OLD BOMBAY, GOA – BRINGING A BYGONE ERA BACK IN STYLE

Food is culture and habit. Food is identity and belonging. And in a multi-cultural city like Mumbai, food is a sentiment. While flavours from all over India and the world collide in the Mumbai of today, in erstwhile Bombay, food from four cultures of India took center stage – all of which are served in a fantastic new restaurant in Goa.

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OLD BOMBAY – MUMBAI ON A PLATE

Old Bombay is a fashionable, three-storey establishment located on the Baga-Arpora Road, close to Marina Dourada Resort, making it a great dinner spot for folks living on the tourist belt as well as Goans looking for a refreshing new restaurant to visit in the neighbourhood. Each level of Old Bombay is done up to suit different moods – with the bottom level being a bright café, the middle being a moody, eclectic restaurant and the top being a swanky, old-timey bar – each with a menu of its own.

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The interiors of the restaurant section have distressed floors, fairy lights and different seating options, including a canopy if you can eat while sitting cross-legged. Old Bombay has a charming contemporary décor, the elements of which are quite bold – cane chairs, floral wallpaper, printed cushions and even garden furniture. As you make your way up, it becomes apparent that every floor looks completely different from its predecessor. On my visit to review Old Bombay Goa, I seated myself out in the balcony of their restaurant section, overlooking the road below.

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The outside area of the first floor is easily one of the most picturesque spots to dine at in Goa –brimming with colour, with pretty blooms overhead and a colourful jute rug below with stools to match! Insta-worthy indeed! See what I mean?

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An antique allure coupled with updated, vivid flavours of the yesteryears is what makes Old Bombay Goa such an exciting place. Local dishes from the Sindhi, Punjabi, Maharashtrian and Parsi communities of Mumbai are recreated in a way that reinterprets age-old traditions while paying homage to the old times and celebrating the new. At this restaurant in Baga, you will find classic dishes from Mumbai’s diverse communities – unmistakable flavours in eye-catching avatars.

I started my meal off with Crispy Okra that came with yogurt cream, pomegranate seeds and a sprinkle of sev. An incredible melange of flavours and textures – crispy fried ladyfingers, sweet and juicy pops of pomegranate, creamy yogurt to hold it all together and sev for that Mumbai touch! An absolute must-order.

 

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Moved on to the Boti Chicken served on crispy roomali with spicy onions, next. This taco-styled dish is probably a deconstructed version of the Boti Chicken Roll, a popular street food along Mumbai’s college crowd. With some pickled onions and chicken rolled into our delicate, crispy roti, this familiar dish managed to be both flavourful and light.

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The stuffed mini kulchas were DE-LIGHT-FUL! Stuffed with cheese that’s a tad short of being molten, these bite-sized munchies have a pillowy soft texture that could take you to Cloud 9. Tip – Request some dal makhni on the side for dipping them into, instead of the green chutney that they come with by default! It is a huge step up, taste-wise!

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The Old Bombay Restaurant in Goa also serves soups and salads as well as seafood options – Tawa Pomfret, Koli Vada Fish and Chips and Calamari Cafreal, to name a few. While I was really tempted to order Marghi Na Farcha, a Parsi favourite, I ordered another dish from the same community, Chicken Berry Pulao, instead. In Mumbai, my go-to for Berry Pulao is SodaBottleOpenerWala – no one else comes close to their Parsi cuisine. Thankfully, we now have a contender in Goa, and I couldn’t be happier!

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Lastly, I tried the Saag Meat, and while I am not a fan of Saag, it’s safe to say that I’m now a convert! I was impressed by the quality of succulent, fall-off-the-bone lamb and subtle richness of the emerald gravy. Would definitely order again!

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My meal ended on a note that was slightly short of a grand finale. With only three desserts on a menu as inventive as the one at Old Bombay Goa, I was underwhelmed and skipped my favourite part of the meal altogether. Hopefully, we see some cool additions here in the near future.

A few of you have already visited Old Bombay after I posted about it on Instagram, and I’ve got fabulous feedback via DMs. So glad! Keep sending me those pictures when you visit places I recommend – you can also catch me on Twitter and Facebook.

I’m taking a small break from the food scene to take you on another travel adventure in my next post. Stay tuned for that!

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