India is nothing short of a culinary haven for our epicurean souls, after all, it is home to a number of ground-breaking restaurants that tempt diners from far and beyond. And with the restaurateurs keeping the culinary arena exciting and experimental, you’ll find impeccable kitchens across the map that’ll set your taste buds for a ‘shock & awe’ treatment with food that celebrates each and every ingredient and plays with a kaleidoscope of flavours and textures. The availability of such diverse cuisines in India – be it regional delicacies, fusion fare or Haute international cuisines
– makes it truly difficult to make a choice from this assortment. Therefore, we decided to do the hard work for you and have listed some of the trailblazing restaurants in India that you need to dine at, pronto – each of these comes with a uniqueness that warrants your love and guarantees a drool-fest!
The Bombay Canteen, Mumbai
When it comes to Mumbai’s food scene, The Bombay Canteen stands on the top of the pack. With an ever-evolving India-inspired menu, it presents a simple, seasonal and sophisticated twist on the Indian cuisine – be it Desi Tacos, Barley & Jowar Salad, Chettinad Prawns “Ali-Yolio”, Green Tomato Butter Chicken, Gulab Nut or Coffee Rasgulla. And these must-try culinary innovations are complemented by a distinguished selection of classic cocktails reimagined with Indian charm. Fighting Spirit, Nightcap, Bombay Sour and Runner’s high are few of the delicious fancy drinks on the menu. If a ‘desi’ meal is what you are craving, then put The Bombay Canteen on the map right away. And be ready for an exciting yet familiar culinary journey!
Opened by the chef-duo Hanisha Singh and Jamshed Bhote, Plats (French for ‘plates’) serves dishes from around the world in a clean, calming ambiance. Charred Broccoli, Liver Parfait Choux Buns, Pork Chorizo Dumplings, and Tiramisu Mille Crepe Cake are just a few of the must-try dishes from their impactful menu of small and large plates. Centered around cozy global flavours, it is the place to be if you are looking for a hearty meal.
The Permit Room, Bengaluru
The Permit Room is a celebration of South India’s eclectic pop-culture and divine culinary heritage in the familiar setting of a pub, after all, it’s in Bengaluru. From Cubbon Pork Salad to Okra Podi Chips, Andhra Style Chilli Chicken to Calamari 65, you can enjoy all this and much more of the South Indian fusion fare with a pint of craft beer or a fancy fusion cocktail (like Fizzy Kosambari or Patti’s Magic Rassam). And do not miss the Filter Kaapi Pot Du Crème for a memorable edge to your mind-blowing fusion experience.
Ummrao, Courtyard by Marriott, Mumbai
Nestled in Courtyard by Marriott (Mumbai), Ummrao gives you a delightful chance to experience the grandeur of Nawabs and the richness of Awadhi cuisine. Presenting a food extravaganza from the royal kitchens of Lucknow, Hyderabad, Faizabad, Rampur and more, their menu (designed by chef Mukhtar Qureshi) delivers traditional flavours with a contemporary approach. And the dishes that should top the list are Malihabad Kakori, Ummrao Avataar-e-Haalim, Purane Chowk Ki Nalli Nihari, Kareli Dudhia Biryani and Purdah Khubhani Tart. When it comes to drinks, you are spoilt for choice with some incredible alcoholic (Bill Boothby & Ada Coleman) and non-alcoholic concoctions (Justuju, Ba-Dastoor & Zarra) that bring an exciting twist to old-world flavours. This unique celebration of the fine flavours of Awadh will leave you going back for more; making your every trek to Andheri East a worthwhile adventure.
Ping’s Bia Hóî, Sangolda
Set in Sangolda, Ping’s Bia Hóî is a combination of a Vietnamese beer garden and Southeast Asian street food haunt, by the team behind Jamun, PCO, and Sazerac. With a lively, kitschy setting (clothing lines at the entrance, vintage Vietnamese posters on walls, colourful barber shop kiosk, and flower baskets), authentic Asian flavours and freshly brewed Vietnamese beer (Bia Hóî), it brings the streets of Hanoi alive, right here in North Goa. Try their Philadelphia Cheese Dim Sums, Sticky Pork Ribs, Miso & Red Chilli Crabs, Dynamite Shrimps, and Dark Chocolate Marquise. And of course, wash it all down with some fresh Bia Hóî! Or well, a few Elderflower Spritzers.
The Table, Mumbai
Along with The Bombay Canteen, The Table has also become an institution when it comes to Mumbai’s culinary scene. With a truly global menu and locally sourced finest ingredients, they have created a remarkably consistent and flavoursome experience. Think Avocado Toast, The Table Salad, Zucchini Spaghetti, Boneless Chicken Wings, Australian Lamb Shank, Tiramisu and a lot more goodness. Whenever in Mumbai, coming here will only make your visit much more special.
Coromandel Café, Puducherry
Situated in a rose-tinted colonial villa, Coromandel Café has created a gastronomic euphoria in Puducherry with fresh Coromandel coast seafood, stone-fired pizzas, coffee, and cakes. With pink as a running theme across their menu, you can’t stop but swoon over the Hot Pink Eggs Benedict, The Pink Plate, Posh & Pink Tagliatelle, Rose Petal Coromandel Martini, and The Pink Bungalow cocktail. Seafood lovers, be sure to try their Bamboo Island Crunchy Calamari and Andaman Spiced Prawns. And since any time is a good time to have pancakes, do try their Ultimate Pancake Stack for a complete feel-good experience.
Karishma is a science nerd turned fashion and beauty writer who loves talking about trends as much as eating desserts. Gucci, salted caramel ice-cream, jewels, and Simba (her dog) make up four chambers of her heart. Like Karishma’s story? Drop her a line in the comments section below.