From new restaurant launches to special menus and festivals, there’s a whole lot that’s worth checking out
Lovers of Bengali food, rejoice. The Sahara Star restaurant is serving some of their top-selling and popular dishes as part of a three course fixed meal for Poila Boishakh (Bengali New Year). At Rs 1,750 plus taxes per head, it’s a competitively priced menu with a variety of options.
We visited and were hard pressed to pick a favourite – the chops are all succulent and non-oily. From the Bhaja and Bhapa menu, we highly recommend the Beet Bora – a fantastic cutlet made with beetroot and and carrot. Also lovely are the Bhaja Bhetki (the freshest fish, teamed with top quality mustard), Kaekda Chingri Bhapa (a pillowy soft steamed medley of crab and prawn meat), and the perfectly spiced Mangsho Chop (minced mutton).
Mutton fans, you will also love the Kosha Mangsho, teamed with luchi or radhabollobi. And those who miss Bengali fish that’s so hard to find in Mumbai, there’s a variety of fish – ilish, rui, pabda , bhetki – cooked to your liking. Our hilsa cooked in simple tomato gravy was soothing and very homely.
The dessert range includes Mishti Doi, Chanar Payesh and Rosogolla, but if you ask nicely, they’ll surely serve you a scoop of delectable Nolen Gur ice cream instead.
We loved everything we tried, and would return for this spread a la carte as well.
Arguably one of Mumbai’s better Italian restaurants, Botticino’s new menu has plenty of gems that show remarkable progress in culinary techniques, and at the same time, stick to classic flavours. Our very first dish is one of the best beetroot dishes we’ve ever tried, and is testament to the earlier statement. The humble beetroot tartare is presented with little spheres of lemon gel and some delish beetroot macarons that burst with flavour.
Also interesting is the Tuna Carpaccio with bottarga vinaigrette and shaved radish. The Mushroom Espuma is a hit too – a lot of restaurants have upped their Mushroom Soup game, and while they are mostly high on taste, they tend to be heavy too. Botticino’s version, thankfully, is lighter and doesn’t fill us up too much.
Main course is good, but after being blown away by the entrees, it doesn’t feel spectacular. The Three Hours Slow Cooked Chicken is cooked well and comes with a delightful green pea, mint and pecorino mash. The Poached John Dory with orange butter nage, vegetables and crushed baby potatoes fares slightly better with its subtle, home-style flavours.
Little Food Daily
A popular name in the catering circuit, Little Food Co’s Bhakti Mehta has started this new service that only delivers in parts of Juhu and Andheri for now. The menu is more or less the same every day, with breakfast items, salads, healthy meal bowls and more. Well packaged, well priced and generous in portion, Little Food Daily’s meals should be your best bet for a meal that tastes miles better than any other ‘healthy’ dish you might order.
We started with a Sesame Soy Chicken Salad heaped with sprouts, purple cabbage, bell peppers, carrots and more, topped with chilli lime dressing. The We made the mistake of thinking it would serve as a starter – the portion is so generous that it can easily suffice as a light yet filling meal.
Of the mains, the Zaatar Chicken with Hummus, Tahina, Greens and Tabouleh stood out. Perfectly moist and delicately spiced chicken, super smooth hummus and the abundance of greens made this one of the most satisfying working lunches we have had in months. The other dish, BBQ Chicken with Corn, Veggies and Roasted Carrot Mash, could have done with better flavoured chicken, but the carrot mash more than makes up for it. There’s also plenty of mushrooms, babycorn, zucchini, carrots etc to complete the meal.
Little Food Daily offers only one dessert at the moment – Nutella Banana Crepes – but getting them delivered was a risk we didn’t want to take. We have, however, made it our mission to try everything on the menu. You should too.
The Bao Haus Co.
A takeaway service that only delivers around south Mumbai, we’re fervently hoping for The Bao haus Co. to expand their radius, because we loved whatever we tried, seated in a small office attached to their kitchen.
