With their stellar services, tastefully done décor and relaxed ambience, these fine dining places should be in your ‘must-visit’ list when you are in India’s commercial capital
Elite and elegant, fine dining restaurants are finally making a mark in the country. Restricted earlier only to five star hotels, they are now much more spread out in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Owners of these restaurants are constantly upping their game in the culinary department and trying out quirkier methods (and cuisines) in a bid to outdo each other.
But it isn’t always necessary that all fine dining outlets will create a lasting impression in the customer’s heart and mind. There are a few that fare better than others, so here’s listing some of the best fine dining restaurants you should try out in the city of Mumbai.
A seafood lover’s delight, Chef Kelvin Cheung’s Bastian is a breath of fresh air amid an array of mediocre restobars and cafes in Mumbai. Possessing a fun vibe and a green, blue and brown colour scheme, the décor is enchanting to say the least, filled with giant crabs, mermaids, a life-sized crocodile replica that floats on a glass-tiled wall, and porthole windows to give the place its seaside feel.
Named after Sebastian, the crab from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Bastian is second to none, when it comes to offering the best quality fish. Chefs Cheung and Kwang Kim’s menu is a great selection of seafood which has been given a modern Asian spin. The top picks from their small plates are the Korean Seafood Pancake, which is rice crepe, stuffed with diced prawns and calamari, served with chilli sauce) and Tuna Poke (incredibly fresh tuna in a salad comprising cucumber, avocado, greens, dressed in sesame and lime, served with crispy rice crackers).
From the mains, you should try their special seafood market menu from which you can take your pick (the dish you want) and combine it with the sauce of your liking. We suggest you choose the lobster and combine it with dry paste of black beans, chillies and crunchy onions. And in case you were wondering, you won’t be disappointed with the meat, which is super fresh, and the portions justify the price.
Recommended for: The Singapore chilli crab, and the Tuna Poke
Where: B/1, New Kamal Building, Linking Road, Next to Burger King, Bandra West, Mumbai | 022 2642 0145| https://www.instagram.com/bastianseafood/
Slink & Bardot
Mumbai’s only French restaurant and lounge, housed in Thadani House, a family owned bungalow at the entrance of Worli village was recently launched by French chef Alexis Gielbaum and Canadian restaurateur Nick Harrison.
Painted turquoise on the outside and fern green on the inside, it has a very old-school vibe with chess patterned tiles, floral motifs and paintings on the wall and low hanging lanterns while the lounge area is dimly lit, with potted plants, botanical wallpaper, paintings and velvety couches to go with it. The dishes are largely contemporary, focusing on French techniques and sauces while the waitstaff will inform you in advance how the portions are small, because that is how the French like it.
For those who are addicted to cheese, you need to try their Brie en croute, a sweet, salty and sinful delight served with a filo shell which is glazed with honey.
Recommended for: 36-hour Belgian pork belly, steamed rose snapper, alongside some delectable red wine
Where: 329/A, Thadani House, Opposite Indian Coast Guard, Worli Village| 099671 15800| http://www.slinkandbardot.in/
If you’re a great fan of Japanese pop art, then you’ll definitely find immense pleasure in the ambience and the décor of A.D. Singh’s Hello Guppy (Olive group of restaurants), where Manga and anime references are found at every corner including the chairs, the upholstery, and even the washroom.
With its technicolour palette and Pokemon Pikachu suspended from the centre of the room, this place evokes an easy going, kawaii-obsessed Japan vibe and is the perfect place to kick back and relax. Vikram Khatri, who has previously worked with Sakura (Delhi) and Ocean Room (Sydney) has created a brilliant Japanese menu which will be memorable for all visitors, to say the least.
Don’t forget to try their chashu ramen (noodles, corn, boiled egg and some pork strips) and the tuna and avocado poke (some first-rate tuna served with sliced radish, pickled cucumber, and umami-flavoured soy and sesame dressing) which will make you crave for more and more.
Recommended for: Rice on the asparagus tempura roll, the signature pork belly (Khatri’s flavour-packed small plate) and the spicy salmon sushi
Where: C-WING, C-WING, Bharat Nagar Road, G Block BKC, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East| 077770 49773| http://www.helloguppy.com/
Toast & Tonic
Manu Chandra’s Toast and Tonic is highly recommended for all gin and tonic lovers in the Maximum City. Tucked into BKC, its interiors have a cosy and chic vibe to it alongside an old country barn feel.
The menu is crafted making use of local ingredients and regional produce with a lot of Japanese, French, Italian and Asian influence. There’s something about their fizzing house-made tonics which are infused with fruits and we recommend you try the East India Company (a concoction of gin, strawberry, clove tonic water and strawberry spiced ice), which becomes more and flavorful as the ice (with the herbs) melts.
Recommended for: Buratta, Grilled Harissa Spiced Chicken and Lobster Risotto
Where: Unit no. 1, Ground Floor, Jet Airways- Godrej BKC Building, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra-East | 080 4111 6878 | http://www.toastandtonic.com/
Tastefully done up interiors, perfect ambience and the large Buddha statue that adds charm to the decor, Shiro is definitely one of the top fine dining restaurants you can pay a visit to in Mumbai. The restaurant is divided into two floors; the first floor is the live Teppanyaki station while the ground floor is a smaller dining area that can be, on occasions, converted into a private dining area. Its impressive drinks menu boasts of an array of some tangy and refreshing mojitos while you can gorge on the food menu that comprises Japanese, Korean and Thai cuisines.
Try their highly recommended Mahtani Chicken (which is named after the owner and is a mélange of some delightfully succulent chicken, green vegetables alongside some spicy Korean flavours) which will make your world go round. Definitely worth a visit if you’re looking out for a quick business lunch or even a night out with that special someone.
Recommended for: The crispy duck sushi and the delectable Chilean sea bass in citrus sauce
Where: Bombay Dyeing Mill Compound, Pandurang Budhkar Marg, Worli, Mumbai | 022 6651 1201 | http://www.shiro.co.in/
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Photographs: Courtesy of restaurants’ Facebook pages.