Restaurants dishing out regional cuisine in Mumbai

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By Papri Das

The past week saw Mumbaikars break into a series of multi-cultural festivities - be it the Bengalis bringing in their Naba Barsha (New Year) with Pohela Boishakh, the Assamese honouring their spring harvest with Bohaag Bihu, the colourful Punjabis rejoicing over Baisakhi, which also marks the founding day of the Sikh Khalsa, the Malayalis from Kerala ringing in their New Year ?Vishu? with auspicious sights, or the people hailing from Tamil Nadu decorating their homes with Vilakku Kolam (rangoli) to welcome their New Year or Varsha Pirappu.

Each one of these festivals have their own customs, rituals and cultural activities, which give them their own unique flavour. And none of them are complete without trying a lavish spread of their own regional cuisine. But how does one have the gustatory experience of home, when they are staying miles away in Mumbai? To save you from this predicament, and allow you to try the mouth watering delicacies of these regions, Exec Lifestyle has compiled a list of popular restaurants in Mumbai that are known for serving authentic regional cuisine.

Taste of Tamil Nadu:

Cafe Madras: If you are up for a wholesome Tamil breakfast complete with a sumptuous variety of idli, dosa, sambar, coconut chutney and vada, Cafe Madras is where you must head to. This pocket friendly kiosk at King's Circle, Matunga East, has a wide range of options to choose from. Although not associated with their New Year preparations, we definitely recommend their filter coffee and raagi dosa as must haves from the menu.

Cost: Rs 250 for two.

Dakshin Culture Curry: As their tag goes ?when culture met curry?, dining experience at Dakshin Culture Curry Lokhandwala Road, Andheri West comes with a promise of authentic flavours of South India, including Kerala and Tamil Nadu, served with a dash of their vibrant pop culture. Their Chettinad recipes are praise worthy, and so are their quirky menu cards, which have cut outs of popular actors from Kollywood and Mollywood films.

Cost for two: Rs 1500

Taste of Punjab:

The Great Punjab: This has been an all time favourite of those Mumbaikars who have a taste for Punjabi recipes beyond Makkai Ki Roti, Sarso Ka saag, and tandoori chicken, cause authentic Punjabi food is so much more diverse. Not just regulars from the city, but this restaurant at Linking Road, Bandra West, enjoys patrons from all parts of India, who never fail to drop by when visiting the city. With gorgeous interior and soothing lighting, it completes your fine dining experience with a valet service at the door.

Cost for two: Rs 1000 (non alcoholic)

Kailash Parbat: If you are looking for something less taxing on your wallet, then you must try Kailash Parbat at New Link Road, Lokhandwala, Andheri West. With a more casual and laid back approach, it is an ideal place to hit with both family and with friends. Although they serve dishes from all parts of India, they are mostly known for their expertise in cooking authentic Punjabi recipes. We also recommend you to tickle your taste buds with the chaats on their menu.

Cost for two: Rs 600

Taste of Bengal:

Bhojohori Manna: For all the Bengalis living in Mumbai, Bhajahari Manna, is a solace of sorts answering their cravings for home food. It has built its reputation not just with stunning interior designing and visuals, but also by staying consistent with their quality of food and word of mouth publicity. Be it their mouth watering recipes with fish (Bhetki Batter Fry and Shorshe Ilish) on Non-veg or the wide range typical bengali vegetarian preparation like Mochar Ghonto and Alu Posto, their tasteful preparations with transport you to the streets of Kolkata.

Cost for two: Rs 600

Bijoli Grill: If you are looking for a more colourful place with a youthful approach, try Bijoli Grill. Starting from Pona Shorshe (A fish recipe) to Chingri Machher Malai Curry (Prawns cooked in coconut milk), their carefully curated menu will leave you spoilt for choices. It goes without saying that finishing your meal without your choice of desserts from their bengali sweet menu will leave your experience incomplete. To top it off, their interior is artistically colorful and makes for a great fine dining experience.

Cost for two: Rs1200

Taste of Kerala:

Lalit Refreshment: A favourite amongst many Malayaalis living in the city, this restaurant Near City Bank, Fort, is built in a canteen style, which, combined with friendly management and waiters, puts you immediately at ease, especially if its your first time at the place. Known for their typical Kerala style of service, the food you order here is preceded by Karingali Vellam (Ayurvedic herbs with warm water), which is good for digestion. On the menu you have a variety of fish recipes to choose from, which are generally cooked spicy. If you are a fan of Kerala snacks, you might want to take home some of their homemade snack varieties like banana chips, kappa and daal wada.

Cost for two: RS 400

South of Vindhyas - The Orchid: This pan-South Indian restaurant is known for its minimalistic approach in their interior designing brilliantly contrasted with an extensive list of choices on their food menu. If you hail from Kerala and miss the authentic flavours of their curries and masalas, South of Vindhyas will surely satiate your cravings.

Cost: The buffets ranges from Rs 1000 to Rs 1500

Taste of Assam:

Bhogdoi: Perhaps the only restaurant in the heart of Mumbai city, which has exclusive menu for Assamese cuisine, Bhogdoi is a familiar name amongst those who have a liking for the distinct taste of Assamese preparations. If you don?t have something specific in mind and would like a to taste a bit of all, we suggest you to go with their authentic Assamese thalis, which comes in both veg and non-veg (including a variety of choices of fishes and Assamese chicken curry). Cost for two: Rs 400

Now that you know where to go to get your fix of regional cuisine, we hope you make great memories eating out with your friends and family!

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