It's been an old grouse of ours. The city spells food diversity, and loves to eat out. So why not earmark a few locations across Mumbai that are converted into buzzing F&B districts?
A sea-facing view from Dome at the Intercontinental on Marine Drive. Pic/Atul Kamble
Imagine strolling down the rustic, fishing villages of Chimbai with the aroma of cooked seafood to greet you or tucking into sumptuous Irani fare in Fort, at 3 am, where you can pick from rows of restaurants each to suit your budget and palate?
These can easily evolve into culinary landmarks on the city's tourist map. Case in point: Bhendi Bazaar's night food trails have taken off famously, and are now a worldwide sensation.
Celebrate our sea-facing promenades
A city with a coastline like ours lies wasted. Look at any sea facing world city, and the answer will stare back at you. From Singapore's quays to Auckland's pub-lined coastal road, it adds a heady vibe to any city.
Mumbai's sea fronts can add glitter with global cuisine restaurants, cozy al fresco set-ups, walkways with standing supper options and harbour-facing gazebos. It's a tourist attraction waiting to happen.
Bring in food fairs and events
If a city aspires to be noticed on the global food map, it's necessary to draw worldwide attention to its local cuisine and thriving F&B industry, and also draw in world players.
MasterChef Australia Season 6 winner Brent Owens drew in the crowds during his Mumbai visit earlier this year. Pic/Nimesh Dave
Food fairs and exhibitions, innovations in the F&B industry as well as meets with famous chefs and restaurateurs can go a long way in making Mumbai a food-friendly city.
Hygienic street food, please!
Mumbai's street food is intrinsic to its melting-pot character. From Bhendi Bazaar's lip-smacking fare to Lalbaug's Chiwda Galli, and Juhu-Chowpatty's famed kiosks, there's something for every palate.
The culinary treasures of Bhendi Bazaar come alive at night, particularly during the fasting periods before Ramzan
There's enough reason to place such delectable fare with all its spicy, aromatic flavours on a pedestal. We'd love to see the Vada Pav, Pav Bhaji and the Bombay Sandwich in more places across the city, but served in hygienic environs.
Most international tourists shy away from savouring our sumptuous street food for this single reason. Why not enforce strict regulations and cleaner environs to ensure it's a safer option for the intrepid foodie-traveller?
Britannia & Co. in Ballard Estate is world-famous for its Irani cuisine. File pic
Keep our local flavours alive
Our state's regional cuisine remains untapped. Forget about being able to savour cuisine of the North East, Kashmir or Chettinad.
Rasmalai Pannacotta at Monkey Bar
Even communities, like the East Indians or the Bohras, who are intrinsic to the city don't have specialty restaurants. Look at what's happening to our Irani cafes and Udipi eateries. Culinary forays into Marathwada, Vidharbha, Aurangabad or Nagpur are waiting to be explored.
Tava Beef Kothu Roti at The Bombay Canteen. More regional innovations need to be included in our restaurant menus
The odd pop-up doesn't do justice to the vast spread. Restaurateurs should take a few risks to tickle our taste buds and move beyond the Malwani or Missal fare. Surely, Mumbai deserves a bigger platter.
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