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It has just about been a month since the new year, but there is no stopping the restaurant industry. In the month of January itself, a bunch of new restaurants have opened up across the city and a lot more are in the pipeline. It is hard work tasting our way through each of them, but someone has got to do it! Instead of waiting till the end of the year to tell you our overall favourites, we thought we would start with telling you about the newbies that are worth your money and calories. These are our favourite places that opened in January.
NRI (Not Really Indian) – Chef Atul Kochhar has launched his restaurant that serves a range of dishes from various countries that have some Indian influences or are inspired by Indian flavours, but essentially are not what you would call Indian dishes. The food is simple but delicious and it is a wonderfully casual space that is ideal for a family meal out or a meal with a big group of friends. Instead of flying to Sri Lanka for their potli curry or Durban for their bunny chow, pop by NRI!
Bombay Vintage – This is a restaurant that is full of beautiful pictures of old Bombay from the last seven decades. It has an old telephone, framed newspaper cuttings and photographs of iconic structures in the city and vintage cameras as part of its décor. However, the menu – while highlighting some traditional dishes – is mostly fusion food and there is nothing particularly vintage about it. It seems a little strange at first, but the delightful staff and excellent food make for a great meal here. While they have dishes such as a Mangalorean prawn curry or a chicken escalope, they also have mixtures such as chicken makhani spaghetti and continental pav bhaaji. It is a change from the usual and the ambience makes it worth visiting.
District Lounge – Strangely, some pockets in the city are not full of cafés or bars. Not everywhere is like Bandra, where every street and road has enough restaurants and cafés. The new lounge bar at the Shalimar Hotel in Kemps Corner called District has given this neighbourhood a new lease of life. Apart from the few restaurants in the area, there is not any place where you can go and unwind after a long day at work. District is extremely casual, where they encourage patrons to come in any attire, let loose and enjoy themselves. Plenty of music, great cocktails – especially their big hookah pot inspired cocktails – and tasty nibbles make this a fun and interesting place to visit.
Mighty Small Café – Themed restaurants are always fun to visit and the Mighty Small is an adorable café located in Kamala Mills inside Smaaash. It is a carnival-themed restaurant that is bright and colourful, and it is not just for children. They have a bar area where kids are not allowed but the rest of the café space is ideal for children or large families that want to have a casual meal out. The biggest plus point here is that they have a very cute dessert bar, where you can pick from their desserts or custom make your own ones!
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