Expert recommendations for the best places to eat in four price ranges: budget ($), moderate ($$), expensive ($$$), and luxury ($$$$)
“Just the remedy for late night tummy grumbles. Their chicken tikka [bite-size chicken pieces] is succulent perfection.”—Priyadarshini Bhatra, freelance writer and photographer. Simple take-away street eatery; some tables and chairs. Open evenings. North Indian fare; spiced kebabs, assorted tandoori (clay-oven-cooked) dishes. Tulloch Road, Colaba; tel. 91 22 22848038.
Cheap and cheerful, vegetarian eatery tries its hand at Indian, Mexican, Western, Lebanese, and Italian food. Try the hot-selling channa bhatura (spiced chickpeas served with fried, puffed-up Indian-style bread) or the stuffed parathas (Indian-style flaky bread). 25B Chowpatty Seaface; tel. 91 22 23679222. www.creamcentre.com
“Don’t miss the legendary berry pulao, a dish of rice and meat flavored with tart-sweet berries imported from Iran.”—Naresh Fernandes, editor, Time Out Mumbai. Iconic Irani (Persian) restaurant established in 1923. Modest interior, unpretentious charm, fantastic food. Mainly meat-based dishes. Lunch only, closed Sunday. 11 Sprott Road, Ballard Estate; tel. 91 22 22615264.
“No meal is complete without their exquisitely crisp and flaky Bombay duck which, believe it or not, is actually a fish (unique to Mumbai's shores).”—Xavier Collaco, president, Media Transasia India. Indian seafood specialty restaurant; non-seafood items available. Delicious crab dishes. Hanuman Road, Vile Parle East; tel. 91 22 26114093.
“The Elvis clone who serenades diners could be better, but the food dished out by the celebrity chefs takes you to Goa's sea breezes. Worth a special mention is the galinha cafreal (green curry chicken).”—Xavier Collaco. Authentic Goan cuisine (seafood specialty). Reservations recommended, especially weekends. Kataria Road, Mahim; tel. 91 22 24440202. www.goaportuguesa.com
“Pure vegetarian—no eggs, onion, or garlic—food at its hearty best. Even carnivores won’t miss meat here!”—Priyadarshini Bhatra. Satiating vegetarian buffet, predominantly Indian but with Chinese, Thai, and Mexican dishes making a cameo appearance. Iskcon Hare Krishna Land, Juhu Church Road, Juhu; tel. 91 22 26200337.
“The dim sum is excellent though the choice is limited. Their ‘crackling spinach’ is the perfect starter to one of the few fairly authentic Chinese meals available in the city.”—Xavier Collaco. Commendable Chinese vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu. Shalimar Morya Park (off New Link Road), Andheri West; tel. 91 22 56780011. www.mainlandchinaindia.com
Dependable North Indian food; some Western dishes. Try the paneer (soft unfermented cheese) dishes and the butter chicken, perfect with piping hot naan (clay-oven-cooked Indian-style flatbread). For dessert, dive into the squidgy gulab jamuns (deep-fried dough balls dunked in sweet syrup). Mayfair Building, Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate; tel. 91 22 22044693.
“While away the morning and the better part of the afternoon watching the bold and the beautiful as you work your way through the most eclectic brunch (Sundays) spread in the city.”—Naresh Fernandes. Western-fusion dishes; juniper-berry-cured tandoori chicken with burnt-garlic oyster sauce, chocolate fondant with jalapenos. Suave setting, chic clientele. Reservations essential. 4 Mandlik Road, Colaba; tel. 91 22 56368980.
Expertly prepared Mughlai (recipes hailing from the Mughal dynasty) and Northwest Frontier food served in exotic Afghan-inspired setting. Meat dishes dominate; the chicken makhanwala (shredded tandoori chicken in a rich tomato-and-butter-based sauce) gets gold stars. Dinner reservations essential. 145 Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Road, Fort; tel. 91 22 40396666. www.khyberrestaurant.com/khyber-fort.html
Seijo & The Soul Dish
Creative Southeast Asian and Continental cuisine with a seafood emphasis. Popular choices include spicy tiger prawns with polenta, grilled baby lobster, sushi, gyoza (Japanese-style dumplings), and Thai curries. For dessert, the blueberry cheesecake goes down a treat. Swanky interior. Dinner only. 206 Krystal, Waterfield Road, Bandra; tel. 91 22 26405555.
“No stay in Mumbai is complete for me without a plate of buttered crab at Trishna. I love the understated decor, too, and the gruff, efficient service.”—Nicholas Brett. Delicious deep-sea delights with a focus on Mangalorean preparations. Highly recommended; book ahead. 7 Sai Baba Marg, Kala Ghoda; tel. 91 22 22703213.
“The raan (whole leg of goat) is perfectly cooked. With a view of the inky-blue Arabian Sea to complement the hardy flavors of the Northwest Frontier dishes served up here, you simply can’t go wrong.”—Naresh Fernandes. Sublime North Indian cuisine. The Oberoi, Nariman Point; tel. 91 22 66325757. www.oberoimumbai.com
West Indian coastal specialties; menu includes Maharashtra, Mangalore, and Goa recipes. Top choices include the prawn gassi (coconut-based curry), appams (savory rice pancakes), neer dosa (soft savory crepe), and the marinated grilled fish wrapped in a banana leaf. Taj President, 90 Cuffe Parade; tel. 91 22 66650808. www.tajhotels.com
Stylish restaurant dishes up some of Mumbai’s finest Northwest Frontier food. Don’t miss the belly-warming dhal Bukhara (curried lentil dish), tandoori jhinga (clay-oven-cooked prawns), and murgh malai kebab (boneless cubes of marinated chicken). Located near the international airport. ITC Maratha, Sahar Airport Road, Andheri; tel. 91 22 28303030. www.itcwelcomgroup.in
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