The BIG December Roundup of New Places
It’s that time of the year when we go out more. The barely-winter weather demands the comfort of hot chocolate, company from friends, and new places to spend the nights and weekends. It’s been a nice month in terms of cool openings, and even sleepy parts of town are waking up with new spots. Here’s our list of where you should go if you’re seeking new food adventures in Mumbai this month.
AKA Bistro, Fort
A relaxed version of its Worli counterpart, AKA Bistro is a nice addition to Kala Ghoda. The menu here lists one-pot meals, crepes, and even all-day breakfast. They also serve a soup of the day and small plates of a wide variety. Our picks from her include the Huevos Rancheros, Tacos (the Tofu version was only slightly better than a delicious Fish one), and the slow cooked Lamb Goulash. Dessert is particularly good, especially the Flourless Chocolate Orange Fudge Cake and a Crème Brulee with the twists of toasted coconut and ginger ice cream.
Open daily from 8:30 AM to 11 PM at 121, Radha Bhavan, Military Square, Nagindas Master Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort.
Summer House Cafe, Lower Parel
If you talk to anyone from Delhi living in our city, they’ll talk about Summer House Cafe with a lot of fondness. Although not yet completely ready, it is functional on nights they host gigs. Entering Summer House Cafe feels like someone combined neighbours Cafe Zoe, added a tinge of Woodside Inn, and gave it an audio system and acoustics of ex-neighbour Blue Frog. This Todi Mills venue is very meta about its location. Their most popular orders are usually pizza, but friends in Delhi recommend a mean Lamb Hummus. We’ll be here for more gigs.
Opening soon from 11 AM to 1 AM at Todi Mill, Lower Parel.
Theory, Lower Parel
Kamala Mills is exploding with new openings, including Theory. Their bar menu has inventive cocktails like the Hickory Bong (tomato water and whisky) and Asian Mojito (vermouth, gin, coconut, passionfruit and basil). Our pork pices from here are the Belgian Pork Belly with Edamame beans and Pork Cheek Benedict with Poached Egg. We promise dessert at Theory is worthwhile.
Open daily, from noon to 3:30 PM and 7 PM to 1 AM at C Wing, Trade World, Kamala Mills, Lower Parel. Tel: 022 6666 6505.
TAG – GourmArt Kitchen by Ranveer Brar, Lower Parel
Inside Kamala Mills’ glass-and-steel facade is The Amateur Gallery (TAG), a place that displays art by recent graduates. The in-house restaurant here is by Ranveer Brar, who found fame as a TV chef and an author. The vegetarian menu here includes dishes like Mock Butter Chicken Ravioli with Kale Saag and Edamame + Wasabi Hummus, both of which come highly recommended.
Open daily, from 6 PM to 12.30 AM at Tag The GourmArt Kitchen, First Floor, The Amateur Gallery, Kamala Mills Compound, Lower Parel.
Su Casa, Bandra Reclamation
Owned by restaurateur Suren Joshi of Pali Village Cafe, Su Casa is another restaurant inside an art gallery, this time the Bombay Art Society. Their al fresco section might be the city’s first with air conditioning. Combined with its indoor section, Su Casa occupies 3000 square feet and serves a Continental menu.
Open daily, from noon to 1:30 AM at The Bombay Art Society, Bandra Reclamation.
SamBar Pub & Kitchen, Khar
This bar by first-time restaurateur Pragnesh Rai has a playful approach towards South-Indian food. On offer are non-traditional, improved versions of staples like Chettinad Idli Chilli, Gunpowder Fries, and Chicken Ghee Roast. We ordered the Chicken InjiPuli Paniyaram, Chicken Cafreal Skewers, Mutton Sukka, and Meen Kolichuttu (seasoned fish steamed in banana leaf) and came home grinning with a full belly. The cocktail menu lists a Rajni LIIT, which contains Jagermeister and Capi Madras with vodka, coffee liqueur, and cardamom.
