The Reveal - Colaba Junction
The Gist: Landing at the corner of Bay and College, Colaba Junction caters to the diverse, upscale Financial District crowd, much like the famous shopping square at Colaba Junction in the an upscale cosmopolitan neighbourhood in Mumbai.
The fast casual restaurant offers dishes based on food from the native fishermen Koli community, Portuguese and Anglo-Indian settlements.
Grub: The menu includes starters, street food dishes, curry bowls, two thalis, sandwiches, snacks, sides and desserts.
While some items will be familiar – Chicken Tikka Skewer ($8.85), Aloo Tikki ($6.25), Coconut Shrimp Curry ($16.50) and the popular Mumbai street food Kathi Roll ($9.50) – there is much on the menu that are wholly unique. Paneer Lasagne ($12.50) for instance, replaces the usual noodle layers with thick Indian cottage cheese, and the tomato sauce is instead a thick, creamy goji berry butter chicken sauce.
Libations: In addition to alcoholic bevvies coming soon, lassis coolers, chais and Indian sodas will delight your palate. After all, these aren’t your typical offerings: Sip on a Mango Fennel Lassi ($4.50) or Skewanjeen ($3.50), an Indian fresh lime soda with dried prunes. "Botal" drinks ($2.95) feature Indian selections of Limca – a sparkling bitter lemonade - and Thums Up, that was developed and marketed when Coca-Cola was banned in India.
Fixtures & Fittings: The modern 1400 sq. ft. space features high ceilings and a wall of windows. Butcher tables covered in slick resin, red Lucite stools and modern paisley wallpaper along the back wall all add vibrancy to the slim space. A long communal table is set under sleek black lamp hung by thick red rope.
A carefully curated selection of photographs at the back feature the native fishermen and fisherwomen of Koli, along with chai cafes and other authentic Mumbai features.
Off the Menu:
Masala Chai ($3.20) This traditional tea made with milk and fragrant spices (cinnamon, cloves and cardamom) is the perfect winter warm up.
Botal ($2.95) Limca is a cloudy lemon soda.
Paani Puri ($6.25/with vodka shot $9.25) This interactive Jhol potato puri is served on a rope bed with three waters (mango, tamarind and cilantro) that you pour into the chickpea, potato and semolina bite-size snack.
Pau Bhaji Fondue ($8.50) This is probably the first time you’ve seen fondue on an Indian menu. Here, a rich thick pot of seasonal vegetables and potatoes slow cooked in garam masala, topped with pickled onion bubbles over a small flame. Toasted pau slathered with kaffir lime butter are meant to be pulled into bite-size pieces and eaten with the "fondue" alongside cilantro chutney.
Vada Pau ($8.50) Two vegetarian burgers with Mumbai origin, Vadas are deep-fried gram flour batter coated balls of boiled and mashed potatoes, with mustard seeds, curry leaves, garam masala and red chilli. Vada is served on toasted pau with chutneys and rippled potato chips for added crunch. Delicious though fiery hot, you’ll want to make sure you have lots of water and Limca at the ready.
Paneer Lasagne ($12.50) As mentioned above, this inventive vegetarian lasagna (something you also don’t see in Indian restaurants) switches out the pasta for paneer and the tomato sauce for goji berry butter chicken sauce. Filled with eggplant bharta and green peas, and served with Bombay tawa pulao and spicy salsa, it’s a filling though not heavy meal.
Colaba Chilli Beef Fry ($12.85) Thick chunks of marinated beef are stir-fried alongside peppers and spices, topped with pickled onions and coriander atop a flaky Malabari parantha, and served with a somewhat cooling wasabi and cucumber raita.
Meat Thali ($17.95) An array of dishes - meat curry of the day, one veggie, one dal, papad, housemade pickles and dessert of the day–is presented on a stunning crescent shaped copper tray, and accompanied by piping hot basmati, and fresh naan bread. Pictured here – saag paneer, jhakaas ghost, white butter chicken, chholey, housemade pickles, and gulab jamun
How Cool is This?! The fun illustrated wallpaper just outside the washrooms is reminiscent of a café in Colaba.
At the Stove: Chef Ajay Sharma
FOH: General Manager Smit Sheth
Head Honchos: Abhishek Tandon
Deets: There are 50 seats for dining in. Take out and online ordering is also available.
Visiting Hours: Mon to Fri11am-10pm
Sat & Sun 12pm-10pm
Map It: 801 Bay St. (at College)
Phone It In: (647) 931-4820
Check out our Facebook page for more photos.