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Once upon a time, Mumbai was fascinated with eating different and so called ‘exotic’ cuisines. Chinese, Thai, Mexican and Italian themed restaurants were packed to the gills with hungry diners, as these were exciting cuisines. Today, the same hungry diner is saturated with these very same cuisines and is looking for something closer to home. Regional cuisine has suddenly become extremely trendy, and people are more interested in eating local food than a plate of pasta. Today, the hunt for good regional cuisine is in full swing and these are a few restaurants that serve their own regional dishes that we really enjoy.
Soam – Gujarati food is a popular choice in the city, as a lot of Gujarati folks prefer to eat their own cuisine even when they dine out. We do not blame them because the food is brilliant. Soam churns out some excellent Gujarati fare and some of the dishes to try are their panki, gatte ki subzi and handvo. They also offer up some Rajasthani and Punjabi dishes and you need to visit the restaurant more than once to really do justice to the menu.
Goa Portuguesa – While the name says Goa, the food served at this restaurant includes various Goan, Maharashtrian and Konkan dishes. From a traditional Portuguese caldo verde soup to Kohlapuri-style sukka mutton, prawn curry, stuffed crabs, rechado and cafreals, the menu is a coastal delight. It is not easy to get good Goan food in the city and not too many restaurants actually feature Goan dishes, so this is an interesting change.
Ideal Corner – Parsi food is a carnivore’s delight. Sadly, hardly any vegetables feature in this cuisine as eggs and meat take centre stage. There are quite a few places that have sprung up serving Parsi food (or at least a couple of dishes) but for the real good stuff, we suggest you pop into Ideal Corner at Fort. It is only operational for lunch and closed on Sundays, but it is worth it. The menu has a few staples but includes daily specials, so make sure you visit on certain days to try certain dishes.
Café Madras – Matunga East is an area that is a hub for great food, and South Indian food in particular. There are quite a few joints that are always packed, and some might even call them ‘legendary’ restaurants, as they’ve been popular through the years. Café Madras is one of Matunga’s gems and never disappoints. If you are looking for good South Indian food, then this is a great choice. Idli and dosa are staples, but the upma podi, medu vada, pineapple sheera and filter coffee are excellent choices as well.
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.