Last year was a good year for food. Restaurants in Mumbai were opening up faster than you could count and the options to choose from were plenty. 2017 has already started with a bang with plenty new arrivals in the first quarter itself. Of course, it is our job to eat our way through all these and pick the best of the best. So, here are a few restaurants that we think will shine this year –
JIA - The Oriental Kitchen – From the makers of Royal China, which is without a doubt a fantastic Chinese restaurant, comes JIA, a fantastic epicurean adventure with Oriental dishes. This two-floor restaurant aims to please and judging by the high occupancy mid-week, this has already become a local favourite. Lobster in XO sauce, Tenderloin with Black Pepper and Red Wine Sauce, the JIA signature Sushi and every single Dim Sum on their menu is not to be missed. The restaurant is a slight notch higher than Royal China and is the perfect fine dine for a celebratory meal.
Candy & Green – Everyone is flocking to this restaurant and with a good reason. Not only are they in love with the rooftop setting especially, when the sun goes down but the food is delicious and makes you want to come back for more. The biggest surprise is that the entire menu is meatless and eggless and focuses on healthier plant-based options and no one is complaining. Kale Crumble Tarts, Avocado Toasts, Vegan Meatball Subs and Lentil Wraps are just some of their popular dishes. Do not forget to try their Pancakes with Match Butter or the Moroccan Couscous Salad.
The Fatty Bao – No stranger to success, when The Fatty Bao first arrived in Bandra you could not book a table without having to haggle, beg and plead for the first six months. The restaurant has a wonderfully casual approach to Asian food with a particular fondness for Baos and Ramen Bowls. The new outlet in Lower Parel is just as popular and while old favourites like the Chasu Ramen Bowl or the Fatty Bao PB&J are still there, it is the new additions that has everyone excited.
The Blue – Folks looking for inexpensive Japanese and Thai food that is not Indianised can rush over to this new Bandra favourite. Dedicated to both cuisines, there is plenty on this menu from Sushi, Gyoza, Pad Thai to Curries. It is a tiny spot but do not be deceived by its size, the food has regulars raving and you should consider yourself lucky if you get a table without having to wait.
D:OH! – This bright and cheerful cafe is casual, comfortable and filled with board games and toys that seem to entertain both children and adults. The food is a mix of dishes that are popular and comforting. While the self-service and games are a welcome change to regular restaurant formats, it is the menu that includes things like Freakshakes, Milkshakes, Burgers, Dim Sums and plenty more that is constantly attracting diners.
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.