Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier
A touch of Delhi on Mumbai's waters
Mumbai got its first floating hotel earlier this year when CM Devendra Fadnavis inaugurated AB Celestial situated at the Maharashtra Maritime Board's jetty at Bandra, and now the city seems all set to get its first floating restaurant - with some help from Delhi.
Shripriya Dalmia Thirani (inset), from the Dalmia group, won the bid recently to start floating restaurants in the form of cruises next to two of Mumbai's iconic sites, the Gateway of India and Girgaum Chowpatty. Interestingly, the Delhi-based MBA has no previous experience in hospitality.
"I was very surprised to learn that I had been awarded the rights. I am very grateful to the Mumbai Port Trust for putting faith in me,"the 37-year-old, who calls Mumbai her second home, told this diarist.
"While Mumbai has some of the best restaurants, none of them offer the opportunity to see the city's dazzling skyline from the sea," she said. Subject to approval from the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Mumbai Police, the restaurant ship is likely to be operational by the end of the year.
Li'l Miss sunshine
Actress Isha Koppikar and daughter Rianna smile for the cameras outside a Bandra restaurant last afternoon.
Chronicling the powerful Prime Minister
Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru and the first woman Prime Minister of India, still remains a vital figure in the history of Indian politics.
Be it her effort to bail Bangladesh out of crisis in 1971 or nationalising 14 banks in 1969 (considered an economic milestone), she continues to capture the imagination of the nation. Even today, books are published to chronicle her eventful life. Indira: India's Most Powerful Prime Minister by journalist Sagarika Ghose is the latest one to hit the stands in July.
On the occasion of her centenary year, the manuscript will trace her journey as a politician, a daughter and a mother. Recently, economist and politician Jairam Ramesh also released a book on her titled Indira Gandhi: A Life In Nature. It presents the former Prime Minister's life as a naturalist and how she controlled the nation's conservation policies.
Masaba gets cheeky
Designer Masaba Gupta has been keeping busy. Last week, she opened a new store in Lower Parel. And now she is working with a leading cosmetic brand, and has been sharing teasers on social media. So far, the clues she is sharing are words like candy, and pouts. We are thinking a new line of candy flavoured or edible lipstick? Watch this space for more.
A slice of Brazil in BKC
If you're tuned into Pune's F&B scene, you would know of Boteco, a Brazilian restaurant that sprung up in Koregaon Park a year ago. After establishing a second outlet in Pune six months back, owner Praveesh Govindan and co-owner and head chef Guto Souza, who hails from Minas Gerais in Brazil, are bringing their baby to BKC.
The restaurant's BKC outpost
The Mumbai outpost, which opens early next week, captures the essence of a Brazilian watering hole with hand painted graffiti and Copacabana flooring. The kitchen houses a specially designed charcoal grill to offer Brazilian barbecue-style meats, including Tenderloin Steak, Belgian Pork Steak and New Zealand Lamb Picanha.
You'll also find a seafood platter with salmon sushi rolls and crabstick salad considering the country's cuisine has embraced influences brought in by immigrants from parts of Europe and Japan.
India is known for its mind-boggling array of vegetarian preparations from regions across its length and breadth. Which is why this diarist (and many other foodies) was surprised when just one restaurant, The Bombay Canteen (TBC), made it to the recently released Plant-Forward Global 50 list.
Thomas Zacharias, Floyd Cardoz
The list has been put together by EAT, an international foundation dedicated to reforming the global food system and Culinary Institute of America - coincidentally, this is TBC chef Thomas Zacharias's alma mater.
TBC's Jowar Salad
While the restaurant does deserve a mention for taking its veggies seriously and serving up delicious Moras bhaji and Aloo Pakoda, Barley and Jowar Salad, and the Indore-inspired Bhutte ka Khees, we were equally surprised by the fact that South East Asian countries like Singapore, which are creating some seriously innovative vegan fare, also feature just six times on the list. We're just saying.