Featured Restaurants in Mumbai

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Critic's Review

Updated about 12hrs ago

  • Food
  • 80% Complete (success)
  • Service
  • 80% Complete (success)
  • Decor
  • 80% Complete (success)

We are rejoicing! Many reasons...not only is it a joyful experience but there is distinct joy in the food too. There is a palpable youthful vibe not just in the ambiance, the staff, and the diners but once again, in the food too. Bombay Canteen celebrates India and of course Bombay. Much like my brilliant world renowned artist guest Jaideep Mehrotra whose works embody the melting pot of cultures in our metropolis, a melange of the eastern & western sensibilities. Like the Sachin Sculpture at Sasmira Junction, which pays tribute to a local lad using state of the art material to create it.Both, he and his lovely wife Seema feel that 'Bombay Canteen' has both these elements and manages to capture them well in their flavours and presentation.

DECOR

Walk into this airy 4,000 sq. ft of brilliantly done up space and be charmed by the Bombay nostalgia in this unfinished "bungalow" with its stained glass, long rustic bar, printed tiles, manually lettered pricing boards. Thankfully it does not degenerate into a themed cutesy cafe, space. Kudos to the Busride Design Studio.

NYC TO MUMBAI

This Goan chef worked in Mumbai and took NYC by storm way before glamour boy Vikas Khanna. I first met Chef Floyd Cardoz fifteen years ago, when I had been flown down to NYC by Asia Society for a panel discussion on Indian food with the icons, Madhur Jaffrey and Danny Meyer. I ate with Danny Meyer at "Tabla", Floyd's introduction of Indian food to America and loved it. A couple of years ago, I ate at Floyd’s "Northend Grill" and came away disappointed. Both have since shut; Floyd still straddles both continents (Whitestreet in NYC and Bombay Canteen here). This one marks his return to and celebration of Indian cuisine. Along with Chef Thomas Zachiaras they use only local ingredients (many not served in restaurants) and evolve Indian cuisine by making it "cool". Their passion shines through.

FOOD

Flavors and textures do a rocking jugalbandi! Like the crisp Arbi tuk and mugra chaat. Goan pulled pork does the dandiya with theplas. Eggs Kejriwal get yummier with Kerala coconutty chutney. It begins with the "chintus" (tiny floating snacks much like David Chang's Ma Peche). Super Anda Curry Devilled Desi Eggs, paper-thin lotus-root fryums. Chhotas (salads, tacos and more) Badas (Spiced Grilled Chicken Kaleji) and we also ask for the "Patiala" (large sharing dishes) fish. Chef Zachiaras' coconutty My uncles mutton curry delights. Whoa! the rum-spiked Gulabnut, is Floyd's improvement on the cronut, but for me it is the fleshy guava tan ta tan (tart tatin) with its red chilly icecream that works the magic. A fully stocked bar, craft beers by The Gateway Brewing Co are the other upsides.

MINUS POINTS

My assistant calls to book the table in his name (I never book in mine) and is told they are booked up till 9.30pm. He persists and finally secures a booking for 7pm and for at least the first two hours the cafe is more or less empty. The loud music jars and keeps getting louder. Multi-Grain Khichdi, Steamed Kokum Idiyappam, banana deep fried pakodas are ho hum. In fact, the vegetarian fare does not sparkle as much as the non veg one. Milk Braised Kashmiri Raan not available. Ice Cream Sandwich and masala chai popsicle sound better than they taste.

MY POINT

Balle balle! Indian cuisine gets its much needed complement of playfulness, modernism and global sophistication. Thankfully no molecular gastronomy here! No chicken tikka masala either! Sure they don't ace everything, the portions could be larger, the vegetarian fare more fine-tuned. Accessibility is the guiding ethos; it is a go-to, drop-in (open for dinner only) canteen for enlightened food lovers on all budgets. I love the way this canteen marries locally sourced, serious food with an ultra-casual, spontaneous dining ethos, Eating here feels unencumbered, honest and joyful...that word again!

P.S. I just hope this brand new Canteen keeps it up.

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

Updated about 13hrs ago

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

This global giant adopts and adapts. Punjabi Pizzas, New Crust Golden Surprise, Stuffed Crust Pizza with veg and non-veg options, Cajun-spiced Paneer and Spiced Sausages are a few examples of its Indo-Italian creativitiy. There is plenty of choice for veggies in all the outlets that span the city. The Veg Exotica tops the list and Tikka Paneer Makhni comes next. Personal Pan Pizzas and Classic Italian are the crusts on offer. Since I prefer thin and crispy fare, Classic Italian is my choice; the base is also freshly made. Chicken Tikka Makhni with green chillies et al is a huge hit. Chicken Supreme, Pepperoni, Exotica and Veggie Supreme are also worth trying. You might want to opt for the deals here, three-course of treat for two: two Pan Pizzas, Garlic Bread and two slices of Black Forest Cake. They have exciting offers and deals all the time and you can win pizzas with only an SMS. The desserts of Black Forest Cake and the Vanilla with Strawberry Sundae are just about okay. In the Pizza Hut restaurants, you can look forward to a much larger menu of decent pastas, sandwiches, Iced Teas, etc. There's plenty of colour and buzz in the surrounding. Stick to the pizzas, and you can't go wrong. Though Masala Bites and Cheesy Bites are also popular. Juhu has an enhanced dining restaurant which includes pastas, mocktails, appetizers. P.S. Will someone let me know why should the world's largest pizza chain continue to be called a "hut"?!

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