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Bombay food itinerary - please critique

  • osho Dec 5, 2011 01:39 PM
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So here are my picks, please critique based on your recent experiences.

I am originally from Bombay (and yes it will always be called Bombay in my mind), but I have been away for many years.

Breakfast

Bara Handi (Mohd Ali Road)
Noor Mohammedi (Mohd Ali Road)

Looking for more Muslim and Parsi breakfast places ... where is the best akoori these days?

Parsi

Ideal Corner (Fort)
Jimmy Boy Café (Fort)

Indian Chinese

China Garden (Kemps Corner)
Golden Dragon (Taj)
Gypsy Chinese (Shivaji Park)

Malvani

Sindhudurg (Dadar)
Gomantak (Dadar)
Chaitanya (Dadar)
Anant Ashram (Girgaum)– is this institution now closed?

South Indian

Ram Nayak’s Boarding House (Matunga Station)

Any must-go places in the Fort area?

North Indian

Copper Chimney (Worli)
Masala Kraft (Taj)
Punjabi Fish Mart (Metro) – is this closed?
Sher E Punjab (Dadar)

Moghlai

Sarvi (Nagpada)
Sayeed Kabab Center (Nagpada)
Delhi Darbar (Metro)

Goan

New Martin’s (Colaba)
City Kitchen (Fort) – is this closed?

Any other recommendations near the Four Seasons in Worli?

Cheers

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  1. Hi Osho, quite a comprehensive list but one that has suffered the ravages of time. For North Indian i would recommend you avoid Copper Chimney and even Masala Kraft. Try out Kebabs n Kurries at ITC Grand Central in Lalbaug, Kebab Korner at Intercontinental Marine Drive. Although not GREAT but worth trying once is MIchelin Star chef Vineet Bhatia's Ziya at the Oberoi for its take on Indian cuisine with a great deal of French cooking flourish.

    Anant Ashram i fear has closed due to a family dispute. The Fort area is not that great but i would recommend a restaurant owned by a friend of mine called Paratha Mantra which is opposite Trishna, they have great Paratha's but their North Indian selection is actually far better.

    Rama Nayak's i have visited once and did not enjoy at all, i do frequent Cafe Madras on the circle but the cuisine is not the same of course. Also, Konkan Cafe at Taj President does a great veg.nonveg.sea food thali which is not only great but is great value for money.

    Would also recommend the best restaurant in my opinion which is Thai Pavilion also at the Taj President.

    Crystal at Chowpatty serves basic but fantastic home style food at unbelievably low prices though in a fairly basic ambiance.

    Four Seasons is terrible for food but i would recommend you check out their bar Aer which has the best view in the city/country.

    Also if a sushi fan i would recommend Wasabi by Morimoto at the Taj.

    if you have any further questions just holler.

    PS. when was the last time you were here.

    13 Replies
    1. re: skinnylizard

      Thanks skinnylizard. I have not been back for 8 years.

      I'll lose Masala Kraft and CC. Is Kebab Corner a new version of the old Natraj hotel's kebab place?

      Wasn't there another North Indian place near Worli - near the 3 theaters? Was that Kwality? I loved their roomali rotis as a kid.

      Is Balwas near Churchgate still around? I loved their brain masala. Oh the memories! And the dhansak at Ripon Club?

      I will add Kebabs n Kurries to the list for sure. And the Konkan Cafe.

      Sad to hear about Anant Ashram - I will miss the surly waiters in the striped 'chaddis' and the outstanding food.

      Is the view from Aer better than the one that Cafe Naaz on Malabar Hill used to have? :-)

      And what other breakfast places do you recommend?

      My wife will eat breakfast every single day at the Four Seasons, but I have sworn to myself not to eat any non-Indian food for breakfast during our trip :)

      1. re: osho

        Nice compilation but yes, needs some updating.

        Noor Mohammedi (Mohd Ali Road) is still awesome but if you want a good Mallu breakfast head over to Fountain Plaza in Fort. Delicious Appams and Egg Ghee Roast.

