2018 Roundup: Our 28 Favourite Restaurant Openings Of The Year

By Mallika Dabke December 24, 2018
Looking back on our best meals of the year.

One of my favourite things to do this time of year, is think about the year gone by. Sometimes you dig up memories that seem so long ago that it’s hard to believe it happened this year. In terms of Mumbai’s food scene, we’ve seen a number of new favourites setting up, and old favourites saying goodbye. Every year, the sheer number of restaurants, cafes and bars opening seem to be larger than ever, and keeping up with them all has been a crazy ride for Team Mumbai Foodie. Despite some unfortunate choices, we’ve had a great year of eating around town, so here’s a quick look at our selection of the best restaurants that opened in 2018 in Mumbai! 

 

Izumi

Izumi. Image Source

Sushi dreams are made of these at Izumi, Bandra.

Not sure if it’s possible to ever go to Izumi and not wait for 40 minutes for a table at the very least. This little spot in Bandra is making ramen and sushi like no one else, and the long queue to get in is so worth the wait. The menu is surprisingly extensive and each and every section shines bright, whether it’s their salads, sushi, ramen or small plates. We hear they’re moving to a bigger location next year so that’s something to look forward to!

Miss T

When the restaurateurs behind Mumbai’s best restaurants start a new joint together, it’s a recipe for success! Located in Colaba, this sleek restaurant has a T-shaped bar and the kitchen serves Vietnamese and Burmese food. Every item on their small menu is refined and modern. The combination of the drinks, the food and the ambience go so well together, it’s no surprise that Miss T is a smooth functioning, and safe bet for a delightful dinner.

Read our review on Miss T here.

Sancho’s

The Relaunched Sanchos Has Gorgeous Interiors Designed By Gauri Khan

The Relaunched Sanchos Has Gorgeous Interiors Designed By Gauri Khan.

Khar’s iconic Mexican restaurant reopened its doors this year and is back with a bang. After a lull in the Mexican food scene in Mumbai, Sancho’s has revoked the flavourful and exciting cuisine with its fresh guac, churros and tequila cocktails. Say hola to authentically delicious Mexican food and forget what the fast-food chain restaurants have taught you about nachos.

Read our review on Sanchos here.

Keiba

The Asian restaurant has a great vibe and stunning views of the stables inside Mahalaxmi Race Course. The outdoor area is done up beautifully to make it look like spring in Japan, with cherry blossom themed decor. The food itself is a banger, they have a gorgeous sushi and sashimi platter that you shouldn’t miss!

Read our review on Keiba here.

Chantilly

Drooling Chocolate Chip Cookies. Image Source: @dreambells_studios

Drooling Chocolate Chip Cookies at Chantilly. Image Source: @dreambells_studios

We’re big suckers for cute cafes, and Chantilly couldn’t get any more adorable. It’s a small space packed with super cozy feels, and a menu to compliment that snug vibe. Their cookies are a crowd pleaser, and it’s not hard to see why, as they look so gooey and gorgeous. A cafe with cute interiors and cute desserts is a combination that’s hard to beat.

Read our review on Chantilly here.

Serial Griller

The best burgers are messy, greasy, packed with flavour and don’t break the bank! This Andheri based delivery service makes such great burgers and fries, they ensure that you don’t go back to your dark days of ordering Burger King (sorry, had to). Serial Griller’s Burgers go straight to the soul, and are ideal for tipsy Saturday nights and hungover Sunday mornings.

 

El Mercado

Bringing a slice of Spain to Bandra, El Mercado is a tapas style eatery that looks like it’s right out of the cobbled streets of Barcelona. This all-day-cafe makes for an unlikely breakfast spot, but it really does serve some of the best eggs I’ve had in Mumbai. It works great as a pre-party meal with friends, chatting over a spread of tapas before you head out to celebrate the weekend.

 

Tamak

Finally, Indian food in a casual setting. Tamak is a small spot in Santacruz that serves delicious and fun pan-Indian food. Tamak does a refreshing take on Indian food, by taking the fancy out of it, and serving it in a much-needed rustic and casual manner. Some of our favorites were the fresh Chhass, spicy Chhole Kulche, and everything from their unabashedly Indian dessert menu: jalebi rabri to jamun sorbet!

Read our review on Tamak here.

Hoppumm

Prawn Moilee with Spinach Hopper - Hoppumm.

Prawn Moilee with Spinach Hopper.

This year, we said hello to Sri Lankan fast food with Hoppumm, a small set up in Bandra that dishes out their hoppers (appams) like hot cakes. Though similar to Konkan food, Hoppumm specialises in Ceylon style wholesome curries and stews to be had with their hoppers, string hoppers, neer dosas, parathas or kottu rotis. The food at Hoppumm, though classic, is modern in the way it caters to its millennial audience.

Read our review on Hoppumm here.

