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Top 10 buffets in Mumbai for a family dinner this Dussehra

Best buffets in Mumbai in two price brackets: Rs 500-1,000 and Rs 1,001-2,500.

October 05, 2022 / 07:56 PM IST
Dishes from the buffet at Lotus Café, JW Marriott Juhu.

Dishes from the buffet at Lotus Café, JW Marriott Juhu.

Buffets have a reputation for being pretty generic, an exercise in excess more than opulence. But that’s not always the case. There are some incredible buffets going on in Mumbai that tantalise and tease both with their scale as well as their freshness.

But first a dose of history.

Unlike popular belief, buffets are not an American concept. The modern buffet actually originated in Sweden. The idea of a "smorgasbord" started with the Swedes, who set aside a side-table that featured pre-dinner drinks and snacks. The first commercial practice of a buffet started in 1912 at the Stockholm Olympics.

Smorgasbord, which translates to "butter-goose table," arrived in the US in 1939 by way of New York's World Fair. By the 1940s, a Las Vegas restaurateur had adopted the idea and created America's first buffet, the Buckaroo Buffet. Within a few years, the idea spread, and the buffet became an American icon.

After a brief hiatus caused by Covid-19, buffets are back with new health and safety measures in place. Whether you are looking for ‘all you can eat’ value deals or fine dining options - here are the absolute best buffet spreads in the maximum city.

Under Rs 1,000

China Bistro

If you love Pan-Asian cuisine and have an insatiable appetite, come to China Bistro. Along with an elaborate Chinese menu, the chefs here also serve signature dishes from the kitchens of Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Hong Kong. The sushi, baos and dim sums are the highlights on the menu. But it would be a mistake to ignore the one pot meals, stir fries and the roasted lamb. Just remember there are decadent desserts - chocolate tsunami and honey noodles with ice-cream at the end of it all.

Price: Rs 599

Where: Worli, Thane, Chembur

Tel: 022-49422323

Baos at China Bistro Baos at China Bistro

Something’s Fishy

Seafood occupies a lot of the real estate at the buffet here. Start with the welcome drink and then launch into the starters that include chutneywala fish, tandoori prawns, prawns malwani sukke and calamari in pepper sauce. The mains hold a good selection of Indian and Chinese dishes (try the fish biryani). There’s a live pasta counter and desserts to end the meal with. The ambience is not much to talk about but the courteous staff more than make up for it.

Price: Rs 695 onwards

Where: B-11, Hotel Tunga International, MIDC Central Road, Andheri East.

Out of The Blue - W Day Buffet

This Wednesdays-only value-for-money buffet includes house-made nachos served with salsa and cheese sauce and grilled chicken breast in pepper jus. There is a live pasta as well as a Thai food counter. Do leave room for desserts, as this place is known for its sweet treats. (Try the chocolate tres lichi tart, red velvet cake and the berry cheesecake.) On the way out, check out the various stalls selling everything from clothing, jewellery, cosmetic, etc. There is even an astrologer, if you are interested.

When: Wednesdays, Noon-4 pm

Price: Rs 699 plus taxes

Where: Multiple locations

Out of The Blue Wednesday buffet From Out of The Blue Wednesday buffet

Midnight buffet at Boulevard, The Orchid

The city that never sleeps should have a midnight buffet too, right? The one at The Orchid ticks all the boxes – convenience, value for money and a decent selection. The spread holds items from oriental, Indian and continental cuisine. Make a note of the pav bhaji, kheema pav and baida roti from the live counter.

Price: Rs 777, plus taxes

When: Thursday to Saturday, Midnight to 3 am.

Where: Near Mumbai domestic airport, Vile Parle East. Tel: 091691 66789

Midnight buffet at The Orchid Midnight buffet at The Orchid

Mainland China

This chain of restaurants is quite popular with Chinese food lovers; and the steaming hot dim sums have a main role to play in this. The delicious starters - such as the drums of heaven in chili plum sauce, vegetables in spicy bean sauce, stir-fried lotus stems - and the sushi (yes, they do sushi as well) help. The mains include comforting claypot dishes paired with jasmine rice and noodles. For dessert, there's sizzling hot brownie with vanilla ice cream.

Price: Rs 895 for veg, Rs 975 for non veg.

Where: Multiple outlets

Vegetables in Spicy Bean Sauce at Mainland China, Mumbai Vegetables in Spicy Bean Sauce

Barbeque Nation

What's on offer is skewered meats and vegetables grilled live on the table. The grills are perfectly marinated, and they just keep coming! Among the 18-odd grilled items, the reshmi chicken wings, Kerala-style fish, cheesy broccoli, cajun-spiced potatoes and chilly garlic prawns are recommended. There is also a live pasta counter, chaat counter and one for kheema pao too. If after all this, you're still hungry, there is a basic buffet of mains and desserts. But the kulfi is fab. Forget about a diet here.

Price: Rs 899 for veg option; Rs 989 for non-veg

Where: Multiple locations

Copper Chimney

This stalwart restaurant has been Mumbai’s ‘go to’ place for some of the best north Indian food since 1972. The menu is jam-packed with comfort foods, including hot-off-the-tandoor kababs, biryanis and a slow-cooked dal makhni (whole black lentils cooked with spices, butter and cream for hours). The ‘Delhiwala Butter Chicken’ is another jewel on the buffet. Vegetarians are given equal priority with a variety of dishes, including sarso broccoli, tandoori gobhi and a live chaat counter.

Price: Rs 999

Where: Multiple locations

The kababs at Copper Chimney, Mumbai The kebabs at Copper Chimney

Global Fusion

In many buffets, the number of dishes is inversely proportional to their freshness. But here, both the variety and the quality of the food shine. Regulars come for the sushi, sashimi, dim sums and tempura at this much loved Asian eatery. The food is freshly prepared and extremely delicious. Make a note of the steamed fish, baked crab, karpow pomfret, Thai curry, pepper chicken, ginger chicken and chili mustard fish. Don’t forget the live teppanyaki counter at the end. Not an Asian food fan? There are Italian and Indian dishes on the menu, too. Whatever you choose, food coma is guaranteed.

Price: Rs 1,599

Where: Worli, Bandra, Versova, Sakinaka outlets.

Hornby’s Pavilion, ITC Grand Central

What makes the buffet at this classy all-day dining restaurant unique is the pop-up. This could range from Goan delicacies to north-eastern dishes and even street food from around the world. The atmosphere is kept easy-going with fun activities like face painting, games, etc. The choice of breads, roast chicken and dal makhani is always great here. Bring your appetite - you’re going to need it.

Price: Rs 2,200 plus taxes onwards

Where: Parel, Mumbai.

Lotus Café, JW Marriott Juhu

Perhaps the most elegant of Mumbai’s best buffets, Lotus Café’s foodie bonanza is both expansive and delicious. At the heart of it are soul food classics like biryani, nalli nihari and roganjosh. There are numerous live food stations. Of course, you'll also find tons of sides, including a variety of breads and starches, but don't fill up on these when there's so much else to try! The crowning jewel is the European grill station. The dessert counter is loaded with a range of cakes, pies, mithai, macaroons, etc. All this amid views of the lotus pond and the gently swaying palms.

Price: Rs 2,478 onwards

Where: Juhu Tara Rd, Juhu.

Tel: 022-6693 3344 / +91 90046 16506
Nivedita Jayaram Pawar is a Mumbai-based freelance journalist, who writes on food, art, design, travel and lifestyle.
first published: Oct 5, 2022 07:08 pm