The word ‘Haveli’ immediately conjures images of royalty and opulence. Naturally then, an invite to The Bombay Haveli, a new vegetarian restaurant in Charni Road, Mumbai added to my intrigue and excitement. Add to that was the fact that one was visiting ‘Bombay’ after a long time, instead of Mumbai.
Easily accessible, this vegetarian restaurant lives up to its name. The high ceilings, elegant but plush decor, exudes magnificence and warmth. The seating sections both down and upstairs are comfortable, although the area down appears more relaxed and less cramped. The polite and affable staff puts you at ease immediately.
I actually look forward to vegetarian meals even though am a carnivore no less, as to my mind, to wow a palate with vegetarian flavours is challenging, yet, perhaps more exciting for a chef.
The menu is eclectic – Gujarati, Rajasthani, North Indian and Parsi food and yes, some global dishes too with a twist. The food here caters to all age groups unabashedly. The sections of the menu too are creatively worded. The food is hearty and robust, true to the original flavours, yet with its own distinct character.
The patra ni machchi with a paneer version struck me as an interesting addition. The chutney is authentic and the texture of the paneer closest to that of fish here.
The Rajwadi dhokli boasts of robust flavours and the right elements of spice. Truly a palate pleaser. The panchmel dal wada is equally a delight for the taste buds and offers a great bite. The options are plenty as the menu is an exercise in choices.
For mains, the dal bati churma gets my instant vote as does the mag ni dal ni khichdi and kadhi. Absolutely comforting and replete with authentic flavours. The rustic touch to the dal bati churma is what keeps its sanctity and makes it unique. The food is refreshingly simple and unpretentious. The portions are generous and value-for-money.
Those not fond of Gujarati food can happily tuck into palak paneer, chola bhatura, yellow dal et al and there is plenty of fun food for youngsters and kids as well.
The desserts too are varied and the gulkand rabdi with jalebis that I sampled is lip-smacking- the right amount of sweetness and the perfect creamy texture of the rabdi. The gulkand flavours too are subtle. The crisp and well-fried jalebis pair well with it.
A lot of thought has gone into the menu and an earnest effort made to keep the food light yet flavourful.
The Bombay Haveli truly celebrates vegetarian food in all its glory. Kudos to Marzy Parakh, Parth Dalal and Sarthak Oza, for giving Mumbai a part of Bombay yet again.