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Vir's Choice Awards Mumbai

Mumbai Foodie Awards 2017

07 Nov, 2017 by Vir Sanghvi

Mumbai Foodie Awards 2017

Best Regional Indian Cuisine Restaurant – Gajalee, Vile Parle East

Winner for the best regional Indian cuisine restaurant second year in a row. The best crabs and the most authentic masalas are what they offer at this unpretentious Malvani mini-chain.

Best Cafe - SodaBottleOpenerWala, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC)

AD Singh has brought his Mumbai food concept back home and is packing the punters in with an authentic Mumbai experience in funky surroundings.

Best European Restaurant - Le Cirque Signature, The Leela, Mumbai

Despite an unfortunate location in a top floor room that has been a graveyard of many restaurants, this version of Le Cirque turns out great food, night after night.

Best Chinese Restaurant - San-Qi, Four Seasons Hotel

It is a multi-cuisine restaurant but I only go there for the Chinese food. It was brilliant when it opened, went through a bad patch but is now back in top form.

Best Thai Restaurant - Nara Thai, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC)

This is the Mumbai outpost of my favourite Bangkok mall-dining chain and has maintained its high standards along with the best Thai food in the city.

Best Indian Standalone Restaurant - The Bombay Canteen, Lower Parel

Will the Canteen never run out of steam? It seems it won’t. Each time I go, the food is even better and service is even friendlier.

Best Indian Restaurant In a Hotel - Dum Pukht, ITC Maratha, Mumbai

No surprise here. The best Avadhi food, lovingly prepared. Go for the Kakori Kabab and the biryani.

Best Modern Indian Restaurant - Masala Library, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC)

Zorawar Kalra relaunched himself as a restaurateur with this BKC restaurant. Now Kalra’s empire has grown and he has put more thought into his first place which is even better as a consequence.

Best Gastrobar - House of Nomad, Taj Lands End, Mumbai

It was an ugly windowless room where nothing ever worked but General Manager Parveen Chander Kumar has finally found the right formula for this rocking gastro bar.

Best Buffet - Seven Kitchens, The St. Regis, Mumbai

Every five-star hotel has a buffet but what makes this special is the vast range of cuisines offered by Chef Himanshu Taneja and his team, and their obsession with quality.

Opening of the Year - KODE – Freestyle Bar and Kitchen, Lower Parel

There are bars and there are restaurants but only Zorawar Kalra has been able to fuse the two concepts, with the help of Sourabh Udinia’s excellent food. It has been a phenomenal success.

Best Italian Restaurant- Botticino, Trident, Bandra Kurla

This under-rated Italian restaurant at the superbly run Trident BKC is packed with surprises, largely because the hotel has some of the best food in the Oberoi chain. Light, flavourful and authentic food.

Best Concept - Masque, Mahalaxmi

Chef Prateek Sadhu has worked at all the top places but a stage at Noma changed his perspective on ingredients and how they should be treated. Since Masque opened, it has been one of the city’s most talked about venues.

Pastry Chef of the Year - Rohit Sangwan

I said this ten years ago and I will say it again, if there is a better pastry chef than Rohit Sangwan of the Taj, I have yet to see him in any of my travels around India.

Best Event Hotel - Grand Hyatt, Mumbai

Very little of consequence happens in Mumbai unless it happens at the Grand Hyatt whether it is the top awards, the top functions or the big conferences. Under Sanjae Sharma, this massive hotel has become a warm, highly efficient provider of top-flight experiences.


Best Modern Oriental - POH, Lower Parel

When Avik Chatterjee explained the concept behind this modern Oriental restaurant, I knew he had a winner on his hands. When he hired Anurodh Samal to look after the front of the house and Vikramjeet Roy to handle the kitchen, I was doubly sure. And it has been a super success from the day it opened.


Chef of the Year In a Standalone Restaurant - Thomas Zacharias

When you work with a genius like Floyd Cardoz, it cannot be easy to put your stamp on the food but Thomas has done it. The Bombay Canteen menu now bears his stamp and I predict that over the next decade, he will be the chef to watch.

Chef of the Year In a Hotel - Anirudhya Roy

Because he is such a nice guy and so understated, it is sometimes easy to miss how gifted Chef Roy is. Everything he has done, from the, revamp of Masala Bay last year to Nomad this year, it has been a stupendous success.

F&B Person of the Year - JJ Assi

He is now Hotel Manager with responsibilities that stretch far beyond F&B but JJ’s greatest achievement is that he has made the Four Seasons the happening foodie hotel, once again.

Marketing Person of the Year - Khushnooma Kapadia

One reason why the Marriott takeover of Starwood has gone so well is that Kapadia has orchestrated the marketing synergies. Her role in the Shaadi by Marriott campaign this year demonstrates how imagination and hard work can transform a chain’s image. A class act.

General Manager of the Year - Hardip Marwah

For years, the Hyatt Regency was the city’s other Hyatt but under Hardip it has been relaunched as a deluxe property in its own right with great food and exceptional service.

Hotel of the Year - The Oberoi, Mumbai

For my money, this is the best hotel in India. Nobody understands service and luxury like the management of this hotel. Each time I stay here, I wonder: why can’t every other hotel be this good?

Hotelier of the Year - Anuraag Bhatnagar

The Palladium was easily the worst five-star hotel in India. So how do you transform it into the luxurious St. Regis in just one year? Only Anuraag Bhatnagar knows the secret. And there are his other successes too - the W in Goa and the newly restored fortunes of the Ritz Carlton, Bangalore.


Restaurateur of the Year - Riyaaz Amlani

This one is not for all his restaurants but for the good work he has done as head of the National Restaurant Association, standing up for restaurateurs at a time when every new rule and regulation seems designed to cause harm to the industry.

Written By

Vir Sanghvi is India's best-known food writer and TV host. His book, Rude Food won the Cointreau Award for Best Food Literature book in the world and his food and travel shows on channels such as TLC and NDTV Good Times have won numerous awards and continue to be watched by millions.

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