You know how sometimes when you eat at a restaurant and you sample something that puts you in a happy place, that’s when you know the chef was on top of the world while putting that dish together. In the case of The Bombay Canteen, it seems like the chefs are a happy lot all the time! Now I’m not the one to wax eloquent about any place on the blog like this but, in my opinion this restaurant totally deserves it. Every time I’ve been there has been a revelation – ingredients I didn’t know of, combinations I haven’t had before (that Coffee Rasgulla with Salted Caramel Ice cream is just the most amazing creation ever!). So when the popular food portal Burrp invited a couple of bloggers for lunch at TBC, I was quick to accept. I knew the food would be outstanding & I also wanted to know what happened to this portal that was doing so well!
Let me talk to you about Burrp to begin with. Burrp has taken on a new, snazzy avatar complete with a revamped logo & look. It also comes in the form of a mobile app, which we tried out during the lunch with varying degrees of success, that’s available on Android & iOS platforms. While at heart it remains a food portal, there are some distinguishing features like – what to eat & where, etc. The team behind Burrp took us through the app & it’s features. They also told us about a lot of fun stuff they have in store for the app.
Moving on to the food.
One look at the menu and I was drooling. The brains behind TBC have put together some ‘Winter specials’, which they wanted us to sample. Quickly, I realised I wasn’t the only one! We began with some beverages. I opted first for the Winter Apple Sangria. This is delightful blend of wine, crisp apples, cider & a hint of brandy. Warm & fruity I could picture myself sipping on this as the mercury drops.
I also tried some of the others like the Masala Coke which was a hit at our table. The Ganga Jamuna Margarita was a cocktail-ish twist to the popular juice. For my second drink, the South Indian in me was intrigued so I asked for the Cinnamon & Curry leaf Iced Tea. With subtle hints of spices & a very mild trace of curry leaves, this was delicious. I was a little apprehensive about how curry leaves would go with Assam tea, but this was a very compatible partnership!
The food arrived soon & we just couldn’t keep our hands off the table! We started with the famous Kejriwal toast. For someone who is a late egg eater in life, I relished this, especially that tangy-spicy green chutney that comes with it.
Next came the Cheeseling bhel. There was a lot of curiosity around the table about this dish. After a couple of bites there were mixed reactions. But for me, I couldn’t stop eating this one. The crunchy cheeselings were a perfect foil for the pungent mustard oil dressing, think jhal muri, and the kohlrabi and apples added the right amount of texture.
Then we had the Smoked Mushroom Seekh, which was a revelation. The smoky funghi just absolutely shone in this dish and if a plate of mutton seekh was placed along side it, I would have probably ignored the latter! That’s how good it was.
We also had the Desi Tacos. This one is sure to scandalise the Gujju population, but one bite and you realise it’s a masterpiece. Who would have thought methi theplas & chicken chettinad would go so well together? TBC also does the dish with a pulled pork topping and that’s never been a disappointment.
The main courses followed this. First up was the Choriz Per Edu. A delightful Goa meets Bawa dish, this had Goa sausages or choriz cooked with potatoes and a soft boiled egg. This was served with hot buttered pav. Yummy! There was also a very contemporary version of the humble Bharli vangi – Videshi Baingan Bake, layers of eggplant & peanut gravy that was baked & served with a tomato gravy & garlic croutons. I have to tell you that the dish this was served in was so eye-catching that we couldn’t stop oooh-ing & aah-ing over it.
I absolutely love Sarson Ka saag and while I was pleasantly surprised to see it on the menu I was also eager to see what twist TBC had given it. The TBC team told us that they didn’t play around too much with the saag – it was served with white butter & jaggery like it’s supposed to be. Their innovation was with the usual Makkai ki roti, which was turned into a cornbread to go with the saag. While it was a little on the sweater side, this combination worked for me. It was so hearty & wholesome that I went in for a second helping!
The dessert we were to have was a Gajar halwa toffee pudding and while it sounds delicious, let me tell you – it was absolutely out of this world! This was a toffee pudding studded with dates, topped with candied Delhi carrots enrobed in a toffee sauce with hints of tamarind (which made it irresistible) and finished with a quenelle of cream. We met chef Floyd Cardoz, one of the brains behind Bombay canteen’s menus and he told us how this dish was still work in progress. Well, if this is what work in progress tastes like then I bet the finished product is nothing short of a masterpiece!