As 2013 approaches, it’s time for editors, columnists and everyone of the ilk to get into recap mode. After all, it’s the best time to look back at all that was good, bad and ugly — take potshots, throw brickbats and gift bouquets to everyone, it’s a laundry list more often than not.
Looking into the crystal ball is always fun. Even more if our eye is on Mumbai’s foodscape. If there was one defining factor that gave our city’s bursting-at-its-seams eating out culture a shot in the arm, it would arguably have to be the number of restaurants that opened across the length and breadth of the island city, and its many extensions.
Let’s face it — we, as a part of the reviewing community, loved it. Never mind the sluggish service, the over-the-top interiors and the unreasonable pricing. What mattered to our ilk was the food — to deliver what was promised. Yes, there were days when we salivated at the sight of the authentic spread. At other times, we couldn’t believe our luck with the specialty restaurants. And then, there were occasions when we had celebrity chefs who’d have the city’s foodies eat of their hands. Indulgent, inspiring and often admirable, Mumbai never saw a year as good as 2012 when it came to the opening of new restaurants, cafes, pastry shops, bakeries, lounges…the works.
It was also the year that saw, in rather inexplicable fashion, the shutting down of many restaurants. Bad timing, too much of the same thing, overzealous menus, and sometimes, there seemed no plausible reason whatsoever for its demise. While areas like Fort, Colaba witnessed an emphatic resurgence on the restaurant map, Versova and Bandra saw a rollercoaster ride as eating spaces, lounges and nightspots opened, shut, and reopened (under different avatars) with alarming regularity. Townships in and around Powai, Mulund, and the office district of Lower Parel did well too, to cater to their specific walk-ins.
And, since everyone is busy working up wishlists, we couldn’t but resist jotting down one too, for our city’s foodies, yours truly included. We would love to see more restaurants, as always, especially doling out the traditional, region-centric fare in areas like Worli and Mahim (seafood, Koli, Malwani cuisine), Chembur and Matunga (South Indian), Tardeo, Prabhadevi and Dadar (Maharashtrian) and Ghatkopar (Gujarati, Marwari).
Seriously, we’ve had our share of Asian, American and Continental cuisine spots light up the city’s culinary map, and would love it, as reiterated in one of our earlier columns, if enterprising restaurateurs do justice to Indian khana.
So, here’s hoping that there are more places to dine at, more cuisines to experiment with, and the best part — an endless entrée of great food — as we continue to raise a toast to the city’s never-say-die eating out culture. Watch this space.
The writer is Features Editor, MiD DAY