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The beauty of Mumbai lies in its different neighbourhoods. Each part of town is drastically different from another and when you talk about Bandra, it has a charm of its own. A cluster of villages, tiny, narrow and winding lanes that connect them to the main road, quaint little bungalows, funky graffiti on the walls and lots of cafés, restaurants and shopping makes this neighbourhood come alive. When people talk about Bandra, almost every time, they automatically assume it is the western part of the suburb and not the east, which is nothing like its sibling. When people talk about Mumbai restaurants, especially while suggesting places to visitors, they end up sending them on a city tour because each neighbourhood has lovely culinary gems, but it becomes a task to trudge across town to sample all of them. This Bandra food guide is not necessarily the top restaurants in the area, and certainly is not all of them, but we picked a few favourites that have some character, are different from the regular fare and, in some cases, are quintessentially Bandra.
Bandra is home to a lot of gym junkies and health-conscious folk and so cafés that cater to healthy menus are quite popular. One of these popular cafés is the Bombay Salad Co. that offers the most interesting salads, juices, smoothies and even some healthier dessert options. It is almost always packed, but that is just a testament to how good the food is.
There are plenty of Chinese or Pan Asian restaurants in the vicinity, including popular ones such as Ming Yang, Royal China or Mamagoto. However, there are not too many stand-alone restaurants highlighting Korean cuisine, and Heng Bok is possibly the only one in Bandra and possibly the only one in the city! The food is delicious but a meal here is more fun with the big grill in the middle of the table (where you can skewer your own meats) and the soft Korean music that plays in the background. If you are a meat lover, then their pork belly and bulgogi will be right up your street.
It would be impossible to talk about Bandra and the interesting food joints without including the popular Candies eatery. This local institution is so popular that they have not one but three outlets in the neighbourhood, including a massive one that is three storeys high. The way Candies works is simple: you pick from the range of dishes on display (no menu), collect your food, pay for it and hope to find a free table. However, due to the incredible variety and cheap pricing, things fly off the counters and, by evening, everything is almost over! Best to get there earlier if you anticipate a crowd – as there invariably is one.
Parsi food is mostly found in Irani cafés or restaurants in town and it can get difficult to source a plate of mutton dhansak or cutlets in Bandra. Thankfully, Ashmick’s Snack Shack in Pali Village offers a wonderful menu featuring affordable burgers, sandwiches and some incredible Parsi dishes. With just a few tables and chairs, this is not a fancy restaurant but it is great to pick up a snack and try some Parsi food. They also deliver in the area and have specials on different days of the week.
The original outlet for the meat-loving IMBISS is in Bandra and this restaurant became the rage with locals. Known for their intense meat-based menu, despite being a tiny space, they are always full. Sadly, the restaurant is not recommended for vegetarians, as the menu features nothing but pork and beef. However, it is one of Bandra’s favourite spots.
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.