' The Mumbai Food Oscars'

I wasn't going to write today. I was really tired. Eyes burning tired. Then went and got the mixer fixed at Pali Market after work. Went to the gym. I use minimum weights but still hate leg routine days. Made my doi posto ilish. Had to look up my own recipe. But was really happy with the results. Took less than ten minutes of work to put together but was worth it.

Opened my mail box after dinner to see this mail from 'The Simplist' , a Parsi from NYC, who is coming to India with his fiance. Now the thing about me is that I am pathologically programmed to answer questions on food the moment someone asks me some. So I did. Thought I'll share these with anyone else interested. So here goes. Mumbai Food Oscars, was The Simplist's phrase by the way.

Me and my fiancĂ©e are coming over to Mumbai for 2 weeks and since it is her first time here I wanted to shortlist some places worth going. 

Here's a quick survey you can take if you find a moment in your schedule, must mention the name of the place and I'll do the rest of the research: 

Best Irani Cafe in Mumbai?

Britannia - or no?

Me: Yazdani Bakery

Best Dhansak in Mumbai not made at someone's house? 

There was this Bombay Club your uncle-in-law would take you but I assume that is off-limits. So, Mocambo? or something else?

Me: Ideal Corner, Fort. Only Wednesday & Friday though

Best Parsi food available in a restaurant?

Sucker for patrani macchi, a good kolmi no patio, Dhansak, Pulao, Sali Boti, Chicken Farcha, Lagan nu Custard etc.

Me: Ideal Corner, again but their menu differs by the day. Mocambo has dhansak, cutlets, sali boti & pulao daal everyday except Sunday and are almost as good and air conditioned too. Britannia would be a distant third but for Mr Boman Kohinoor who is a darling

Best Biryani in Mumbai? 

Chicken or Mutton is fine... I like it dry with some masala, kind of like you. Not sure if anybody puts Aloo in Mumbai but that would be great.

Me: Best Biriyani (for folks who like it dry) - Kakori House - they have an outlet at Mahim, core shop at Bandra and one at Inorbit mall. No aloo though. Biriyani at Olympia was pretty good and has a bit more masala

Best Goan food in Mumbai?

Sucker for Goa Pork Sausages, Sorpotel and a decent Vindaloo. 

Me: I must choose Snow Flake at the Bastani lane beside Metro over Martins here

Best Keralite food in Mumbai? 

Rahmaniya or Fountain Plaza... I eat beef etc.

Me: Not an expert here. I would go for Rahmaniya by a whisker over Fountain Plaza. I have heard of a place called Sunny at Chembur from people whose tastes I trust

Best Malwani seafood in Mumbai? 

Gajalee? or something else? Mahesh Lunch Home? 

Me: Mahesh is Mangalorean I think. I haven't gone there in ages but unless the standards have gone down I would still root for Saayba at Bandra for Malwani. I think Gajalee is over rated I would choose Apoorva over Mahesh for Mangalorean.

Best Cupcakes in Mumbai? 

Looking for some great cakes with some flair.

Me: I am not too much a cupcake fan. I like the ones at Candies, Bandra

Best Old-school Bakery in Mumbai?

American Express Bakery or something else? Looking for classic chicken puffs etc. I guess Merwan's is great too.

Merwan's Andheri has the best chicken patties

Best Chinese Food - High End?

Mainland China? Or something else? Golden Dragon?

Me: I am partial to Mainland China. Haven't been to Golden Dragon

Best Chinese Food - Keeping it Simple?

Five Spice I know, others?

Me: Kamling, Churchgate. Wok Hei, Lower Parel 

Best Bengali Food? 

Oh Calcutta is on my list - how much advance book does one have to do?

Me: Oh Calcutta, Tardeo, just mention my name. Joking, you don't need to book in advance. They are active on their Facebook page and you can write in over there

I would also recommend Calcutta Club, outside Oshiwara Police Station for a budget Bengali home food experience and Hangla for mutton roll

Best Experience Restaurant?

Just trying to figure out a nice place for a 1 on 1 date with Kelly. Indian food or Western is fine... unless absolutely ridiculous (>$500), price is not a variable.

Me: Slightly old school, but Thai Pavillion President. I don't know how posh you are looking at but we quite like Yellow Tree, Bandra. Mid range Italian. Not a vast menu. But the ground floor is very relaxed and cosy

Best Vada Pao? 

I can always go to the one opposite Churchgate or whatever but if you had a favorite let me know.

Me: Not my thing but quite liked the one at Bandstand, Bandra near Seaside Cafe Recently

Best Kebab Assortment to pack in bulk and take home for drinks? 

Peshawari? Noorani? 

Me: Not the most cost effective for a drinking binge but go to Kakori Roll Centre and pick up the galawit and kakori. I swear by it

So folks jump in with your answers too


Zubin Wadia said…
Wasn't quite expecting my request to be answered in such detail, and certainly wasn't expecting the request to be crowdsourced!

Kalyan - thanks for all the diligent and passionate food blogging, and many thanks for helping us out.

See you in NYC when you decide to come by...
Anurag Mehrotra said…
A few suggestions from me:

Best Biryani in Mumbai?

Try Paramount in Mahim on LJ road even though it falls in the "wet" Olympia category. Highly recommend the chicken stew.

Best Chinese Food - High End?
Sampan at Holiday Inn Juhu is pretty good too.

Best Experience Restaurant?
Masala Kraft for indian or Zodiac Grill french at the Taj.

Best Vada Pao?
Mithibai or Kirti College.
Bombay Foodie said…
Best biryani with aloo - Northern Tadka's Aloo Chhole Biryani. You'd have to make it to Malad though!

Best Cupcakes - I would just order from Shaheen (purplefoodie.com) or Pooja (Le 15)

Best Experience Restaurant : KOH or Veda
S said…
Agree with Anurag about the vada pavs. if you're coming to town, Zubin, you could also try the stalls near the telephone exchange opposite flora fountain or the one next to the mumbai university building, opposite the standard chartered building.

As for the biryani, the Bengali style dry biryani at Hangla and Calcutta Club (that the Knife mentioned) are quite good too. plus they have potatoes in them. :)

The cupcakes at Vong Wong at Nariman Point are quite good too.

Re high end Chinese food, have heard good things about Royal China (in town close to VT or at Bandra). You'd have to ask the Knife for expert opinion though! :)
S said…
Kareem's has a good selection of kababs that they'll deliver at home if you're in the Andheri area.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Zubin, would love to take you up on the offer :)

S, I went to Royal China before I begun blogging. Quite liked it. Think it qualifies as high end though
Anonymous said…
For Parsi food, the paatra ni macchi and Britannia; but for everything else, Ideal Corner.
Old school bakery - City bakery at Worli and I second American Express.
Malwani food is beyond amazing at Sindhudurg in Dadar/Shivaji park. Try their fish thalis, but definitely have the prawn biryani
Chinese, high end -- Royal China and Golden Dragon
For something that's lighter on the wallet, but just as amazing, Lings at Colaba; try their soup dumplings, pork dumplings; catch of the day with spring onion and ginger. or just let the waiter decide for you. they know the food pretty well and their recommendations are always great.
Molly said…
Amazing post Kalyan..something i had in my mind to ask you when i plan to visit India next time..but i guess i have my list ready already now..Thanks a bunch!!!
Zubin Wadia said…
Thanks a lot everybody, great suggestions, keep them coming!