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‘Bandra is the place for pork lovers,’ exclaimed Subhasree Basu at the end of her flash pop-up at Gostana in Bandra, where her pork belly banh mi were sold out in comparison to the tofu ones.
Come to think of it, most of my favourite pork dishes in Mumbai these days are to be found in Bandra.
There is the delightful double-cooked pork belly in Fatty Bao, which they make using Sri Lankan pork. It combines beautifully with the bacon rice there, which is very well flavoured and uses imported bacon. The waitstaff might insist that you order the belly as a starter and the rice later, but I would suggest eating the two together.
Kofuku makes a lovely kakuni, which is a Japanese-style braised pork belly with a thick layer of pork fat. You have this with sticky rice. Definitely the star dish of the restaurant.
Another favourite is the kassler at IMBISS, which is available in the Colaba outlet as well. It is like a roasted slab of bacon, and is made with pork loin – it does not get any better for bacon lovers.
The three-month-old Desi Deli has introduced a breakfast menu where they have artisanal sausages in dishes such as the New Orleans Desi and Wahwah Brekky. The sausage is very meaty and has a rough texture, which has so much more character than the spongy, processed sausages you get in local stores. They get sausages made according to their own recipe in Desi Deli at a newly opened sausage maker in Mumbai, who has earlier worked for the legendary Bangalore Ham Shop of Bangalore.
Do try out the BFF pizza at Crave, the newly opened pizzeria in Bandra and which has an outlet in Prabhadevi as well. This pizza is part of the specials right now, and uses Amrita Rana’s OMG bacon jam. The crust is amazingly supple. They do not use tomato sauce in the BFF and its cheese-based white sauce is the perfect canvas to bring out the flavours of the great ham used and the jam of the bacon. The pizza is topped with fries, which adds to the fun.
On the other side of the pond, at Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra in Bandra Kurla Complex, there is a lip-smacking dish of morels wrapped in bacon, which I feel is the best dish in the restaurant.
Also at Bandra Kurla Complex is SodaBotttleOpenerWala, which offers a Goan chorizo pao. They use rosary sausages available in local Goan markets, and not the packaged, mass-produced ones. This makes their sausages a lot less pungent than what one is used to. Which is a good thing!
A few pork dishes I will travel out of Bandra for is the stewed pork belly with bean curd and shitake at Ling’s Pavilion, the double-cooked pork belly in Pan Asian at the ITC Maratha, Sahar, and the pork vindaloo at New Martin Hotel.
Which are your favourite pork haunts in Mumbai?
Follow Kalyan Karmakar @ Finelychopped
Kalyan Karmakar authors the popular award winning blog, Finely Chopped and is an authority on the food of Mumbai. His extensive knowledge of the city's food scene has been featured in publications such as Femina, Mumbai Mirror and BCC Good Food. He was one of the founding critics of EazyDiner's Mumbai team.