I’ve been to India many times, but this food research trip was long overdue. On my last trip I sampled all the usual delights from street food through to five star hotel restaurants, and never went hungry nor did I feel disappointed with the food choices. I’m half way through my trip and it feels like I’m in a whole new city. It’s as if foodie Mumbai powered down and it’s reboot is tastier, more exciting and evolving quicker than ever.
There are so many new restaurants to try, my short 2 week trip will only scratch the surface of what this city has to offer. I started with one of my favourite haunts for street food ‘Elco’ before mapping out my culinary route. First stop was ‘Smokehouse Deli‘, a quaint international cuisine restaurant with a neighbourhood feel. When the fresh bread basket arrived in a little plastic handbag, I knew I was in for a good meal. I decided to try the curried veggie lasagna which had just the right amount of spice running through the fresh pasta sheets. It reminded me of lasagna my mum used to make when I lived at home. The tomato sauce and bechamel were laced with aromatic spices and it was utterly delicious.
I couldn’t leave Pali Hill without trying the macarons at the famous ‘Le 15 Patisserie‘. Mumbai has never been known for it’s baking, but the new wave of bakeries is a sweet treat paradise. Cupcakes, pastries and designer cakes seem to have taken India by storm and a good bakery is never far away.
I squeezed in a meal at the trendy cafe ‘Good Earth‘ before sampling the delights at the highly acclaimed ‘Masala Library‘. Before my trip I got in touch with some foodies that had their fingers firmly on the culinary pulse in Mumbai, and time and time again Masala Library came up. One of the only restaurants to have a full reservations list every evening, it was worth the wait. A fine dining restaurant in the heart of Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) which was once swamp land, is now the financial heartland of North Mumbai employing over half a million people.
The food was incredibly inventive and perfectly spiced for my palate. No dish overpowered the other and I couldn’t help but feel like a child in a theme park discovering dishes for the first time. Each dish personally presented by Chef Saurabh Modi himself, and explained with the grace it deserved. My only disappointment was the limited wine list. I would have liked to have seen more wines by the glass and bottle, but this did not affect my overall impression of this wonderful restaurant. There’s not many places you will be find juicy braised lamb chops with maple and kokum, or misti doi lollipop amuse bouche. Desserts such as jalebi caviar and deconstructed gulab jamun are amongst their signature dishes, and after tasting them I can see why. A great addition to the Mumbai food scene, and one to stay I hope.