Mumbai’s culinary landscape has evolved tremendously in the past five years. We’ve seen chefs move to the city and set up impressive restaurants, local chefs taking risks, regional cuisine coming to the forefront and customers accepting new flavours and trends. Having worked for a food website in the past, I’ve eaten some of the best and the worst meals Mumbai has to offer. Media invites were abundant and most restaurants turned into disappointments when I returned as a paying customer. There a very few restaurants that I swear by and fiercely loyal to. One such restaurant is The Bombay Canteen in Lower Parel. Taking cues from home cooked meals to regional favourites, Chef Floyd Cardoz and his team have conjured up a menu that brings a smile to our face. While Chef Cardoz works on his restaurants in the U.S., Chef Thomas Zacharias holds the helm, steering into uncharted territories with his cooking.
You’ll come across very familiar dishes on the menu, but once it arrives at your table, you’ll see the thought and innovativeness with which it has been prepared. For a restaurant that uses local, seasonal ingredients, it stands strong amidst other fancy restaurants. Since my first meal there, I took friends and family over exciting meals, picked up a mountain of mawa cakes for a birthday; several muffins and cheese buns from their bakery; stopped by for chai and bhajia, and sampled the entire menu over a media tasting session. Whenever someone asks for my recommendations, I always bring up Bombay Canteen and give them a long list of dishes to try. This post does exactly that. So here are my favourite dishes I have tried from their ever-changing, inspiring menu.
Canteen Tiffin Boxes
Stop by at lunch to get one of these. This nostalgic tiffin meal will make you call your mum, I promise you. Paneer bhurji, mustard chicken served with roti or pav, a little salad and crispy bits.
Tandoori Pulled Pork Pao
At lunch time, you’ll also find these pao sandwiches which are hearty and easy on your pocket. Vegetarians will love their dabeli but the meat lover in me craves the gloriously stuffed pulled pork sandwich from time to time.
Old school bakery favourites like khari and biscuits have been fashioned to keep up with the times. Mawa cakes topped with seasonal fruits jam, masala cheese buns and jaggery muffins are just some of the things you can pick up for tea time.
Sucre Des Terres are TBC’s dessert specialists. Now that pink guavas are in season, the house favourite guava tart with chilli ice cream is back on the menu. It’s sweet and slightly spicy with a rich pastry.
Their take on a mille-feuille ranks higher than the classic dessert for me.
Crispy discs of feni are sandwiched lightly with lime custard. The towering dessert may be lopsided but the flavours are well balanced.