It’s a city that never sleeps and clearly a city that never stops eating! Recently, Mumbai welcomed a host of new restaurants; we’ve narrowed down on the five you can’t afford to miss! By Pooja Paryani
- Bastian, Bandra
This one is heaven for seafood lovers. Started by popular chefs Chef Kelvin Cheung and Boo Kwang Kim, the name has been inspired by the crab called Sebastian in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The décor follows the nautical theme with porthole windows, a tan colour scheme and dark interiorsLobsters and crabs are the highlight here and there are quite a few sauce-seafood combinations available. Surprisingly there are also many vegetarian offerings. The dessert menu is strong on cheesecakes with interesting variations like the Black Pepper Honey Cheesecake and the crème brûlée version. For drinks, there are tropical and Caribbean-inspired cocktails with tiki-style bartending.
2. Koko, Lower Parel
This is an Asian gatro pub that’s opened at Kamala Mills in Lower Parel. It’s operated by the Tham brothers, who have given us gems like Trilogy, The Good Wife and Henry Tham’s. Koko means elder brother in Cantonese and the restaurant serves mainly Cantonese fare with a bit of Japanese. Spread over 3,500 sq ft, the menu has been set by Eric Sifu, a Chinese chef who has worked with Michelin-star restaurant Din Tai Fung in Singapore. On offer are a range of soups, sushi, dim sums, and mains with pork, sea bass, New Zealand lamb chops, and much more. Tw of the chef’s signature sauces are Kompo and Koko Special, and they make a regular appearance. Vegetarians will be pleased with the lip-smacking variety on offer. Koko’s has an interesting range of drinks created in collaboration with UK-based mixologist Dimitri Lezinska, who hosts the TV show Cocktail Kings. Unique combinations like vodka, basil and Tom Yum, ensure guests keep coming back for more.
3. Dashanzi Restaurant and Lounge, Juhu
Named after Dashanzi, a Beijing district famous for art, the restaurant serves Chinese and Japanese cuisine. It is located at JW Marriott in Juhu, and like the rest of the hotel has contemporary interiors with a twist. Enjoy the beautiful sea view as you try the Steamed Local Sea Bass with Assam Sauce, Chicken and Truffle Suimai with Shaved Hajikame or Braised Homemade Edamame Tofu with Spicy Chilli Sauce. There’s also a live sushi and sashimi bar. Indulge your sweet tooth with desserts like Deconstructed Chocolate Affogato Sphere and Coconut Five Ways. For those who drink, there are a host of signature cocktails to choose from, like the Saketini (Sake with dry vermouth and a lemon twist), and Asian G&T (green tea infused gin with basil, honey and tonic water).
4. Fun Republic Social, Andheri
This is the Andheri West branch of the hugely popular Social. Located in the same building as Fun Republic Cinemas, and therefore also close to two big film and TV studios this version of Social has gone with a filmi theme. The restaurant has a retro look, which is very kitschy, that takes you back in time to the campy Bollywood era. Floral fabric wallpapers, chandeliers, a curtained stage, mirrors on the ceiling, and cut-outs of popular Bollywood stars all at to the retro touch. They’ve kept some of the classics and added a few interesting items to the food and drinks menu. You won’t be disappointed by new concoctions like Shimla Mirch Martini and Moonshine. While their ghee mutton roast and Chooza 69 are good snack options.
5. Jamie’s Pizzeria, Lower Parel
British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver opened the first outpost of his Italian restaurant chain in Delhi, then Gurgaon and is now finally in Mumbai to the delight of the city’s foodies. Located in Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel, the restaurant is a haven for pizza lovers as Jamie uses fresh ingredients to create dishes that are seemingly simple but bursting with flavour. Also on the menu are appetisers, salads, drinks and desserts. Signature dishes to try include the Handstretched Garlic Bread, Fritto Misto (a bowl of seafood accompanied with Tartar sauce), The Tuscan (a pizza topped with cured ham, crushed tomatoes, mozzarella, cheddar and rocket leaves) and Chilli Freak pizza (there’s has an additional layer of spicy chilli sauce that along with the jalapeño topping packs quite a punch). End your meal with Affogato, a hot espresso that has a scoopful of French vanilla ice cream.