A quirky concept cafe and bar that serves Indian food with a delightful twist is how I’d describe the newest addition to Kamala Mills’ ever growing population of cafes and restaurants. I am a big fan of Indian food and love to relish it by the dozen, having said that, whenever i thought of brunch or a night-out with friends, an Indian restaurant barely crossed my mind as an option. I am sure that must be the case with many others as well. But The Bombay Canteen probably saw this an an opportunity and created an exciting menu using everyday elements of popular Indian food and snacks from all corners of the country, along with it they (thankfully) chose to stay away from kitschy Indian interiors, instead gave the restaurant a very New York pub like ambience and a never ending bar! Suddenly Indian was the new cool in addition to being delicious. I recently visited The Bombay Canteen and believe me when I say this, a 2 hour cab ride in the Bombay rains was worth it!
In addition to the great food, the service was excellent and the chef himself would make rounds of the restaurant, recommending what to eat and generally chatting up with the guests. That according to me is a great way to ensure that people leave the restaurants happy. The menu was interesting with a variety of snacks and main course items that one would be familiar with, but there was that one added element to each dish that made it stand out. For instance almost every Indian has had a rasgulla at some point in his life, so when you see rasgulla in the dessert section, you are familiar with it, but having coffee flavored rasgulla with caramel and butterscotch is a whole new take on this simple Indian dessert. That’s what The Bombay Canteen’s menu is all about.
I ordered 2 non vegetarian starters to go with my red wine sangria (which btw was superb) ; Seafood Bhel and Tandoori Pork Ribs. The pork was deliciously tender and well marinaded in the sauce and was served with some green beans, which was a nice touch, and the seafood bhel was quite interesting, savory and with a chat like quality about it, it was like an Indianised shrimp cocktail!
The pork ribs were quite filling but I was determined to make it till dessert. Next came the main course a generous helping of Banana Leaf Wrapped Roasted Fish with Tingmo (steamed dough bun) and a bowl of Tawa Chicken Kothu Roti; a combination of cabbage slaw, chicken, shredded roti in a coconut gravy topped with a fried egg. Both were outstanding to say the least!
Dessert looked next to impossible but when the chef recommended that we try the Jack-fruit Tan-Tana-Tan aka Jack-fruit Tart with Cashew Ice Cream, I simply couldn’t resist as this was something I had never had till date. It sounded strange enough to be interesting and was actually quite delicious. I am not a big fan of ripe Jack-fruit but this is one dessert I wouldn’t mind having again. And the cashew ice cream was fantastic as well.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this place, equally enjoyable with friends or family and any day of the week!