A sure sign that life as we knew it is returning? New restaurants are springing up all around. From sumptuous thalis, to a dreamy Greek restaurant, plant-based menus and Instagram-worthy restaurants – the F&B scene in Mumbai is buzzing with these new and exciting openings.
Ready to dig in?
It’s not only Chef Reuben’s cooking that impresses at Sette Mara, it’s the art-filled interiors too: beautiful paintings, intricate murals and a magnificent constellation compass suspended from the ceiling.
The menu at this lounge, bar and kitchen holds some popular dishes from Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Persia and Georgia.
Start with the woodsy and earthy Moutabel, a spicier version of baba ghanoush (a popular dip made from eggplant) and tahini. The Moussaka, with layers of eggplant and sweet potato, topped off with sumac and baked, offers unexpected comfort. A stone oven dishes out freshly baked Georgian breads and a Mangal Grill does some luxurious corn ribs and joojeh kababs.
St Regis has a sterling reputation for its drinks and Sette mara doesn’t disappoint either. The oak barrel-aged Negroni is one of the best in town. There is also a well-crafted Boulevardier.
Where: The St Regis Mumbai, Level 9M. Senapati Bapat Marg
Price for two: Rs 6,000
Call: +91 8291926985/ 022 61628422 / 022 61628000
This beautifully designed restaurant in Worli is one of those that makes you want to have an affair. It’s a place for surreptitious lunches and candlelit dinners, for red wine and catching glances. Opa Kipos has undeniable charm and a whiff of Greece with its whitewashed walls and bougainvillea drenched interiors. Thankfully the Greek food dished out by chef Rohan D’Souza lives up to the spectacle.
The stars of the menu include a velvety and flavourful hummus, crunchy fried squid, a Greek salad with a delightful oregano vinaigrette and peinirli a Greek version of pizza, similar to the Turkish pide. The flat bread comes oozing with cheeses, shaved truffle and meatballs. A seductive, lavishly rendered Baklava Sundae is both enjoyable and theatrical. Make time for plenty of pictures, traditional Zorba dancing and the Greek tradition of plate smashing.
Where: Wadia International Centre, Worli, Mumbai, 400025. Tel: +91 - 7208881161/62/63
Price for two: Rs 4,000
The anticipation of sitting in front of a glistening thali with umpteen katoris waiting to be filled with goodies is where the fun begins. The variety of dishes at this new vegetarian thali place is something to write home about.
First to arrive are the golden kachoris followed by the pillowy dhokla and the sweet and sour chutneys. Then the numerous vegetable dishes fill up the katoris followed by a variety of chaats, breads and rice dishes.
The stars of the thali are the crisp apple jalebi and moist kesar rajbhog that give us a reason to return to Rasotsav. And if the easy and gracious service feels familiar, it’s because Rasotsav is co-owned by Aji Nair the man who spent over two decades popularizing the Rajdhani chain of restaurants famed for thalis.
Where: Royal Sands Building, Shastri Nagar Road, Andheri West.
Price for two: Rs 1000
Dine under cherry blossoms and get clicked in a fancy phone booth, at this newest Asian restaurant in town. The interiors aimed at the Instagram generation are bathed in pink with scarlet booths, white marble tabletops, brushed gold and turquoise blue.
The sushi here is perfectly rolled and the noddle bowls are comforting.
There is an alfresco area for boisterous gatherings, and a more elegant set-up inside with a flower-decked ceiling and beautiful chandeliers.
Treats include Hot Basil Chicken Dumpling, Crispy Vegetable Cheung Fun and Pork Belly With Truffle Oil. But the real joy is tucked away in the mains. The cilantro wrapped John Dory with spicy Thai chili sauce is a winner as also the yellow Thai curry with blue fried rice. A petite Jasmine mousse with Raspberry filling makes for the perfect sweet ending.
Where: JVPD Scheme, Juhu.
Price for two: Rs 2,000
Call: 7208862234, 7208862235
Vedant Shah’s Plural is one of those restaurants that’s all too easy to come back to time and again. It's a warm space with good vegetarian food that goes beyond paneer and potatoes.
The Asian menu includes food from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The stars of the show for me are the delicately packed summer rolls paired with a dangerously addictive nuoc champ dip, brussel sprouts in homemade vinaigrette and a whole-roasted cauliflower which is a thing of beauty and comfort.
If you still have appetite, the earthy and soothing herbal stew with a drizzle of 5-Spice hits 9.9 on the umami scale. You can’t help but notice a certain prettiness in the plating.
Textured wallpaper, cane chandeliers, pickle jars and lights dimmed to a warm, sunset glow – Plural is a sensorial delight as much as it is a culinary one. By the way, a variety of gin bottles wink from the bar!
Where: Jai Hind Building, Kala Ghoda, Fort
Price for two: Rs 2500
Call: 9892382740 / 022-49605020
ANGLO-INDIAN CAFÉ & BISTRO, Lonavala
A drive to the lush green hills of Lonavala is a monsoon ritual most Mumbaikars look forward to. Now there is a new restaurant to look forward to at the end of the drive as well.
Built like a bistro with white columns, blue floor tiles, high ceiling and French windows, Anglo Indian would work fine for a relaxed date or a catch-up with friends.
Food here comes with a side of stunning mountain views and a great playlist.
The kitchen, executed by the chefs from Out of the Blue Mumbai, dishes smokey sourdough pizzas that are visually understated but positively riotous on the tongue. The Mustard BBQ Fish and Smoked Chipotle Paneer Tikka are recommended.
And if the view of the sun dipping into the Lonavala mountains and the snuggling-friendly weather prove too spellbinding to drive back to Mumbai, check in to the chic Geometrica villa here.
Where: Breeze In The Hills, Kunegaon, Lonavala
Price for two: Rs 800Call: 093598 20179