Open daily, from 6 PM to 1 AM at Vora building, opposite Khar Education Society, Third Road, near Khar Railway Station.
Door No.1 – The Retro Bar, Bandra
A split-level retro-themed Door No.1 is a co-working space in daylight hours. The beverage menu offers teas, coffee, shooters, smoothies, mocktails, and vegan drinks, named after times of the day. The cocktail menu flaunts over 20 items, from which Lemongrass Ginger Martini (lime juice, lemongrass, vanilla vodka, fresh ginger), Spiked Chocolate Milkshake (dark rum, chocolate ice cream, kahlua, club soda, coffee beans), and Texalins (light rum, Chardonnay, cranberry juice, orange juice, lime juice, champagne) catch our eye. Food includes a weekly soup calendar, with classic French Onion soup available every day. The pub-style menu includes a menu of sides, small bites, a section of which is called Single Faux Pas. Another section called Real Food lists Messy Naans in 3 varieties, Veg, Chicken, and Mutton Biryani, Rajma Chawal, and Egg Bomb.
Open daily, from 11 AM to 1 AM at Door No.1, Ankleshwar, ONGC Colony, near Doolally Taproom, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra (West).
The Junkyard Cafe, Hill Road, Bandra West
Delhi’s multi-cuisine chain of resto-pubs offer a variety of funkily-named cocktails. Pick from cocktail categories like Edison Bulb, Graveyard, and signature cocktails like Maple Wood Salvage Fluid (maple syrup, vanilla sugar, brandy, white rum, & lemonade) apart from a vast selection of wines and spirits. The cleanly designed food menu has an assortment of soups, salads, side, appetisers, & mains. There’s a section called From Delhi With Love, along with pages dedicated to pub fare favourites pizza and pasta. Some pages also list a calorie count.
Open daily from noon to 1 AM at The Junkyard Cafe, Ground Floor, C’est La Vie, Hill Road, near Mamagoto, Bandra (W).
Deliciae Patisserie, Khar
Formerly inside Out of the Blue, this patisserie by Bunty Mahajan has moved to its own subtly designed space. On offer are flavours like Lemon Blueberry and Salted Caramel encased in crumbly pastry, and fruity shortcakes like Lychee & Strawberry and Apple Cinnamon. Pastries include Baked Blueberry Cheesecake and a dreamy Dark Chocolate Mousse cake. Vegetarians can rejoice as eggless cake flavours include Dark Chocolate Sea Salt and Rich Chocolate Strawberry. Eggless shortcakes are available in Strawberry and Lychee Strawberry among others. Deliciae customises cakes for occasions like weddings and birthdays.
Open daily from 10 AM to 11:30 PM at Khar Danda Road, opposite Curio Cottage, Khar (W).
It Happened in New York, Bandra Reclamation
First-time restaurateurs and husband-wife duo Manashwi and Aastha Gupta have opened It Happened In New York, a restaurant deeply inspired by the city of five boroughs. The casual restaurant has an enormous bar menu, serving rare liquors like Mezcal and Cachaca. The food is divided into bar nibbles, short eats, clean food, large bites, sides, and sweet treats. Keep an eye out for the Jackfruit Tacos, New England Lobster Roll, Beef Bulgogi Banh Mi, and Key Lime Pie. Spread over 2,700 square feet and including a rooftop, the interiors look modern, inviting, and colourful.
Open daily from noon to midnight from Monday to Thursday and noon to 12:30 AM from Friday to Sunday at It Happened in New York, Plot No.68, opposite Starbucks, near Lilavati Hospital, Bandra.
Once you get over that ESTELLA is where Aurus used to be, you’ll start to see promising details. The name of this restaurant means star, and it’s the city’s first Australian restaurant. It sports an island bar made of stone, cutting across both indoor and outdoor sections, which seat up to 120 guests. The menu lists an extensive bar and digestif selection. Owner Hitesh Keswani of Silver Beach Hospitality & Entertainment recommends Grilled Tasmanian Scallops, Grass Fed Lamb Wellington Deconstructed, and Plum Frangipani Tart as well as Rosito, Yuzu Sour, Twisted Gin and Tonic.
