Continental seduction ... Mocambo, Mumbai

No restaurant visits. No cooking experiments. It has been a bleak week of daal and vegetables and slimy bhindi ... hence the silence.

Ha ha who am I kidding... there have been lows but there have been dalmuts that I have sneaked while K wasn't around, my mom in law's birthday treat at Mocambo and friends who suddenly dropped in and got the Knife to take out the ladle after office.

We went to Mocambo at Fort, Mumbai last Sunday for dinner. It was my Mom in Law's birthday and she took us out. Her first birthday this year. Parsi max their birthdays - religious birthdays, calendar birthdays - any occasion for the war cry of jaamva chaaloji (let's go to eat) will do. And I am not complaining.

I often praise the Parsi food at Mocambo which they serve for lunch if you can wrestle out the menu card from them. Their Goan food is quite lovely too. Specially the roast tongue!

Now the problem is that the owners of Mocambo (who own Churchill too) had relaunched it as a continental place. That's what they want to push. And here is this crazy blogger who writes about everything but that!

Well Sunday night with the Bilimorias, Kerawalas, Balsaras and the Missus was a continental night at Mocambo.

And I must say that the food was quite nice. It tasted good, the quality was good, no fancy ornaments such as parsley sprigs or barbecue sauce doodles .... simple, hard working, pleasing food.

We had a cheese chilly toast as a starter which was a delight to eat. The elegant crust of grilled cheese doesn't work for Mocambo. Here cheese means a generous dollop of melted cheese on crisp toast. And it was peppered with tiny bits of devilishly hot and spicy bits of green chilly. I didn't take any photos that day but imagine Monica Belluci on a soft, sink as you lie, feather bed and you will get the idea. OK you can substitute that with Daniel Craig as appropriate. After all, all of us - me, pa in law, mom in law, aunt in law, wife - wanted second helpings!

I had a 'Royal Chicken' after that. This was a dish with slices of chicken with a red wine and spicy tomato sauce served on a bed of buttered rice. I went for chicken as I had mutton for lunch. So I conscientiously spurned the advances of the steaks and pork chops on offer. Frankly, I wasn't disappointed. The chicken was a breast cut but was thinly sliced and therefore not chewy. I hate chewy chicken! The sauce was a nice change from the usual continetal stuff on offer a Mumbai and was quite sharp fiery. An interesting option if you are forced to spurn the seductive advances of white, cheese sauces. A dash of Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady.

Kainaz had a Prawn Newburg. The sauce was quite nice... had a touch of sweet tanginess with a hint of scandalous garlic. If such a combination exists. The Lolita of sauces? The prawns were fresh but smaller than the ones served at Mocambo's sister, Churchill.

I didn't try the other sauce but pa in law seemed to have reached seventh heaven with 'holy lamb' (an Oriental lamb dish in a spicy, brown sauce with buttered rice) and the birthday girl seemed to be quite happy with her cheese sauce based prawn dish.

The verdict? Mocambo does come across as a nice option for continental dishes in the Fort area of South Mumbai. The food tastes great without being esoteric. But that's to be expected as it is run by Parsis, a community that loves to eat and loves to feed!

The ambience is nice and it has a cheerful, pubbish feel to it.


  • Mocambo is in the alley beside Citibank in DM Road, close to Bombay Stores
  • It serves Parsi food for lunch only
  • Continental main courses range from Rs 250 to 390 (USD 5 to USD 8) depending on the meat
  • If you love the legendary desserts at Churchill then you could get lucky here as they serve the same desserts here
  • They have a clean loo... I know this is not appropriate table talk but chances are that you would have come here after a long drive!
  • They are fairly empty on week days. Lunch hour is crowded on work days. And it is a good idea to book and go for dinner on weekends or on Friday


k said…
churchill anyday
the knife. you have to meet a, the man in my house. guys will get along like a kitchen on fire. okay...make that gas on fire. i just got back from salt water grill cafe. and i took pictures of all the food. because it was so damn good.
and i'm soooo full. but all your description of food, dude i'm salivating!
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Hey Agent Green Glass, thanks for dropping in. Yup I guess you wouldn't hear A or me sing, we didn't start the fire. He cooks too?

How was Salt Water Cafe? We went there once and loved it Do post your pictures. All the food looked so lovely there
Anand said…
Never knew they had good Parsi food...comes as good news since I like their continental stuff. In the evening though, the only Parsi option seems to be Jimmy Boys.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Hey Anand, thanks for dropping in. They are quite coy about the Parsi food. they serve it in the afternoons only. The dishes are not there in the menu card but in a separate sheet. I chanced upon it the first time and had to ask for it in future visits.

I am married to a Parsi and can vouch for the quality of the Parsi food at Mocambo. Much better than Jimmy Bot. You can try Britanni for Parsi lunches on weekdays. Check this out

I am not sure why Mocambo is so secretive about their Parsi dishes. I think the reasons are commercial. Their Parsi dishes cost Rs 90 while the continental ones are upwards of Rs 250
churchill churchill churchill. i love that place. so much delight in such a tiny place. is it still there? they had shut down for a while years ago when i was in mumbai.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
A, Churchill, is very much there ever cince i have been here, 1999. I remember their shutting once for renovation. We went there a month or so back after ages. Wistfully noticed the renovations looking tired. But the food was superb as ever... so you can definitely plan your trip to Colaba
Unknown said…
Just a point to add if am not mistaken...You get Parsi food for lunch at Mocambo on Sunday's as well and so a very good option since Britannia is shut...
Unknown said…
..and yes... one more important thing is that this place serves beer and so is definitely the best option for foodies who love beer with Parsi food and are not too fussy about Raspberry only
Kirti said…
Delicious literary jewel in your description "Simple, hard working, pleasing food"

Mouthwatering reading!
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Thanks Kirti. High praise from the editor indeed.

I must confess that I am heavily inspired by Bourdain in my writing style