’s new flagship restaurant – Indian food that has traveled out of the country. This is the food that migrating Indians took abroad with them, and started hybridizing with ingredients and cooking techniques of their new home. Thus, the food is Indian but Not Really Indian!
Talk about malls and shopping in Mumbai and one name comes to mind: Phoenix! The one at Lower Parel and the younger sibling who resides at Kurla are both landmark shopping and most importantly food destinations.
With our emphasis to explore the food options that Phoenix Marketcity, Kurla has to offer the food bloggers set out on a Food Crawl. We were looking forward to this fun evening that the guys at Phoenix Marketcity in collaboration with Food Bloggers Association of India (FBAI) had organized for us. Well I’ve done food crawls and bar hops before, but nothing inside a mall. So this was going to be different indeed.
Destination I: The Irish House for drinks, cocktails, and appetizers.
I love The Irish House having been to the other outlet at Lower Parel before. It’s such a fun place to chill with friends and grab a drink.