Inside Bombay Vintage, Colaba | All The Deets
Stepping into Bombay Vintage on a busy Colaba street makes you feel like you’ve come somewhere familiar and new at the same time. It’s a feeling that I can’t describe apart from using words like cozy, nostalgic and bright because the décor brings together everything that is vibrant about Bombay. The brand is run by Neighbourhood Hospitality who have already spent over a decade in the vicinity with Woodside Inn and with this new venture, they bring in their various experiences growing up in the city. The idea here is to offer food that you would have at home or at your friend’s homes thereby creating a menu of everything comforting and recognizable.
What I liked about the restaurant was that they took an almost European approach to how they looked at the food. Making Indian food a viable option for a night out with friends isn’t easy and in this, Bombay Vintage has succeeded. We’re not saying that you won’t be ready for a nap after a meal here but you can be clever and choose light dishes that are still flavourful and filling versus your butter chickens and naans.
We started with the Papdi Tuk Chaat which is a notch tastier than what you would find anywhere else, my friend and I polished off the entire plate. The Sarson Ke Broccoli was exactly as expected while the Manglorean lunch home style Crab Red Ghee Roast was succulent, creamy and delicious especially when paired with a neer dosa. The Irani Kheema Pao was lacklustre; you can definitely find a better version at your Parsi friends’ home. My companion and I loved the Prawn Koliwada for its refined take on the old-school version as big, juicy prawns were delicately coated in a light koli batter and deep friend.
On to the mains, the Bharli Vangi was my big surprise. A traditional Konkan dish featured stuffed eggplant cooked in a spiced peanut sauce which made me think of a ‘bhaigan’ satay. The peanut and eggplant went incredibly well together making this one of my standout favourites. I feel that when you try to do dishes like the Jardalu Salli Boti and Butter Chicken, you’re taking a huge risk. These are dishes that go so far back both in tradition and memory that if you’re going to do it, they need to be done really well. I’ve definitely had salli botis and butter chickens that tasted exactly like the ones served at Bombay Vintage, not to say they were not worth visiting for, but to say that the ones here are equally delicious to those you’ll find at home or at your favourite Indian restaurant. I also really enjoyed the East Indian Bottle Masala Prawn Pulao which was like the perfect prawn biryani, something you must order!
Overall, Bombay Vintage is a great option to take someone who is visiting Bombay because the huge menu will give you a little taste of everything. Although I do feel that this isn’t the place to experiment and discover new flavours, it’s where you go when you want some soul food that transports you back to simpler days when all you needed to worry about who whose house to play at tomorrow!