In a city that has over 2,000 Indian restaurants, my first thought on hearing home grown brand, Moombai & Co, had opened in The H Hotel was ‘do we really need another one!’
After a bit of investigation, it appears I was wrong. Moombai & Co. isn’t your typical Indian restaurant, it’s in fact café style dining of Parsi and Indian cuisine. Parsi cafes are almost unique to Mumbai and were established by Persian settlers who emigrated to India from Iran in the 19th century.
Walking in, it’s like you’ve been transported back to 1950’s Mumbai with colourful Bollywood posters and vintage memorabilia adorning the half wood panelled walls. The ceiling fans, exposed brickwork, mahogany furniture, bent cane chairs and pendulum wall clocks only add to the ambiance and style which I’m told are characteristics of a traditional Parsi café.
We are shown to a table in the heart of the café with quite a few tables already occupied, a few couples, a group of Emirati ladies and several other mixed aged groups all adding to a rather friendly atmosphere. Not bad for a Monday night which tends to be one of the quieter evenings in the food and beverage game.
The menu isn’t extensive which is always welcome as you can be assured that each dish will be given the due care and attention it deserves. Chef Ashish Kumar heads the kitchen team and we’re served snow cones as an aperitif which are ice shavings topped with flavoured sugar syrup, a nice touch.
We started with Tareli Kolmi, ginger and garlic marinated prawns flavoured with curry leaves, Murgh Malai Tikka, chicken marinated with spices, yoghurt and cheese, Chaap Lababdar, lamb chops marinated in salt, lemon and a coriander chilli mix and the classic Onion Bhaji, crispy onion fritters. All the dishes were executed perfectly with balanced flavours and spice. It’s worth pointing out that the batter for the moreish onion bhaji was light and crispy with no sight or taste of grease. The stand out dish was probably the most succulent and flavoursome Murgh Malai Tikka I’ve had in a while, yummy!
We have a bit of break before mains were served and noticed their bar area. The café offers bottle aged cocktails all of which are made inhouse. Cold drip coffees, chai (spiced tea) as well as a dedicated espresso martini menu featuring their signature Aunties Chai martini.
Our main course consisted of Patra Ni Macchi, steamed white pomfret marinated with green chutney (coriander and mint) and wrapped in banana leaf, Nalli Nihari, lamb shanks and marrow cooked in a sealed copper tiffin served with keema samosa and Chicken Berry Biryani, chicken and basmati rice made with mixed berries and cooked in traditional earthenware. Again, every item was faultless, it’s not often that happens!
The concept is very much casual and the kind of place you’d visit with the other half, friends catching up or family get together as the price point represents very good value for money considering it’s licensed in a five-star property.
Let us know what you think?
Call 04 5018607.