Bowl food is slowly becoming the longest running food trend on social media and I’m not complaining!
Why Are We Clean Bowled By It?
Well, you could ask world-renowned chef, Nigella Lawson, who writes in her book ‘Simply Nigella’ (where she has dedicated a whole section to bowl foods), “For me, ‘bowlfood’ is simply shorthand for food that is simultaneously soothing, bolstering, undemanding and sustaining.” I believe that bowl foods always existed personally for all of us (Why, what have you been curling up on the couch with? A plate?). I can remember even dal, chawal and sabzi looking more appealing in a bowl than in the plate that mom gave it to me in. More recently, though, this trend was kick-started by Sarah Wilson, with her famous mishmash meals on Instagram, which are almost always served in bowls.
Bottom line: Food in a bowl is immensely comforting and I have drawn up a list of them to prove that.
Pho @ Asian Street Kitchen, Girgaum
Pronounced as ‘fuh’, this un-pho-gettable street-style noodle soup bowl hails from the streets of Vietnam. It’s a real soulmate with heavy aroma, flavourful broth, vegetables, meat and long, slippery noodles. Not many other foods understand and soothe you as well. The broth is ideally sweet-sour; but Asian Street Kitchen serves it a little sweeter, which strangely works. Do yourself a favour and don’t add any sauces before you taste the broth. Pho is not meant for sauces – that broth is meant to be revered.
Cheeseburger Salad @ Khar Social
A greasy food like cheeseburger is solace by itself but when it comes in a bowl, there’s no stopping it! This bowl of what they call a ‘naked burger’ with assorted greens, tomatoes, red onion rings, honey mustard topped with cheese, fried egg and Hickory BBQ dressing with a choice of chicken or tenderloin burger patty is meant to spoil you. You’re never getting off that couch once you’re done with this.
Dolsot Bimbimbap @ Heng Bok, Bandra West
This Korean one-bowl meal consists of sticky rice, vegetables, and meat topped with egg and the whole thing is flavoured with Gochujang sauce (Korean chilli paste). The first time I heard of Gochujang sauce was in the movie Chef and then when I heard this dish has it, I absolutely had to try it. Heng Bok serves it the authentic way – in a hot stone bowl. The dish continues to cook in the bowl while the server mixes in the sauce. It’s a mildly spicy dish with textural nuances – you ten to moan when you bite into the egg you scraped from the bottom. This dish is the pride of Chef James Biaka who works here.
Fat Man’s Special Baked Egg Bowl @ Fat Man’s Café, Bandra Reclamation
I’ve always been crazy about brunch, me and a million other people in the world. Because what can make you more blissful than a huge plate of brunch, am I right? Wrong. A huge bowl of brunch can make you even more blissful. This lavish bowl of baked eggs, chicken sausages and chunks of crispy bacon could be called breakfast and had for any meal of the day.
Burrito Bowl @ The Chipotle House (THC), Oshiwara
Known here as the Chipotle Rice Bowl, this creamy yet saucy bowl of coriander lime rice, refried beans, corn salsa, sweet corn, red pepper, red pepper, avocado, guacamole, cheese, salsa roja, sour cream, pico de gallo, salad leaf and chipotle sauce is a Mexican message of love to us. We could add chipotle chicken for some more love.
Basically, after cosying up with these spectacular meals, we can all agree that bowl food is soul food.
How to Get There
Asian Street Kitchen
Where: Dev Prakash Building, Chowpatty, Mumbai
Contact: 022 23633624
Timings: All Days 12 Noon to 3:45 PM, 6:30 PM to 11:30 PM
Cost: ₹1,200 for two people
Where: Rohan Plaza, 5th Road, S.V. Road, Khar West, Khar, Mumbai
Contact: 022 65226324
Timings: All Days 9 AM to 1 AM
Cost: ₹1,200 for two people (VAT & service charges extra)
Where: 11/1, Kalpak Corner Building, Near Notan Heights, Turner Road, Near Bandra Talao, Bandra Talao, Bandra West
Contact: 022 30151186
Timings: All Days 12 Noon to 3:30 PM, 6 PM to 11:45 PM
Cost: ₹2,500 for two people
Fat Man’s Café
Where: 9, ONGC Building 3, Near Lilavati Hospital, Reclamation, Bandra West
Contact: +91 7045396839
Timings: All Days 8 AM to 11:30 PM
Cost: ₹1,500 for two people
The Chipotle House (THC)
Where: Shop no. 4, Bldg no. 26 Mhada , Opposite Meera Towers, Oshiwara, Andheri West
Contact: 022 65555997
Timings: All Days 12 Noon to 11:45 PM
Cost: ₹650 for two people (Cash Only)