We don’t often explore the nooks of South Bombay given that we live in Thane now but now and then, the lure of good food and drink convinces us to go the SoBo way. The Bombay Bronx or TBB, as they’d like to be known now, re-opened after a few renovations around ten days ago.
Tucked away in Breach Candy, it was only a short ride away from my workplace in Lower Parel. Two or three tables were occupied when we entered at 8 PM and the number rose only marginally as the night advanced. We liked that – if a restaurant gets filled to capacity, it inevitably gets noisy and service suffers. Nevertheless, the service still became slower in the latter part of our visit.
We had a few words with the manager, Peter when we arrived, and we decided to go with his food and drink recommendations. Perhaps we should have ordered on our own as there were many interesting items on the menu but then, the restaurant is still working on getting some things right and all of them weren’t available.
We began with lotus root chips (spectacular), masala fries (great) and khichiya papad sev puri (great). The lotus root chips were sweet and spicy with a beautiful crunch and as lovers of the Rajasthani khichiya papad, we didn’t need much convincing to give our thumbs up to the sev puri topping.
To go with these delicious starters, we slurped down pani puri pirojka and cucumber gin and tonic. The latter is a great option for gin lovers as the taste is altered very subtly by the cucumber (I had a lovely gin and tonic with rosemary in South Australia – wish someone would replicate that in Mumbai!). But if you want to feel truly Bambaiyya as the title of this post suggests, you have to try the pani puri and vodka concoction which is as spicy, tangy and flavourful as the famous street food.
The decor, which is full of quirky elements like a large poster of Amitabh Bachchan overlaid with his best known film dialogue, a wall plastered with the image of a local train and its various passengers and a vintage car at the entrance contribute further to the feeling of being immersed in Bombay’s culture.
Our visit took a slight dip on the food front in the second half. The large tandoor platter didn’t taste as good as it looked but it left us with little appetite for a main course. What I really craved was dessert but alas, none of the sweet treats on the menu were available. Anyway, the tikka platter had three types of paneer tikka, babycorn, baby potatoes and mushroom all coated in an overpowering achari marinade that didn’t let us taste anything apart from spice and sourness.
The paneer tasted a tad too tangy (we only liked the sweetish malai paneer) and the other items could only be told apart by their texture. However, we conveyed our feedback to Peter and we’re confident that if the marinade is toned down a little and fresh paneer is used, this dish could be saved.
We had planned to try a flatbread but decided to end our meal with a round of whiskey cocktails instead. That was a great decision. Our server recommended a classic whiskey sour and we weren’t disappointed. Some lemon juice, egg white and sugar are all you need to rustle up one of these and the ensuing drink is a crowd pleaser. In a nutshell, we’d suggest that you wait until the entire menu is operational and focus on the drinks and munchies when you do visit.