Mid-day Restaurant Awards 2019: Flavours of India meet at Guide Awards night
The stars of the Best New Regional Restaurant trophy at the upcoming The Guide Restaurant Awards, celebrate the diversity of the country's culinary cultures
The growing interest in regional food kicked off a few years ago, and the curiosity refuses to die. So, whether it's a Southern American chef trying to make grits great again, or a Tamilian restaurateur hoping to acquaint Mumbaikars with the heritage of the South, regional cuisine is setting the agenda in the F&B world.
At the second edition of The Guide Restaurant Awards presented by mid-day, our goal is to find the most unique eateries offering authentic flavours and outstanding service. And these four regional cuisine eateries have passed the litmus test, so, go right ahead and book a table.
Tanjore Tiffin Room
Go there for: Padmini's mutton cutlet
Having been in the industry for 30 years after moving to the city in 1993, Tanjore Tiffin Room's owner, Kishore DF, began pining for home. "I grew up in Madras but all my restaurants have always catered to a niche crowd. So, I have mostly set up western cuisine outposts or bars. I wanted to give back and also, go back to my roots," he says about what prompted the idea of a Chettinad restaurant. Known for delicacies sourced from Kishore's family cookbook, including his mother and grandmother's recipes, like Padmini's mutton cutlet and Pankajam's lamb chops, this eatery has slowly emerged as a crowd favourite. "We have always been peevish about ourselves and our culture. It's almost like hiding. So, I thought it was time to be honest and explore where we came from," he tells us.
AT Jewel Mahal Shopping Center, 7 Bungalows, Versova, Andheri West.
TIME 12 pm to 1 am
Pics/ Ashish Raje
Go there for: Chittol machcher muitha
Karaishuti Kochuri and aloo dum
"People think Bengali food means puchka and rolls. That's really strange to me," says Priyadarshini Dey, owner of Rajbari Rasoi, an aesthetically done up dining space that seeks to pay homage to Bengal's diverse cuisine. "I designed the place bearing in mind Kolkata's rajbaris because I wanted to reciprocate the culture and cuisine of zamindari households. So, you won't find fish fry on the menu, but you will find fish kobiraji [crisp fish chop]," she says . Replicating the aesthete of the grand palaces of North Calcutta, this eatery offers Bangali bhoj and features homespun dishes like chittol machcher muitha. "When I moved to Mumbai nine months ago, I realised that most Bengali eateries here are cubbyholes like the haunts back home that serve basic daal chawal-sabzi. I wanted to change that," Dey adds.
AT Sterling Tower CHS Apartment, Andheri Lokhandwala, Andheri West.
TIME 12 pm to 12 am
Pics/ Ashish Raje
House of Lloyd
Go there for: Bangda cutlets, kokum prawns
Agassaim Sausage Chilli Fry
Susegad is the perfect antidote for the over-worked Mumbaikar. It's understandable then, that this city's foodies love a good Goan pork sorpotel almost as much as a spicy kombdi vade. "We wanted to get authentic Goan food to Mumbai. And I think, we have been able to achieve that by sourcing all the masalas, seafood and poie from Goa. It has made all the difference," says Abhayraj Kohli, co-owner. Four years ago, Kohli and head chef Lloyd Braganza collaborated for a pop-up. They stayed in touch and then, last year opened an outpost of the much-loved Candolim restaurant in Juhu that has been dishing out delectable eats like kokum prawns, peri peri chicken and prawn curry with ladies finger.
AT Hotel Royal Garden, 1st Floor, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu.
TIME 7 pm to 1.30 am
Pics/ Atul Kamble
Duma Dum Mast Kalandar
Go there for: Sindhi singgar ji mithai, tariyal teevan chap
Dal Pakwan with arbi tuk
Restaurateur Dharmesh Karmokar's Sindhi wife once pointed out to him how Pakistan did not exist before 1947. "This got me thinking about Sindhi and West Punjabi food and I decided to open this restaurant," Karmokar says, adding, "It is our constant effort to give Mumbai an experience of this cuisine. All our recipes have been carefully crafted with the help of older women from the community whose experiences we dipped into." Popular for dishes like tariyal teevan chap or Sindhi mutton chops and singgar ji mithai, which is barfi made with plain sev, this restaurant has slowly become a favourite among Chembur's discerning diners.
AT Bezzolla Complex, Sion Trombay Road, Chembur.
TIME 12 pm to 3.30 pm; 7 pm to 1 am
Pic/ Sameer Markande
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