A celebration of all things Indian, The Bombay Canteen is one of our favourite haunts in Mumbai. A former parking lot situated in the heart of Kamala Mills, this restaurant perfectly blends old world charm with fresh, modern elements, in its architecture as much as its menu. Cement and brick partitions give way to walls of steel and glass. Menus come in register notebooks, with new items marked out in fluorescent highlighter. It’s full of cosy corners and warm light, perfect for a meal alone, for drinks, or for intimate conversation. It is nostalgia and brand-new all at once.
Bombay Canteen was established by Yash Bhanage and Sameer Seth. Both have travelled the world, working in cities from New York to Singapore, before they made their way back to Mumbai to set up this restaurant that feels like it is already a classic. Yash trained at IHM in Goa and at Cornell University’s Hotel School before opening up Antidote in Singapore, a bar that won “Best Bar in Singapore” in 2014. Co-founder Sameer grew up in Delhi and, like Yash, holds a Master’s Degree from Cornell University’s Hotel School before working in restaurants including New York’s Bar Bouloud and North End Grill.
While we ate Virar Chicken Bhujing (a chicken and poha biryani that traces its roots back to its namesake Virar), crispy karari gobi sprinkled with caramelized milk powder, and fresh pomfret grilled to perfection, Sameer and Yash took the Nico Q&A.