The Quarter

As part of re-opened Royal Opera House, The Quarter is legitimately South Bombay’s best new opening of the year. Part jazz club, part bar and part restaurant, serves an International menu without going all over the place. It’s chic and fancy, and everything you imagined the quintessential South Bombay bar to have. Catch pizzas and cocktails here on a gig night and you won’t be disappointed!

Read our review on The Quarter here.

Bayroute

hummus - bayroute

The highlight of our meal, the hummus.

There’s no exaggeration in this statement when I say that I had one of my top three meals of 2018 at Bayroute. As a solid addition to South Bombay’s dining scene, Bayroute serves exceptional Mediterranean food. Before Bayroute, the cuisine had been left at roadside shawarma stalls outside clubs, but a single meal at Bayroute offers a great introduction to Turkish, Egyptian, Lebanese, Moroccan and Greek food. From the classic hummus and shawarma, to shakshouka and moussaka, a meal at Bayroute is nothing short of magical!

Read our review on Bayroute here.

Cafe Condi

The thing about hidden gems like Cafe Condi, is that you want to keep them your little secret, but you also want the whole world to know about them. Nestled in Bandra’s cute lanes, this breakfast and crepe eatery can be best described as soul food. They do big breakfasts (just as breakfasts should be) that include eggs, bacon, toast, pancakes or waffles, fruit juice or coffee, and more. Their crepes are homely and full of love. We recommend the pesto chicken crepe from the savory section, and the poached pear and blue cheese crepe from the sweet crepes section.

Read our review on Cafe Condi here.

Cecconi’s

Spaghetti lobster, tomato, chilli, basil at Cecconi's Mumbai

Spaghetti lobster, Tomato, Chilli, Basil.

As part of the newly launched Soho House, this world-famous chain of authentic Italian food is just what the Italian food scene in Mumbai needed: something real. Northern Italian seafood at Cecconi’s is as close to authentic as it gets, especially given that a lot of the ingredients like flour and olive oil are being flown down from Italy itself. The setting is dim and sultry, Cecconi’s is definitely one of the city’s prettiest and most impressive restaurants.  

Read our review on Cecconi’s here.

House of Lloyd

Brining the local flavour of Goa to a sprawling Portuguese looking space in Juhu by the sea, is House of Lloyd. Pastel yellow walls with Mario Miranda style murals make you feel like you’ve been transported to Fontainhas. The food, too, is as reflective of Goa as it can be. From pork chops to sorpotel, we loved this Goan addition to Mumbai’s food scene!

 

Flea Bazaar Cafe

Interiors At Flea Bazaar Cafe!

Interiors At Flea Bazaar Cafe!

This unique concept of a hip food court combined with a bar and a performance space turned heads as soon as it opened in April. A bar by the famed Social chain and featuring food stalls by The Bohri Kitchen, Goila’s Butter Chicken, Lukhnowee Tundey Kebab, Soam, El Chapo, Del Italia, Whatsappam, Yugo Sushi, Hung Li, Bay Burgers, Super Pao and Roasted Today coffee, means that even the pickiest eaters will find something for them. What we love most about Flea Bazaar Café is the versatility it offers, being a pre-drinking spot, party central and restaurant all in one.

Read our review on Flea Bazaar Cafe here.

Foo

This year, High Street Phoenix really took its food game on a new level. It’s obvious that retail therapy needs to be followed by tummy therapy and what’s better than an Asian meal to attack after hours of shopping? They call themselves an Asian tapas bar and they have a refreshing take on Asian food at that. Pair your sake cocktails with their appetizers like sushi or dumplings, before you head onto the mains, and enjoy Asian in a new setting!

Read our review on Foo here.

Tanjore Tiffin Room

Tanjore Tiffin Room, Versova

Tanjore Tiffin Room, Versova

This Versova joint is a homely restaurant dedicated to serving Tamilian recipes passed down through generations. Tanjore Tiffin Room takes classics such as Mutton Pepper Fry, Chicken 65, Appams and Payasam, and serves them with a whole lot of love. For many, it’s comfort food packed in form of flavourful curries, stews, dosas and chutneys. Although their seafood is our personal favourite, everything at Tanjore Tiffin Room is a delight to eat, which is why we keep going back.

Read our review on Tanjore Tiffin Room here.

 

Bindaas Begum Rockin Raja 

This Mulund restaurant and bar has reinvented the idea of what eating Indian food out means. They serve food inspired by Indian royal families, and have sourced all their recipes from the royal families themselves after four years of research. They serve you Indian food that you probably haven’t had before. It feels new, but the recipes are centuries old. It’s a new take on Indian food which we loved this year!

Read our review on Bindaas Begum Rockin Raja here.

Goyaa

We actually love the unlikely location of this casual Asian restaurant and bar in the heart of Byculla. Goyaa has a fresh and inventive menu that is supremely sure of itself. In a gorgeous, minimal and modern setting, this restaurant has innovative cocktails that go so well with their unique appetisers, sides and mains. Don’t go here expecting anything traditional just because it’s mainly an Asian food spot, but be prepared for a new experience all together. We love an underdog, and it’s Goyaa on this list.

