Out of all the restaurants in a city, 10 Best narrows the options to those places with the most appeal and the best reputations. We offer carefully vetted selections to let you explore Mumbai dining on your own. If time is really tight, though, and you don’t have the leisure to look through all our offerings, we present our Mumbai Best Restaurants list. Here, we distill the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can’t miss.
Indigo sets the standard that other restaurants in Mumbai strive to follow. The modern European creations cooked up by Indigo’s chefs are breathtaking — one group rated the restaurant as one of the top 60 ‘hot tables’ in the world. It’s set in a stylishly modernized colonial bungalow, and the innovative food is matched by the service, atmosphere and the thought-provoking international wine list. (022-6636-8980, 022-6636-8999)
Even compared to the other classy restaurants at the ITC Grand Maratha Sheraton, Peshawari is in a class of its own. The menu showcases the cuisine of Bukhara on the Northwest Frontier, including richly spiced meat kebabs and dense curries. The kebab platter features a selection of the tastiest kebabs in Mumbai, great for sharing. No cutlery is provided — diners eat with their hands to really get in touch with the food. (022-2830-3030)
A grand old dame of the Mumbai dining scene, Gaylord is as popular today as it was when it first opened in the 1950s. The menu covers a huge range of Indian and continental dishes, all competently prepared and served in double quick time. Regulars make a beeline for the creamy murg Makhani (butter chicken). You can eat indoors or sit out amongst the potted plants and topiary in the front courtyard. (022-2282-1259)
You can’t fault Khyber when it comes to food or atmosphere. Reached through a heavy wooden doorway at Kala Ghoda, the dining room is a mock-up of an Afghan palace, complete with marble arches and perforated screens. Food matches the grand surroundings — expect lots of meaty grills and curries from the Mughal north-west. Reservations are strongly recommended. (022-4039-6666)
One of four world-class restaurants at the ITC Grand Maratha, Pan-Asian cooks up the finest dishes from Japan, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Mongolia, Myanmar and Korea. The Korean barbecue is blisteringly authentic, and the Chinese menu runs to Beijing duck and excellent sushi and sashimi. This is Asian dining at its most stylish, attracting gourmets from across the city. (022-2830-3030)
5 India Jones
Cuisines from across Asia are celebrated at this elegant and sophisticated restaurant at the Hilton Towers in Nariman Point. The menu gathers dishes from as far afield as Thailand, Japan, China and Korea. This is hotel dining at its most refined, and the setting — in a modernist dining room full of Chinese calligraphy and Asian artifacts — is perfect for a business lunch or dinner. (022-6632-6330)
4 Olive Bar & Kitchen
There’s a good chance you’ll bump into Bollywood glitterati at this hidden-away eatery in Khar. The menu of Mediterranean food changes regularly but all dishes are prepared with plenty of fresh ingredients — standout options include healthy Italian salads and home-made pasta. The atmosphere is chic but casual — eat inside or outside on the terrace and wear your best Tarun Tahiliani shirt. (022-2605-8228)
Like the other three award-winning restaurants at the ITC Grand Maratha Sheraton, Dakshin dazzles. The focus here is on South Indian food, with vegetarian and fish dishes from across the region, from Kerala to Karnataka. Meals are served in a dining room that conjures up the steamy exoticism of the south, complete with brass idols and flower garlands. A place to bring guests you want to impress. (022-2830-3030)
2 Golden Dragon
According to legend, this grand Chinese restaurant at the Taj Mahal Palace was the first place in India to serve fiery Szechuan dishes from south-west China. Today, it still wins plaudits for the complex flavours of its Chinese and Cantonese cuisine. The lunchtime dim sum is particularly fine, but you’ll need to reserve a table at weekends. (022-6665-3366)
1 Leopold Café
A traveller institution, Leopold is crowded nightly with visitors from across the globe. The large open-plan dining room is an atmospheric place to enjoy Chinese, Indian and continental food — the tandoori and Irani dishes are particularly good. Come early for dinner then settle in for the evening with a beer tower (three pints in a glass canister) or a bottle of Indian wine. (022-2202-0131)
BY HARSHVARDHAN SINGH.