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Hot address: The Bombay Canteen

Five things to know about Mumbai’s best new food fix

By ELLE team  February 18th, 2015

It’s totally on-trend

Nothing works quite like nostalgia, and mining it seems to be the latest trend to emerge in Indian dining – casual or otherwise. If you need further proof you only need to look at two recent London-based successesthe Indian café Dishoom and the restaurant Gymkhana.

Its kitchen is fronted by star chef Floyd Cardoz

If the name doesn’t ring a bell, maybe this will help: remember the inspired Indian cooking in that Helen Mirren film, The Hundred-Foot Journey? Cardoz was responsible for that. He was also responsible for one of NYC’s best Indian restaurants, Tabla, which shut down after 12 solid years of happy Yelp ratings and glowing food reviews.

It’s started by old mates

Founders Sameer Seth and Yash Bhanage were classmates at Cornell University. Seth has over seven years of experience in the restaurant biz, and he’s worked at Michelin-star chef Daniel Boulud’s Bar Boulud in New York. And Bhanage helped open Anti:dote, one of the best bars in Singapore.

It’s got an easy vibe

“It’s got an old Bombay bungalow design, and the food celebrates Indian cuisine in a way that we feel does justice to everything India has to offer,” says Seth. They embraced the casual dining concept and so you’ll find ‘Chintus’ and ‘Patialas’ – their take on tapas-style small plates and sharing portions. Their version of “Colonial era” punches are served in brass handis, with ladles and teacups. And a High Tea here involves, a punch made with spiced rum, almond syrup, white chocolate syrup and apple cinnamon tea and pineapple juice.

It’s got a menu full of surprising dishes

The menu looks deceptively like an account ledger you’d find in an old Bombay office.  And the dishes inside are equally unexpected: theplas turned into Desi Tacos, Seafood Bhel salads, and even Nargisi Scotch Eggs Koftas. Their take on the guava tarte tatin is a guava tart served with red chilli ice cream. (“Like the hawkers selling guava with laal mirch outside Bombay schools,” Bhanage explains, in case you missed it.) And, of course, you can’t miss the cross between a gulaab jamun and a doughnut, which is soaked in Old Monk.  

The Bombay Canteen, Unit No 01, Process House, Kamala Mills, SB Road, Lower Parel, Mumbai. Tel: 022 4966 6666