        Jimmy Boy has sold out. I'm told Paradise at Colaba is the shit though I got thrown out of it once for not ordering dinner for dinner (!) and haven't gone back since. Ideal Corner is strictly OK.

        For Indian Chinese you should try CG 83, as they call it, at Kemps Corner. Most places do a decent job of things, my recent fave is Wok Hei at Lower Parel.

        Malvani Gomantak and the like is best had at Highway Gomantak in Bandra. Absolutely outstanding and closest to home (am a native Goan)

        South Indian
        Rama Nayaks is good for the meals, for the 'tiffin' Madras Cafe is the place to be. Most places around Kings Circle won't disappoint. In Fort you should try Swagat, near the Strand Book Shop.

        Skinnylizard covered the northie circuit very well - Balwas is certainly up and running and never disappoints.

        City Kitchen has closed. For great Goan (and sometimes even better than Martins) try Snowflake in Dhobi Talao, its the lane behind Bastani bakery opp. Metro. The Vindaloo is the best in Bombay.

        A week of the best breakfasts in Bombay acc to me are 1. Fountain Plaza's Mallu Spread (Appams and Egg Roast, Puttu Kadala), 2. Noor Mohammadi's Nalli Nihari, Kheema, Ghee Dal (DO NOT MISS THIS!!) and Naan, 3. Ideal Corner (they have akoori pao), 4. Koolar & Co. Matunga (for the Irani experience- cheese omelets and brun maska!), 5. Madras Cafe (the Idli Butter Podi and Dosas, topped with a filter coffee), 6. Prakash at Shivaji Park (for Maharashtrian Sabudana Khichri, Poori Bhaaji, Dalimbichi Usal!) and 7. Jalebi Fafda almost anywhere in Kalbadevi.

        1. re: MumbaiCentral

          Hi Osho, Mumbai Central is correct its actually CG83 now but its pretty much the China Garden we all grew up with. Was there twice recently, on a weekday with a packed house more or less.

          Natraj is long gone, Intercontinental is owned by the same family, never went to the old Kebab place at Natraj, a little before my time ( i did attend my first ever night club evening at RG's there)

          Ripon Club is still around as is Balwas (the owner is also now out of prison and quite the high flyer)

          1. re: skinnylizard

            For the view you can also try Dome at the Intercontinental at Marine Drive (the new Natraj) - great view of the 'Queens Necklace' and giant LIITs but food is best avoided. Though their new-age Thai Restaurant on the ground floor, Koh, is run by Ian Kittichai and has rave reviews.

            Yep - CG 83 is the Kemps Corner China Garden, "China Garden" is in Khar under the same management.

            1. re: MumbaiCentral

              Dome was good but Aer really shows you a great view, at Dome the seats are encumbered by the wall and its hard to see out but you can see into the distance, an alternative is of course to go out to the pool and drink there.

              also, at Aer, you can pick a little corner where they let you enjoy a cigar.. My experience at Koh was horrendous..

              1. re: skinnylizard

                Look forward to scotch and a cigar at Aer whilst looking over Samudra Mahal, the race course and the Willingdon.

                You chaps are welcome to join me BTW.

            2. re: skinnylizard

              Lizard - I remember many evenings at RG's really well, let's see - were you at St Marys, Campion or Cathedral ?

              If you know RG's then you probably were at bar nights at 'The gym'. Yes my parents introduced me to CG back in the day. So the Piano Bar is also no more, I suppose?

              1. re: osho

                Osho, i was a fresh faced 15 year old just getting into the groove, i only ended up at RG's a handful of times, Cellars was far more preferable for us kids. 1900's when we could find someone to sign us in.

                I actually schooled at St Xaviers Boys Academy which is near Churchgate Station. The Piano Bar is long gone as well. Actually China Garden was shut down for a year or two due to some alleged irregularities in the amount of space they were prescribed vs what they covered.

                They opened at the Crossroads mall for a while and then moved back to the original location as CG 83 and also have an outlet in Khar now which i China Garden.. although no one i know calls it CG83. is and always will be China Garden for some of us folk.

