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Updated 54 minutes ago

  • Food
  • 60% Complete (success)
  • Service
  • 70% Complete (success)
  • Decor
  • 70% Complete (success)

I'm a "Shabu shabu" fan. Dunking thin slivers of raw beef (preferably Wagyu) in a pot of boiling broth on my table and then pampering my palate with the pristine flavours and textures has been one of my passions around the world. Alas! This Japanese "Shabu shabu" comes to Mumbai's "Hai Bao" in a totally different (mainly seafood, veggies added on) but flamboyant avatar to Juhu's new eatery. It has its fans (like the family I bump into here). They're totally hooked, "The concept is cool, shabu shabu a knockout, addons are superb, it's a filling yet light meal" say the well known dashing fashion designers Riyaz and Reshma Gangji who along with Aman and Ananya eat here regularly. Also checking out this new restaurant is the brilliant Chef Himanshu Taneja, passionate and adventurous foodie wanting to try out all that is new in the city. Hai bao has serious detractors @chingypatel (Absolutely avoidable! Terrible food and service! People get enticed cause the Shabu Shabu concept is relatively new in India.) @TaariniNB (you have to pretty much cook their own food, including the meats. Kinda painful.)

The truth lies somewhere in between.

Decor

Profusion of plants (mainly artificial) in this sea facing, high-ceilinged restaurant with wooden furniture.

Food

You name it, they got it. Over the past few months they've added on plenty of Chinese dishes especially for the Indian palate (Vegetarian soups, Paneer Soya Chilly, Chicken Crushed Pepper, Chicken Sichuan Pepper. Many vegetarian options too.) Their version of "Shabu shabu" dunking and cooking raw seafood and meats in a choice of broth ((Tom Yum/ Laksa /Clear Seafood) with 24 varieties of sauces is a filling, tasty option. Try the Hanbun combo (dumplings, fish fillet, cuttle fish, prawns, chicken, eggs and a range of vegetarian options like pakchoy, shitake mushrooms and broccoli. You could opt for the barbecue grill on the table too. Try the Prawns in shells enlivened with garlic and mellow with butter, well made. Scallops in white sauce and an okayish panfried pomfret. Attentive service under Leo Pinto, (IPad menus, fancy call buttons connected to waiters wrists et al) add a dimension to the experience.

Minus Points

Some of the raw seafood (for the Shabu Shabu) is not fresh. Thick skinned Chicken Kothay, Veg Kothay. Avoid the insipid Laksa broth, the tasteless Hokkein Rice. Stay clear of the oversweet and strange desserts, be it the tender coconut with strands of fresh malai jellied and reset in a hollowed coconut shell or the syrupy sweet mango pudding.

My Point

"Profusion" accurately describes Hai Bao… from the number of dishes, cuisines, versions of "Shabu Shabu", dipping sauces to the number of plants here. Since opening they've hiked up set lunch price from 499 to 599 and 999 (with Shabu shabu). The non veg Shabu shabu meal, enough for 4 to 6 (priced between 1100 to 1999) and veg (Rs 750). Generous portions. Authentic flavors give way to robust, spicy Chindian ones. Adaptation, thy name is "Hai Bao".

**Critic reviews are anonymous and all bills are paid by TimesCity**

Updated about 19hrs ago

  • Food
  • 70% Complete (success)
  • Service
  • 60% Complete (success)
  • Decor
  • 60% Complete (success)

Balle! Balle! Sprawl on charpoys under the stars (under a shed during the monsoons) at this 200-seater VFM ethnic Punjabi place in Dadar and gorge on Sarson da Saag and Makki di Roti. Enjoy 25 per cent off on your bar bill during Happy Hours too (5.30pm to 7.30pm on weekdays). It’s the true-blue Punjabi experience here: Punjabi Kadhi Pakodi, Gobhi da Paratha, Kali Mah di Dal, Chicken Chakori Kebab or Mutton Galouti Kebab. Ask them and they will recommend their Kadhai Chhole, Methi Gosht, Chura Paratha and Khasta Roti. If you are in a mood for some Mughlai food, read the next entry.

Critic Review

Nightlife Review

Buzz: 2.5/5 | Décor: 3/5

rn-By Rashmi Uday Singh

Unlike the blue-and-yellow vaulted restaurant decked with attractive flooring, the bar has a dignified and spartan feel to it. For over fifty-two years now, Pritam is still a haven for those with an inclination for classic Punju fare. In comparison to its restaurant, which is invariably busy and noisy, the bar is tranquil, allowing the customers to spend quality time by themselves. Take your pick from the good range of alcohols, cocktails (Screwdriver, Bloody Mary) and mocktails (Tropicana, Golden Dawn, Blushing Daiquiri) on offer. Sip what you like the most as you gorge on their non-veg options including Chicken Tandoori Kebab, Mutton Galouti, Pahadi Chicken. Their Sweet Garlic Cauliflower and Salted Pepper Vegetable are also worth trying.HAPPY HOURS: 5.30pm to 7.30pm (only for restaurant)

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