When I was growing up, dining out in Mumbai meant choosing between tandoori chicken and American chop suey. You were hard pressed to find pasta on the menus of standalone restaurants, let alone a sushi platter. One of the perks of growing up in the 21st century is the evolution of the restaurant business in our times. Rahul Akerkar gave us Italian with Indigo, Farrokh Khambata gave us Japanese (and Asian fusion) with Joss, and before we knew it, traditional North Indian cuisine was fading in the background. Almost 20 years later, yet another restaurateur is revolutionising the industry. Taking off from his father Jiggs Kalra’s acclaimed restaurant chain Punjab Grill, Zorawar Kalra has taken a contemporary leap forward. He combines traditional Indian cuisine with new techniques such as molecular gastronomy, thereby giving the beloved tandoori chicken a delightful new twist. A number of other places are also giving Indian cuisine a spin by mixing Indian ingredients or styles of cooking with flavor palates and treatments from other cuisines—think pav bhaji tostadas, Parle G cheesecake and galouti burgers. It comes as no surprise that these joints are rapidly racing to the top of the F&B charts. Here’s our pick of must-try Indian joints with a twist:
This Delhi import is a fancy spot to unwind on any day of the week, though not without a reservation. The Indian-style bistro is so popular, you might have to stand at the bar, to try a portion of its Mutton Galouti Burgers, which innovatively present mouthwatering Lucknowi kebabs as sliders. Wash them down with the Santa Banta Cocktail.
If there’s one thing you must try at this playful resto bar, it’s the Sanskaari Tacos. Whether you choose chicken or paneer, it comes dressed with onion rings that are soaked in a red chilli and vinegar mix—very Punjabi, and very sanskaari indeed.
The Bombay Canteen
Everything that Bombay is known for and more, this place has the most delightful offerings—sangria pitchers served in large matkas and theplas that take the form (and function of tacos). Our favourites: Grilled Dhokla Chat, Desi Tacos topped with Rawalpindi Chole and Lime yogurt and Kejriwal Toast.
Typically, hookah bars are open-air and without a bar but The Terrace breaks that stereotype. It has transformed the rooftop into an air-conditioned space and serves fusion dishes such as the Pav Bhaji Tostada a dish in which spoonfuls of the delectable mixed vegetable dish are smartly served on toasted bread for a clever twist on the Mumbai classic.
How to Get There:
Where: Kamala Mills, Near Radio Mirchi Office, Lower Parel, Mumbai
Contact: +91 8433942801 | +91 8433942802
Timings: All Days 12 Noon to 1 AM
Cost: ₹1,500 for two people (VAT & service charges extra)
Where: Khar | Powai | Malad | Lower Parel
Cost: ₹1,500 for two people
The Bombay Canteen
Where: Ground Floor, Process House, Kamala Mills, Near Radio Mirchi Office, S.B. Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai
Contact: 022 49666666 (Table booking recommended)
Timings: Mon – Thu & Sun 12 Noon to 1 AM | Fri – Sat 12 Noon to 1:30 AM
Cost: ₹1,600 for two people
Where: 1st Floor, Hotel King’s International Compound 5, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Mumbai
Contact: +91 9665295999
Timings: All Days 12 Noon to 1:30 AM
Cost: ₹1,200 for two people