            3. re: MumbaiCentral

              MumbaiCentral,

              Thanks for the brilliant feedback - much appreciated. SnowFlake looks like a real winner.

              Now, since you're native Goan, any suggestions for restaurants in Goa.

              I have Mum's Kitchen on the list for sure. It has been 2 decades since I have been to Goa. It's a shame that I had to see it on Andrew Zimmern's show.

              Cheers

              Ranjan

              1. re: osho

                I don't know about Mum's Kitchen, it's not worth a special trip to Miramar for sure. I prefer Viva Panjim in Fontainhas - Linda Aunty's curries and fish fries are epic, and the setting is wonderful in this weather. Ask for the Rechado (red) masala on the side of your fish.

                If you're heading north, try the Cafreal at Florentine in Saligao. All the cabbies know it. It's the best Chicken Cafreal - roasted chicken, with the skin on, and allegedly basted with pork fat :D Arpora has a place on the main road called Starlight which I love very much - they have great fish fries and crab xacuti.

                Have breakfast at Infantaria some time, it's really relaxed and there's good food. Not a big fan for the mealtimes though. And please avoid Britto's and Martin's and the usual tourist traps! Strictly average food but really overpriced and overrun with tourists.

                1. re: MumbaiCentral

                  I am heading to bombay (mumbai) on the 23rd and coincidentally went to St Xaviers Boys Academy. I will be inthe Churchgate area so some suggestions will be great especially for sesfood...have done Trishna, Gajali and Mahesy Lunch Home several times.
                  I always visit Paradise as it hasn't changed and I feel like I'm in a time warp when I go there.
                  Would love to hear about breakfast suggestions like good keema pao etc.
                  Thanks

                  1. re: Brfoodie

                    Hey! I like the kheema pao at Military Cafe (near the stock exchange). I don't know what time they open though but you can get a beer there as well. The Kheema (and most other things) at Samovar (Jehangir Art Gallery) is also good.

                    Have covered the breakfast suggestions earlier in this thread. Also good for breakfast is Theobroma at Colaba for their sandwiches and omelettes and this wonder called the chip butty, if you're in a self destructive mood. You can also try Kailash Parbat for Sindhi specialties.

                    Churchgate area seafood - I'd also visit Bharat Excellensea at Fort Market. It's priced better than the others and the food's really good. There's also Apurva Lunch Home in Fort. There are a few old school Gomantaks also (Sandip and Pradip, the latter close to Ideal Corner), Deluxe, which is in a lane behind Citibank, has some great Mallu style seafood.

                    1. re: Brfoodie

                      hey, i think the sea food staples are going strong, no real changes there.
                      Paradise truly is a bit of a time warp but i havent been there in a decade i think...

                      what year did you finish at SXBA ? if do go to Trishna, id recommend you check out Paratha Mantra which is bang opposite, run by another SXBA boy, good parathas but fantastic north Indian.. all veg though.

          2. That is an awesome old-school Bombay (yes...Bombay) list!
            I would consider addng the berry pulao at Brittania and Co., Irani chai and bun-maska at Yazdani and the caramel custard at Military cafe.
            I also suggest the vada-pao and bhaji-pao at Ashok's, outside Kirto college in Dadar - its just a shack, and does not have an official name, butthe owner is named Ashok, and you can't miis it - the crowd is a giveaway. Legend has it that Ashok's vada pao was responsible for turning Sachin Tendulkar into the player he became, when he was just a wee-lad practising in the nets at Shivaji Park.
            I do like Rama Nayak, and an alternative, also located in the same area - is Mahabhog - similar food in a (relatively) more upscale environment (read: AC, marble floors, uniformed servers) Mind you, it has been over a year since I was there, so this info may be out of date.

            To skinnylizard and Mumbaicentral - my compliments on your refined tastes!

            I am an expat Bombayite (yes - Bombayite) myself, and while I return with some frequency, it is always reassuring to see the nouveau-cool abominations located in Lokhandwala conspicuous by their absence in your suggestions.

