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Hip Lower Parel canteen offers offbeat menu, good ambiance

With an innovative menu that rejigs typical Indian fare (with a few passable downers) and a cool ambiance, Lower Parel’s The Bombay Canteen, won our hearts

The Bombay Canteen
Food: Good
Service: Quick
Ambiance: Roomy

From the unending list of new restaurants and pubs that have opened in the city, Lower Parel’s The Bombay Canteen (TBC) stumped us with its crowds, within a week of its opening.

Pork Vindaloo
Theplas topped with Pork Vindaloo

We instantly fell in love with its interiors: the beautiful glass panels made a full house look roomy and the done-to-death industrial décor was restricted. Bar counters decorated with jars and Wibs breads gave an Irani café feel to it. The menu kept up the tempo with Indian dishes, served with a twist: the Thepla Tacos and Seafood Bhel being just two of the several wacky combinations on the menu. Keeping in mind the prices at eateries in the locality, TBC would dig a little less deep in your pockets, especially with its bar prices. They also serve craft beers by The Gateway Brewing Co.

Jhoom Jaam
A variety of ingredients come together to make the tasty Jhoom Jaam cocktail

Our cocktail for the night was Jhoom Jaam (Rs 425, all prices are tax-exclusive) with Pork Vindaloo Taco (Rs 250) and Pumpkin Paneer Seekh Kebab (Rs 150) for starters. As we waited for our food, we were served a ‘Chintu’ (Rs 40 for veg), which is essentially a fancy bar snack that many eateries and watering holes would serve for free. The options were cheesesticks, fried lotus stems and pickled veggies.

The glass panels make the interiors feel roomy
The glass panels make the interiors feel roomy

The service was quick and our attendants were well-versed with the menu and ably guided us to pick our mains too. Jhoom Jaam was an unusual combination of pandan leaves, orange bitters, apricot jam, and white chocolate syrup that hit our taste buds at the fag end of each sip; we nearly chugged this delicious cocktail at one go. Our thepla tacos served with pulled pork vindaloo on top was equally appetising as the delicate fringes of pork offered a burst of flavours with the hot spices. The seekh kebab’s crusty outside with pasty centre was complemented with radish and apple raita; this had us singing Hallelujahs about the wonders of pumpkin. Kudos to chef Floyd Cardoz (culinary director) and Thomas Zacharias (executive chef) for making the ordinary hipster-friendly.

Tava Beef Kothu Roti that comes with a fried egg makes for a filling meal
Tava Beef Kothu Roti that comes with a  fried egg makes for a filling meal

For the mains, we picked the Tava Beef Kheema Kothu Roti (Rs 550), and Hara Chana and Vatana Bunny Pao (Rs 350). The beef dish was a mix of veggies tossed minced beef; here, the Kothu Roti comes topped with a fried egg, and coconut gravy on the side. Despite being a satiating dish with the meat and the coconut gravy that needs to be poured in, the flavours were light and we didn’t feel stuffed.

The Bunny Pao was a beautifully presented dish with the bread bowl and desi toppings such as chutneys, sev and groundnuts on the side. Despite tempting our taste buds, we felt a bit underwhelmed. Likewise with the Falooda Sundae (Rs 250), which was very ordinary; the half-empty jar made us feel short-changed, as we are used to indulging in falooda served to the brim.

We’ll put these grouses as teething problems for what was otherwise one of our most memorable recent reviews.

map

Time: 7 pm to 1 pm
At: Kamala Mills, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel.
Call: 49666666

The Bombay Canteen didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.

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