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Like every year, 2015 saw many new restaurants, bars, pubs, takeaway joints and cafés opening and shutting. It has been a good year for the food industry in the city, and the average diner has plenty of places to choose from. Spoilt for choice, people have been frequenting restaurants and cafés and have formed their own opinions. Some pass muster and, sadly, some just do not live up to expectations. Since it is almost time to say goodbye to this year, we thought we would rewind a bit and pick some of our favourite restaurants that opened within this year and managed to shine.
The Bombay Canteen – While many restaurants have tried to reinvent Indian food, no one has managed to make Indian food and regional food as cool as the team at The Bombay Canteen. The restaurant only uses local produce, which means that some items on their menu are seasonal. Their cocktails are exquisite, and this works as a great space to come, enjoy a meal and then hang out at a very cool bar. Dishes like their version of an eggs Kejriwal, their seafood bhel or even their gulab nut dessert have become so popular that it is one of the hottest restaurants in town, and trying to snag a reservation here is quite a task.
SodaBottleOpenerWala – At first, it seemed impossible to have a restaurant in Mumbai serving street food and dishes you ate in an old Irani café, but when this restaurant opened its doors, diners embraced it and it has become popular since. While the menu is a mix of popular dishes across Mumbai, the name and décor makes it feel like a Parsi or Irani restaurant. The quirky décor has made it a fun space to dine in, and people enjoy another option for Parsi food as well.
Fatty Bao – Chef Manu Chandra and his team have created a bao craze with their popular Asian restaurant. The décor is quirky and the food has everyone coming back for more. This was one of the most eagerly awaited launches and, even today, it can get difficult to find a table without prior reservation. The entire menu is delicious, but the ramen bowls and their signature baos are the top picks.
Crave – What this small café has done since its inception in May this year is change the way people look at fast food. The place is small but cheerfully decorated with bright yellow, and they serve the most incredible pizzas and burgers. Without much fanfare, Crave has managed to open two outlets this year and create a league of loyal customers who want their fast food but with a certain amount of quality and taste. The Bacon of Hope pizza is a popular favourite and their Knockout lamb burger is delicious. While most people believe a good pizza or burger has meat, their vegetarian options are stellar as well. Try their Fungi Town burger, which is a mushroom patty; it will change your perception about a vegetarian burger.
Pa Pa Ya – There is very little that Zorawar Kalra and his team does that is not a success. After launching successful restaurants like Masala Library and Made in Punjab in the city, their high-energy Asian inspired restaurant Pa Pa Ya, which launched this year, is another hit. The space might be small but the food is impressive and the entire ambience makes it a great place to hang out post dinner for drinks. Their sushi matrix and chocolate ball on fire are some highly talked-about dishes.
Follow Roxanne @The Tiny Taster
Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.