            19 Replies
            1. re: ipsit

              the berry pulau at Brittania was a major highlight of an awesome week of eating in bombay last winter - definitely second ipsit on this one.

              1. re: ipsit

                Yes, I have been reading Mumbai Boss and some other blogs like Eating Out in Bombay, Finely Chopped etc and the dining scene has changed so much from the 80's and 90's.

                Pardon the pun, one thing I cannot stomach is people calling South Bombay SoBo. One of the most cringe-worthy words I have ever read/heard.

                A chef from my current stomping grounds (SF) has even opened a place in Bombay called The Table - with local ingredients, etc.

                I was ecstatic to note that Balwas is going strong though. Their brain masala was the gold standard. Sad to note Mazda (Nana Chowk) and A1 (Grant Rd) have shut shop.

                Here's my final list ...

                Breakfast:

                I will be at Vallibhai Payawala in Bohri Mohalla at 6 a.m. on the dot - for my first breakfast in Bombay. With the "lamba pau" from next door - that's heaven.

                Next day - breakfast is at Noor Mohammedi, with their nihari and ghee daal.

                After that comes Vinay Health Home in Girgaum near CP Tank.

                Next - Prakash at Shivaji Park for Peeyush, Sabudana Khichadii, Poori Bhaaji, Dalimbichi Usal

                Next - Fountain Plaza's Mallu Spread (Appams and Egg Roast, Puttu Kadala)
                (Thanks MumbaiCentral)

                Lunch destinations:

                Golden Dragon (Taj)
                Kebabs and Kurries (ITC GM)
                Ziya (Oberoi)
                Konkan Cafe (Taj President)
                China Garden (Kemps Corner)

                (Thanks skinnylizard for those updates)

                Snacks:

                Kailash Parbat (Colaba)
                Swati Snacks (Tardeo)
                Borkar Vada Pau (Phanaswadi Girgaum)

                Dinner / Take away destinations:

                Paratha Mantra (Fort)
                Punjab Fish Mart (Metro Masjid)
                Sindhudurg (Dadar)
                Gypsy Chinese (Shivaji Park)
                Ideal Café (Fort)
                Delhi Darbar (Colaba)

                I gather the Bayview bar at the Oberoi is now called Eau. Do they still have a brilliant selection of scotch and cigars? Do they allow smoking cigars indoors these days?

                1. re: osho

                  Osho - I was at Sindhudurg the other day for lunch. Really unimpressive. I would implore you to have the pomfret yellow curry and fish fry at Highway Gomantak instead. :) There are a few blogs dissing HG but trust me on this one!

                  1. re: MumbaiCentral

                    Alright, I will lose Sindhudurg.

                    Crossing the Mahim Causeway is something very daunting to me, MumbaiCentral.

                    Any 'townie' will tell you that - but I will try to be an intrepid chowhound and make it there.

                    1. re: osho

                      :) Hope you can. But there is still awesomeness within the metropolitan limits - "Fresh Catch" at Mahim - traditional Karwari fish curries - ambot tik, rechado, balchao and clams. Super authentic stuff. It's just off LJ Road (you'll find it on your left after you take the left after the Shobha Hotel Signal while coming from town). It's not much on ambience, but it's a lovely little house converted into a restaurant. And its food you won't get anywhere else in Mumbai.

                      1. re: osho

                        Can I be a bit of a pain and implore you to include Oh Calcutta on your list? I'm assuming you aren't going to be traveling outside of Mumbai and Goa. They have some wonderful smoked Hilsa and Hilsa in Mustard sauce, and if you like mutton their Kosha Mangsho is great.

                        1. re: MumbaiCentral

                          Love mutton. Is this place still in Tardeo near the Mid Day offices ?

                          1. re: osho

                            I don't know where the Mid Day Office is, but this is at Tardeo, the right turn before the AC Market. Ground floor of Hotel Rosewood.

