Our ‘Top Three’ recommends for fine-dining restaurants in Mumbai
As with any international city, Mumbai confronts the wary traveller with literally thousands of restaurant choices which often leads to them defaulting to staying in their hotel where ‘it’s safer’ (which might not actually be the case ) or venturing into Colaba and buzzy Leopolds café/bar/restaurant which has become the haunt of any Westerner unsure of Indian cuisine.
It’s often difficult to get an impartial recommend or a reliable steer towards fine dining and over the many years we’ve visited and stayed in Mumbai we’ve sampled all sorts of cuisine and come out with three distinct favourites.
There are many new restaurants opening up to challenge these three but we value them for consistency of service, cuisine and atmosphere. We think they’re hard to beat.
4 Mandlik Road, Colaba, Mumbai , 400 001
This has long been a favourite of ours since it opened in 1999 and almost a ‘must visit’ whenever we’re in Mumbai. It’s located within an attractively restored colonial bungalow near the Gateway of India in Colaba district. The cosmopolitan atmosphere is reflected in the blend of continental European and Indian cuisine that is beautifully and imaginatively prepared. The rooms are light and airy with a choice of spaces with natural light or more subdued seclusion that radiate from the central bar area that thrives after dark. A restaurant for both day and evening, the roof terrace is a pleasant touch in the evenings if you fancy twinkling starlight whilst dining.
Lobster bisque, on the menu since inception, is the signature dish but we’d be hard pushed to select one favourite from amongst the many mouth watering choices.
If you choose no other restaurant whilst in Mumbai then Indigo is our clear winner and the one to visit. Fine dining, fine wines, fine ambience – we love it!
145, M.G. Road, Fort Mumbai 001
Although many fine dining restaurants in Mumbai will claim to be the haunt of both celebrities and royalty, in our opinion Khyber has traded for nearly fifty years on its appeal to global visitors for ‘proper Indian cuisine’ with its predominance of Northwest Frontier influenced dishes. Tucked into the art and heritage district of Mumbai, a stone’s throw from Flora Fountain, Khyber appeals to us for its many levels of seating, unusual décor (especially upstairs) and consistently reliable and tasty Indian cuisine. Once you pass through the grand entrance doorway you won’t know if it’s night or day but you’ll quickly appreciate the attentive service and varied menu – well worth trying.
7 Sai Baba Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort Mumbai
Tucked away in a side street of Fort Mumbai, Trishna’s rather austere façade does little to entice a random visit and the interior seems as though it’s been made from two different adjacent restaurants. Whatever visual confusion you might experience it’s soon dispelled by the warm welcome and wonderful menu.
Predominantly a speciality fish restaurant, Trishna elevates itself for us by the staff’s willingness to advise choice and selection of dishes. On our last visit we opted for garlic and onion prawns with Tandoori Pomfret joined by a medley of mixed vegetables. Both were excellent but you do both need to eat the same unless you want to spend the night alone afterwards – given the drenching in garlic that the prawns, vegetables – and we – enjoyed!
We were tempted to try an Indian wine but deterred by the witty and honest waiter; so enjoyed the more predictable French wines on offer.
Atmosphere here is more a reflection of the number of diners rather than any inherent charm of the property but the culinary delights more than make up for any shortfall in ambience.
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