Open daily from 7 PM to 1 AM for two dinner seatings at Ground Floor, Nichani Kutir Building, Opposite HDFC Bank, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu.
Garde Manger Cafe, Vile Parle (E)
This one’s a vegetarian place that serves food with a focus on wellness. They serve soups, salads, house specials, sandwiches, cold pressed juices, and dessert. We’d order the Vegan Carrot & Broccoli Soup, Mumbai Local or Carribean Fling Salad, and Mezze Platter or Italian Caprese from the house specials.
Open daily from 11 AM to 11 PM at Parmar Co-operative Housing Society, Paranjape B Scheme, First Road, near Mahila Sangh School, Vile Parle (East).
Bombay Cocktail Bar, Andheri West
A new Victorian-themed cocktail spot is going to open on 22nd December. Bombay Cocktail Bar is by Buena Vida Hospitality, the company behind Blanco, a popular Mediterranean also located in Andheri. The yet-to-be-opened space is over 4,500 square feet and can hold about 400 guests. Their bar counter will be 28 feet long, promising a sense of space that isn’t found often in the city’s nightlife.
Opening at Deluxe House, Ground Floor, Plot No B-50, Off New Link Road, Andheri West.
Desi Deli, Oshiwara
Bandra’s popular hot dog joint expands to Oshiwara with a wider menu. Apart from salads, hot dogs, burgers, they’ll also serve entrees, beverages including tea and coffee preparations, as well as shakes and smoothies. There’s also a breakfast menu. A highlight is their Lucky Lunch Offer, available from 1-3 PM, Tuesday to Friday. You can order a vegetable “burg” or entree for Rs 150, and one with meat for Rs 250. Their hot dogs during this offer come at the standard rate with a salad and a side dish.
Open daily from noon to 11 PM at Plot 480, Adarsh Nagar, MHADA Layout, Oshiwara, Andheri West.
South Bombay’s favourite funky ice cream spot has finally made its way to the suburbs. The menu is the same between both outlets. We recommend the Hummus Ice Cream, Chocolate Ginger Creme Brulee, Pani Puri Sorbet, and Jumbo Doughwich.
Open daily from 11 AM to 11:30 PM at Ground Floor, 1, Building 20, Plot 39, Opposite Gold’s Gym, Group MHP II Site, Owhiwara.
Restaurateur Nikhil Chib’s casual Asian chain now has a branch in Fort. Their compact menu of Momos, Banh Mi Sandwiches, aromatic Curries and Stir Fries is the same as its outlets at Mahim, Pali Hill, and BKC. Favourites here include the classic Burmese Khow Suey, BBQ Pork Bao, Red Chicken Curry, and Thai Som Tam Salad.
Open daily from 11.30 AM to 11.30 PM at BusaGo, Union Co-Op. Insurance Building, Sir P. M. Road, Fort.
Eastside Story, Colaba
This one’s a Pan-Asian delivery service with a more ambitious menu. They serve 6 soups, 20 appetizers, a small range of salads, baos, and a main course filled with curries, rice, and noodles that list the classics without shying away from uncommon styles. We haven’t visited yet, but this one’s worth keeping on the radar if you’re looking to unearth interesting food in Colaba.
Kiki’s Cafe & Deli, Alibaug
A 45-minute boat ride away, you can visit this casual sea-touching place for a quick fix of getting away from the city. The fuss-free menu by caterer and self-taught chef Nitin Mongia lists Thin Crust Pizzas with homemade Sundried Tomato, Slow Cooked Malvani King Fish Curry, Dabeli Sandwich, Pulled Chicken Burger, and assorted Mezze and Crostini platters.
Open daily from 8 AM to 10 PM at Mandwa Jetty, Mandwa, Alibaug.