                  2. re: ipsit

                    Hey Ipsit,

                    Thanks :) Lokhandwala is facepalm when it comes to good food options though a winner's tip is that it does have the distinction of having the only place - Serenya - which serves up kickass Tibetan Food and excellent Momos. If you are ever stranded there you should know what to do :) http://www.zomato.com/mumbai/restaura...

                    1. re: MumbaiCentral

                      I would pick either Vinay or Prakash as they are more or less along the same lines, Vinay i found was way spicier and offered a lot of Southie food while Prakash offered a limited but Mahrashtrian offering. Id take Prakash but my dad loves both and he knows his food (as long as its Indian)

                      I would also recommend the awesome Idli House which i visited this sunday.. awesome.. one of the blogs you visited is mine :) so check it again.

                      Also please, please add Cafe By The Beach (where the old Saltwater Grill used to be) for an early evening snack, as you look out to the Arabian Sea and Marine Drive.. it truly promises everything Bombay can be..

                      Lokhandwala is a culinary wasteland.. i carry my own food when i go there for meetings and i hate doing that.. yet its better than eating there. Except maybe Indigo Cafe.

                      1. re: skinnylizard

                        Whats also good for Maharashtrian food is Aswad which is opposite the Sena Bhavan. They have the Prakash menu, plus they do other traditional stuff like pithala-bhakri and a really fine bharli wangi with freshly roasted masala. And it's air conditioned and the like.

                        Agree with skinnylizard doing either Vinay or Prakash, and definitely on Idli House. You should spend a morning walking around Kings Circle - Butter Pepper Idli at Idli House, Neer Dosa at Mysore Cafe, Plain Dosas, Wadas and Coffee at Madras Cafe... epic. :D

                        1. re: MumbaiCentral

                          i usually end up there on weekends (King Circle) so its hard to get to more than once place.. but yeah.. you cant go wrong with King Circle..

                          1. re: skinnylizard

                            If you guys are game, we could do a mini chowdown at one of my destinations. Will be fun to meet other chowhounds from my long lost homeland, twice removed.

                            Lizard - from your blog I gather you are a vegetarian?
                            MCentral - you are clearly a carnivore , what Goan is not eh?

                            1. re: osho

                              Sounds fabulous. When are you here? You can pick the place and we can come join you. And for the lizard we shall keep sufficient options available :D

                              1. re: MumbaiCentral

                                depending on schedule.. sounds good.

                                1. re: skinnylizard

                                  19 through 25 January in Bombay. Send me your emails at the address in my profile and let's coordinate !

                          2. re: MumbaiCentral

                            I second Aswad and Idli House. Just about everything at any one of the old standbys in Kings Circle is good - Madras cafe, Mysore cafe or Anand Bhavan. I do advise against going there on sundays though.
                            Once upon a time I was regular enough, that my favorite server actually asked me to not eat there on sunday - by his own admission, everything was watered down!

                            1. re: ipsit

                              that is actually pretty good advice, i think im going to head to em joints on weekdays.

                        2. re: MumbaiCentral

                          That tip could come very handy on a rainy day! Thanks.

                      2. so what ultimately were the choices ?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: skinnylizard

                          Skinnylizard, due to some personal reasons I had to cancel the India leg of my trip in January and we went back to the States from Europe.

                          However ....I am coming for sure in November. I am so looking forward to the food in Bombay. Counting down the days.

                          Cheers

                          Osho

                          1. re: osho

                            Osho - please update your awesome body of posts after your November trip! I'm bringing my family for the first time this winter and while we have some things we want to take them to eat based on previous trips, recent info would be awesome.

                            1. re: osho

                              hey, i hope it was nothing serious ! anyway, do ping me when you are here, ill give you a new list, lots of new places have shown up. you can always drop me a line or check my blog. gauravgjain at gmail.

                          2. Calling on MumbaiCentral, Osho, Skinnylizard et al - need your help/suggestions/advice on eating in Mumbai between Wednesday and Saturday this week. I've posted a separate topic - any chance you could respond?