Khushnuma Jabulee walks you through foods of various cultures and restaurants in Mumbai that are known for serving up a particular cuisine that will have you fall deeply in love with it.
Cuisines from all over the globe tell us a story about the history of the place of origin and also speak volumes about the people living in these places. Indians are familiarised with the food and cultures of some countries, while others are still shrouded in mystery.
The Western culture, specifically America and England influence us greatly. Right from TV shows, movies, accents and music, to food, lifestyle and norms, we follow it all. Similarly, there are some cuisines that we are acquainted with, that are prominently known and cherished, like Italian, Mexican, Chinese, British and American. Yet, some are hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
Today, I will talk about global cuisine, as well as restaurants that specialise in or serve up only one cuisine. There are various restaurants all over Mumbai that do serve up similar cuisine, but these are the ones that I short listed due to various factors – mainly being the taste. All of the ones mentioned are quite pricey, but are worth going to at least once.
Italian food is probably one of the most popular cuisines in the world. So many celebrity chefs are masters of Italian food, right from David Rocco to Jamie Oliver to Marco Pierre White. Italian food is known to be hearty and brimming with craftsmanship. Some of the most sought after Italian food that is ordered by millions all across the globe on a daily basis is pizza. The beautifully tossed circular dough with tomato sauce and cheese, heated up and cooked-to-perfection in an oven is the one Unidentified Flying Object any citizen will willingly want to encounter. Pizza By The Bay at Churchgate, formerly known as Pizzeria is located opposite the beautiful seaside. Every single pizza on the menu is worth trying, as they are beyond divine. Though nothing beats the good old classic Margherita. Other dishes you can try are their pastas, bruschettas and desserts.
Mexican food is synonymous with two things – spice and flavour. Another contender for one of the most popular cuisines in the world, Mexican food is definitely the country’s gift to mankind. Those mouth-watering deep fried triangles of goodness topped with molten hot cheese we call nachos and cheese is arguably the most popular dish. Even the divinity of the Chimichangas has your favourite anti-hero, Deadpool craving for more. Mumbai has so many restaurants that specialise in Mexican cuisine, but Sammy Sosa (Oshiwara) is one that always comes to the forefront of your mind. Their Nacho Chicos, Quesadillas, Chimichangas and Burritos are to die for.
Over the past few years, Lebanese cuisine has been in the spotlight. From hummus, that is deliciously drenched with olive oil and freshly baked pita bread, to shawarmas that Toni Stark was in dire need of post the war against Loki in the first Avengers movie, Lebanese cuisine has got it all. Head to Ithaka – Veg Lebanese Kitchen in Lower Parel for a taste of Lebanon. Trust me, non-vegetarians, it is guaranteed worth a visit. Their wide variety of hummus, range of soups, mezzos and shawarma are incredible. They also twist up the taste by fusing Lebanese cuisine with Italian and Mexican to provide a cracker of a meal.
Thailand is the land of plenty of spectacular food, with various tastes and flavours. Some people mix up Thai cuisine for Chinese, Japanese or even Korean. It has its own distinct taste. Mamagoto, which is present in three locations – Fort, Hill Road and New Link Road – is known for its Asian cuisine. Though the regulars know that their Thai food will straight away take you to cloud nine. Their variety of curries, dumplings, soups, rice bowls and noodle bowls are definitely worth the visit.
The Korean invasion over the past decade has been phenomenal – starting with the infiltration of K-pop and K-dramas, which tapers into adopting their fashion, culture and food. Korean cuisine is a feast for all your senses, right from its simplistic-yet-stunning visuals, its heavenly taste, to the wonderful aroma. Koreans love a few things that they just can’t live without – rice, kimchi (traditional fermented side-dish made from napa cabbage) and meat. Heng Bok, at Bandra Talao is the home of the best Korean food in Mumbai. If you want to have delicious bulgogi (grilled marinated beef, chicken or seafood), kimchi jjigae (kimchi soup served with rice), kimbap (Korean sushi), jajangmyeon (Korean noodles with black bean sauce) or bibimbap (rice mixed with meat, eggs, chilly pepper paste and vegetables), head over to this Korean food haven.