The only (mild) disappointment was our first dish – a portion of too-oily Leek Fritters, which we don’t think are diet- or delivery –friendly. The pairing with smoked aubergine dip and pomegranate molasses, however, is spot-on. Prawn Crackers come with a spicy-ish bacon jam, and the Hickory Smoked Wings (no need for that garlic yoghurt) are finger-lickin’.
There’s also a Belgian Pork Belly Burger (to be honest, we’d much rather not mince a beautiful piece of pork belly) that does the trick largely thanks to an addictive sriracha-spiked cheddar.
Now for the USP items – the baos. The Coconut Shrimp Bao is a clear favourite. We wouldn’t imagine the spicy mayo, tamarind and a hit of kaffir lime tying in well, but they do and how! Another one we highly recommend is the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Bao with a yummy honey-sriracha glaze and sesame slaw.
Vegetarians, we aren’t fans of tofu but still loved the Tofu Mushroom Bao, so you know what to get. As for the Quinoa Bao, it just didn’t work for us, and the overdose of arugula made it worse.
The Chocolate Bao sounds a bit gimmicky, and it might not be among our top desserts, but it’ll satisfy your sweet tooth for sure – the Brulee Bananas are quite beautiful, and chunks of marshmallow seal the deal.
Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar’s first Mumbai restaurant, NRI, has got great reviews and is doing fantastic business in its first couple of months. The property next door, Lima, is also open now, and is serving up a South American culinary storm.
This being our first brush with the cuisine of countries like Peru and Brazil, we knew little about what we were eating. The flavours, however, are sublime, and will make you want to know more. The staff is fairly knowledgeable, so they should be able to guide you too. At the moment, Lima is serving only small plates, which enables you to try more things. Once they’ve got adequate feedback and seen how people are reacting to the food, they intend to add large plates to the menu.
At the moment, we don’t have much to complain about. Sure, the pricing is steep (you’re paying Rs 375 for milk-infused corn on the cob), but the fact that the dishes are interesting, unique and above all, taste good, makes it alright.
Our meal begins on a high note with two kinds of ceviche – Fish and Mushroom. Both are extremely fresh and bursting with flavour. Props to chef Kochhar for insisting on only local produce at both his restaurants – even the fish used for the ceviche is Indian sea bass. Being hardcore non-vegetarians, we’re surprised to be more enticed by the vegetarian variant – with enoki, oyster, trumpet, shimeji and shitake mushrooms in ponzu.
Next up are Tiraditos – a sashimi-like dish that our server says is a result of Japanese migrants’ influence on Peruvian cooking. The vegetarian tiradito mixes five beans – fava, lima, kidney, edamame, pigeon pea – with aji Amarillo salsa for a satisfying, healthy dish. But the Tuna Tiradito is our favourite of the night – its simple treatment with chia seeds and a mindblowing yellow aji paste completely winning us over.
From the salads, the Classic Chicken Causa is another good pick. The dim lighting fails to showcase the brilliant purple of the potato causa, layered with chicken, avocado and another great sauce called huancaina sauce.
We also tried the quesadillas, which were pretty good, but not a patch on the unusual dishes we tried before them. At the moment, Lima isn’t serving desserts either, but they’re happy to get you something from the NRI dessert menu (which we highly recommend here).
Those who haven’t travelled to South America or tried its wonderful cuisine, make sure you head to Lima for some bold, unexplored flavours.
The new menu at Tilt stays true to the resto-lounge’s modern European cuisine philosophy. Our favourites are the two soups we began with – Wild Mushroom Soup scented with Truffle Oil and Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Over Roasted Garlic – both beautifully fragrant and hearty.
For a refreshing, light meal, do try the Pulled Chicken with Orange Glaze and Caramelized Walnut salad or a portion of Lamb Kibbeh served with Labneh.
We couldn’t resist ordering our favourite item from the staple menu – the Al Funghi flatbread that has a perfectly thin, crispy base, flavourful mushrooms, a heady dose of truffle oil and arugula leaves.
From the mains, the New Zealand Lamb Chops with Marsala Wine Reduction are just about play, but the Herb Grilled Basa (it comes with a fantastic leek fondue) is your best bet.