“There’s no love sincerer than the love of food,” said George Bernard Shaw; and he’s right, judging by the slew of new restaurants that have popped up in the Maximum City this year. Stalwarts from Mumbai’s food scene, as well as Michelin rated chefs, have opened stylish new restaurants that are the places to eat and be seen at this year. We’ve compiled a list of Mumbai’s newest haute restaurants – so you know where to go.
Chef Kelvin Cheung has been tantalising our taste buds for years at the super-popular Ellipsis, at Colaba, and Bastian was no different. Opened in Bandra this June, this seafood speciality restaurant (with a modern Asian twist) is a delight for the senses. We’re still raving about the Korean calamari and Singapore-style chilli crab. Unlike most seafood restaurants in the city, vegetarians needn’t feel left out here. My veggie friend thoroughly enjoyed her stir fried lotus root with Szechuan chilli oil, celery and Chinese broccoli, and cauliflower with gochujang butter. Cheung has partnered with Korean chef Boo Kwang Kim at this restaurant, that has fast become a celebrity favourite.
Luna Nudo Gusta
You can trust the St Regis to get us our fix of haute cuisine restaurants. After Mekong, the Sahib Room and Kipling Bar, and Yuuka comes Luna Nudo Gusta, an eclectic bar and modern European restaurant on the 37th floor of the hotel. The twin spaces (Luna Nudo is the bar, while Luna Gusta is the restaurant) serve some killer cocktails (we loved the Personified Moon, a concoction of spice-infused bourbon, apple and maple) and the food (jumbo asparagus risotto, anyone?). The chef behind this is Australian Martin Kindleysides, who dishes out some truly delectable contemporary European cuisine.
Bandra-Kurla Complex is fast becoming a nightlife hotspot, with Lima being the hot new addition. Next door to NRI (Not Really Indian) at Maker Maxity, Lima is Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar’s second offering in the city. A kind of cuisine sorely missing in Mumbai, Lima is a heady cocktail of Peruvian, Brazilian, Argentinian and Mexican flavours, with a large (and potent) cocktail menu. Open since March, the city’s movers and shakers throng to the restaurant to try their delicious ceviche and churrasco grills. Don’t leave Lima before grabbing one of their Lima sours, a Latin American take on the whisky sour, which comes with pisco, egg white, lime and honey.
The Clearing House
This is Mumbai’s newest fine-dining restaurant, opened in October this year. Named after its location Ballard Estate, which is known to be the city’s shipping and clearing hub and housed in a former ice factory, the 4,000 sqft restaurant makes good use of all its space (there are two separate dining rooms, two bars and a row of circular booths). The brains behind this restaurant are Rishad Nathani and chef Nitin Kulkarni, the team behind Indigo. We highly recommend the baked burrata, paprika spiced lamb tacos, the chicken pita pockets and the rare yellowfin tuna, served with soba noodles and teriyaki broth.
This September saw the opening of Masque, a farm-to-fork restaurant that (only) offers set courses made with locally sourced and foraged ingredients. Guests can choose from three-, six- and nine-course tasting menus, which comprise of California-style food making use of ingredients such as duck, pork cheek, Himalayan rye sourdough and sea buckthorn. Started by Aditi Dugar and chef Prateek Sadhu, Masque will have a rotating menu according to seasonal ingredients. Make sure you give their cocktails a go, especially the Blazed (their take on the Old Fashioned with coconut smoke and Pondicherry chocolate infusion).
The Korner House
Located in Bandra, Nido was a celeb favourite, with Bollywood’s movers and shakers regularly spotted there. Its replacement, The Korner House, also a European fine-dining restaurant (opened in January), is no different. Keeping the interiors similar, the owners have focused on a produce-driven menu, with the usual suspects – soups, salads, breads, pastas – all making an appearance. Our pick of the menu would be the fish and chips, five bean quinoa stack, Chilean sea bass (served with paprika couscous and quil aioli) and lava grilled broccoli.
As teens, we’ve all hung out many a time at Henry Tham’s. Now, the family behind that now closed Colaba restaurant (and behind Trilogy and The Good Wife) has brought us KOKO, an uber fine-dining Asian restaurant located in Lower Parel’s bustling Kamala Mills. Open since July, the 3,500 sqft restaurant has the city’s longest island bar that serves mouth-watering cocktails. Worth a particular mention are the White Day, a combination of white rum, lemon juice and pineapple, and the whisky sour, which is served infused with yuzu, lemon zest and matcha tea. The menu is plentiful, with some real gems on it. We loved the asparagus tempura, crisp pork belly, and fried corn curd.
Images courtesy: Bastian, Luna Nudo Gusta, Lima/Instagram, Clearing House/Instagram, Masque, The Korner House, KOKO/Instagram