Chef Ting Yen’s Oishii is in Boston, a city which doesn’t have its own guide yet so he hasn’t had a taste of that glory even though he’s won many others. But his stellar Japanese, Nikkei and fusion menu for Yuuka at the St Regis Mumbai does deserve accolades for its wonderful innovation and presentation. Delicious and dramatically plated dishes include the old fave called Salmon on Fire or for new menu additions such as the Poke Maguro Chirashi, a seafood lover’s dream come true, with an assemblage of the wealth of the sea crowning a layer of fresh tuna and avocado on a bed of sushi rice. Or the vegetarian truffle maki with avocado, cucumber and purple yam tempura crispies topped with generous shavings of black truffle artistically presented in a pool of tart aji sauce. The fabulous location, serenely stylish setting and impeccable service at this 38th floor restaurant make it a frontrunner in the Michelin marathon.
Where: The St. Regis Mumbai, 37 Block, 462, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel
No stranger to the Michelin magic, Chef Vineet Bhatia was one of the first chefs to win a star for an Indian restaurant in London in 2001. His own establishments abroad have earned him some well-deserved stars since. His menu for Ziya at The Oberoi, especially the multi-course Gourmand Menu that can be paired with wine, is one of the best expressions of ‘evolved Indian cuisine’ as he likes to call it, anywhere in the world. Be it that the spectacular looking Achari Tandoori Lamb Chop accompanied by mustard-laced potatoes cooked with perfectly tempered mustard, a spinach tikki as unctuous as a galouti kebab, and a pool of beautiful saunf makhni gravy, redolent with aniseed. Or just the authenticity and simple brilliance of the succulent Tandoori Prawns. For taste, ambience, service and refinement, the sea-facing Ziya has a star in its stars.
Where: The Oberoi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road, Nariman Point
When it comes to respecting local, of-the-season ingredients and celebrating each one, be it ever so humble, no other Mumbai restaurant comes close. Owner Aditi Dugar and head chef Prateek Sadhu (who has worked with many famous restaurants internationally) have spent months sourcing the produce, and perfecting the cooking techniques and presentation. It’s easy to sing paeans to the clever dishes on the set menu that use interesting juxtapositions of things like corn and chocolate, begonia flowers and wood sorrel leaves or morels and cauliflower to create a poem on your palate. Or the Ayurveda-inspired bar that allows you to design your own drinks and keep coming back for more. It may be early days yet to properly gauge the consistency of the resultant oft-changing tasting menu, but it seems to be on track for our tentative star.
Where: Gala 3, Laxmi Woollen Mill, Shakti Mills Lane, Off Dr. E Moses Road, Mahalaxmi
Molecular cooking may have lost its sizzle in recent times but the Masala Library still holds its own as a dining destination worth its Himalayan salt. Presenting delicious progressive Indian in an eminently Instagrammable avatar that is described as an exclamation-mark worthy ‘experience’ by every person who has dined there, it has managed to stay relevant. Traditional dishes like Dahi Ke Kebab or Lucknowi Galawati and Boti Tikka with Warqi Paratha are consistently recreated perfectly using original recipes from the era they originated in, while others such as showcase the fact that Indian food CAN be plated in a modern manner and rather well, at that. The combination of the expertise of India’s first foodie – Jiggs Kalra – with the passion and sharp business acumen of his son Zorawar gives it the required respect and coolth, while the smooth service and appealing ambience give it an international feel. All of this makes Masala Library a strong contender for a star.
Where: Ground Floor, First International Financial Centre, G Block, Bandra East, Opposite Sofitel Hotel
Owners Gauri Devidayal and Jay Yousuf brought their understanding of international dining and executive chef Alex Sanchez brought his culinary skills honed at some of the world’s best restaurants to create one that truly celebrates global cuisine. The fact that he was working at these places when they received their Michelin stars is a plus. But what swings the balance in their favour most is their respect for locally sourced ingredients and the fact that they have set up their own farm to grow a lot of their own produce. The warm and courteous service, the garden-fresh ingredients and the simple yet sublime flavours the dishes exhibit – that truffle risotto and that chocolate budino with earl grey ice-cream! – bode well for The Table’s Michelin chances.
Where: Ground Floor, Kalapesi Trust Building, Opposite Dhanraj Mahal, Below Hotel Suba Palace, Apollo Bunder Marg, Colaba
And the Bib Gourmand goes to…
The Michelin Guide also gives out Bib Gourmand ratings for eateries that do ‘exceptional good food at moderate prices’. These restaurants make it to our Mumbai Mich-list…
The Bombay Canteen: For expertly fusing ingredients and preparations from various regions of India and for the conscious and clever use of seasonal and local produce.
212 All Good: For making a radical concept work and creating a wonderful menu using locally sourced and sustainably grown produce that leaves our insides feeling wonderfully good too.
The Tasting Room: For being a sparkling oasis of charm in a concrete jungle and always serving up excellence in every single plate.
Soam: For being consistently good, always innovating and presenting a regional cuisine in a way that is universally appealing.
Shiro: For consistently creating excellent oriental with impeccable service for over a decade and that divinely decadent ambience with towering dimly lit statues, water bodies and light filtering through curtains of red glass droplets.