South Mumbai’s culinary landscape is slowly transforming itself. Apart from the flood of restaurants serving Chinese, North and South Indian, and Continental cuisines, eateries serving offbeat cuisines are gradually making their presence felt here.
Every foodie worth his salt has to go to Imbiss. This diminutive eatery, tucked away in a narrow by-lane in Colaba, serves up a veritable feast of meat at affordable prices. At Imbiss, you will find everything from crispy schnitzel and hearty Bavarian ham sandwiches to juicy Kassler (cured and smoked pork chop on the bone) and immense variety of fat, swollen sausages. Vegetarians should steer clear or else satisfy themselves with an eggplant schnitzel that comes swathed in cheese and a sprinkle of fries on the side. Imbiss also offers a few dishes from other countries. For instance, you can dig into Spanish chorizo rice or a long swirl of Cumberland sausage. The chatter of surrounding tables together with the blaring music will do its best to drown out your conversation. But that will not matter; you will be too busy shovelling food into your mouth.
Pipewala Building, 4th Pasta Lane, Colaba
Almost opposite Metro cinema in Dhobi Talao you will spot a coy restaurant, with a frosted green-tinted glass door. This is Green Onion, a restaurant attached to Hotel Sapna Marine that lays its focus on typical Indian and Chinese food. But it is the Nigerian food available off the menu that is worth clamouring for. Its popularity with Nigerian guests is a testament to its authenticity. The experimental Indian palate will enjoy prawn egusi suffused with flavours of tomato, jollof rice (a sort of Nigerian mutton biryani) and a crunchy snack, chin chin. Fluffy logs of fufu are usually used to mop up the gravy dishes. It is best to know your onions before you visit though because this cuisine is unfamiliar to the Indian palate.
Hotel Sapna Marine, near Metro Cinema, Dhobi Talao, Marine Lines
Those in search of a gastronomic adventure should wend their way to a dirty lane in Dongri. Perched above a tremulous flight of stairs is Puku, another South Mumbai Nigerian restaurant. The food at this decrepit little eatery, as in Green Onion, is not overpowered by a heavy blanket of spices. Regulars suggest trying the Ofe Onugbo (a soup made with bitter leaves, thickened with cocoyam) and Moimoi Beans Cake (a rich steamed cake usually served with custard or jollof rice).
No 20, Topi Street, Dongri, Bhendi Bazaar
Sweeten your mouth after a heavy meal with a trip to Kala Ghoda’s latest French confectionary, La Folie. Partner and executive chef, Sanjana Patel flew straight out of the kitchens of the exclusive Plaza Athenee hotel to a cute little patisserie in Kala Ghoda. La Folie’s focus is squarely on sugary French concoctions, but Patel also daubs her confections with an experimental brush. She says, “Desserts are created using French techniques…and original creations combine culinary influences from all over the world. This has resulted in desserts with varied flavours like lemongrass, basil, pistachio and paan with rose gulkand.” We recommend that you eschew the ubiquitous macaron and bite into desserts like the mille feuille, Foret Noire (a Black Forest inspired cake) and the piece de resistance–the GQ, which is La Folie’s signature dessert designed by Gregory Quere, ex-sous chef of Pierre Herme. The dessert is a delightful jumble of chocolate cake, tonka bean cremeux
and fresh raspberry coulis with fresh raspberry/milk chocolate mousse. We can only say “merci”!
16 Commerce House, Rope Walk Lane, Kala Ghoda, Fort