When it comes to international food in the city, Italian and Chinese rule the roost. Mumbaikars just can not seem to get enough of pizza, pasta, dim sum or fried rice. It is not to say we do not enjoy other cuisine and dishes but these are old familiar comfortable favourites. Tex-Mex dishes have gained a huge popularity with diners but you will find a plate of hummus or falafel in nearly every menu. Middle Eastern food is fast becoming a favourite and while there are not too many places that do justice to the authenticity, the food is still extremely tasty and enjoyable. These are our picks of places to enjoy Middle Eastern food for every budget.
MM! Maroosh - Long before any of the other restaurants or cafés came about, Maroosh had been delighting diners – the original QSR for Middle Eastern fare, despite its somewhat limited menu when it comes to the cuisine in general. Their various kababs and shawarmas are still extremely popular and also a favourite to order in from.
Sufra - Popular Israeli Chef Moshe Shek has opened his own Middle Eastern inspired café, which is a great spot to enjoy a juicy shawarma, creamy hummus or crisp hot falafels. The café has two outlets; the bigger one located in Colaba, also serves sandwiches and desserts.
Falafels - This popular fast food chain is known for their hummus and as the name suggests, their falafels. They offer various options with pita bread and everything here is vegetarian, there is no meat on the menu. Interestingly their tabouleh salad is one of their most under rated dishes and worth trying.
Souk - This is the signature Middle Eastern restaurant at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. A far cry from the popular and economical QSR models, it is bang on in terms of choice and authentic ingredients and flavours. It is probably as close to original as you can get in the city. The chef take great pride in their hot and cold mezze and is one of their more popular restaurants in the hotel.
Mabruk - Apart from the Taj, the only other hotel with a fine-dine Middle Eastern theme is the Sahara Star in Santa Cruz. The restaurant is located in the hotel atrium, which gives it this almost outdoor like feeling that adds to the ambiance making it seem rather romantic. The food is excellent and has won the restaurant and hotel many accolades.
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.