Read our review on Goyaa here.

Sante Spa Cuisine

This zen and minimalistic space in BKC is here to get you back on track with your health and fitness goals. They obviously have smoothie bowls and salads, but they also dabble with some Asian food and make it fun while still sticking to the healthy and nutritious side. Since it’s located in the business hub of the city, it’s great for professionals in the area to grab a quick and guilt-free meal!

Read our review on Sante here.

Mustard

Interiors At Mustard, Atria Mall-Worli

Interiors At Mustard, Atria Mall-Worli

In a never-before-seen combination, this restaurant has brought together Bengali and French cuisine to make a stunning menu in a beautiful setting. The combination of both the cuisines is united through one ingredient: mustard, and so, the ingredient runs through as a theme in most of the dishes. The Bengali section by Pritha Sen and the French one by Gregory Bazire have done more than justice to both the cuisines. Good cooking paired with a sure and strong concept is a recipe for success in Mustard.

Read our review on Mustard here.

 

The Wine Bar at Kala Ghoda Cafe

If you didn’t know about it, the iconic Kala Ghoda Cafe opened a secret wine bar at the back this year. They have a menu with carefully selected reds, whites and bubblies. They’re also open into the wee hours of the night, so it’s a great spot to hit when all the clubs start kicking you out, or else when you want a chatty night over wine with your best friend.

 

Sun And Moon Korean Restaurant

Authentic Korean Food At Sun & Moon

Authentic Korean Food At Sun & Moon

If K-Pop and K-Dramas weren’t enough Korean-related obsessions that everyone seems to share, just you wait till Korean food spreads through all of Mumbai. This underground Korean food restaurant is literally in the home of an old Korean lady in Lower Parel, serving authentic bulgogi kimbap, bibimbap, and more exotic delicacies. This is real Korean food stripped down to its roots.  

Read our review on Sun & Moon here.

Origami

Now you don’t have to travel to South Mumbai to get your hands on delicious, authentic and fresh sushi. Origami is located in Powai and offers a great range of traditional Japanese and Korean food to satiate those cravings when you’re in the suburbs.

Read our review on Origami here.

Uno Más

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Tis the season to feast and be merry. Come, savour the nuevo flavours of a delightfully festive fare curated especially for you. Deliciously sumptuous, here’s an experience you don’t want to miss. The Arroa de Langosta is created with short-grain rice cooked in an aromatic shellfish broth, with imported nora peppers and finished with rings of squid and a whole lobster. Come, celebrate the joy and the warmth of the season, you will fall in love Uno Más! Felices Fiestas! Call 02226521155 or +919820790898 for reservations. #FelizNavidad #ChristmasAtUnoMas #UnoMas #SpainToMumbai #HolaUnoMas #FoodAtUnoMas #MerryChristmas #HappyNewyYar #EatDrinkUnoMas #HappyHolidays #FelicesFiestas #Holidays #foodporn #lobster #paella

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If there was anything missing from BKC’s food scene, it was a lively yet casual tapas bar. Uno Más has fixed that problem, and how. Uno Más is all about a shared experience through food: large platters of appetisers, paella and fun cocktails to go around the table. Spanish food has made a much-needed entry into the city’s palate this year, and we couldn’t be happier (or hungrier)!

Read our review on Uno Más here.

Tresind

This restaurant takes you through food from Delhi, that’s travelled to Dubai, and is now in Mumbai. This restaurant earned its fame in Dubai before making its way to Mumbai, and is known for its ‘post-modern Indian food’. The food here is dramatic and avant garde, and a complete experience for the sense. Don’t miss out on this restaurant that’s different in every way!  

 

Rocky Star Cocktail Bar

There Are 31 Cocktails At Rocky Star Cocktail Bar!

There Are 31 Cocktails At Rocky Star Cocktail Bar!

The name says it all! We love a good cocktail bar to hit up on a weekend. They have a big menu of food and drinks that has been inspired by the world. It’s truly a global menu and you will be spoilt for choice.

Read our review on Rocky Star here.

Thirsty City 127

We’re loving the entry of restaurant and bars that are putting in a lot of effort to impress through their cocktails this year. Taking over what used to be Barking Deer in Todi Mills, this joint has a new look all together. Swanky, art deco vibes coupled with truly exceptional cocktails is what makes Thirsty City so good and worthy of checking out, and then going back again and again. It seems cocktail nights have received a whole new meaning this year!

 

If you haven’t been to any of these places yet, now is the perfect opportunity to tick them off your list as we count down to the new year. Here’s looking forward to restaurants and bars pushing the envelope further. We already can’t wait for the stunning meals that await us to bring to you in 2019. Until next year, bon appetit!