Feature, Mumbai

The Changing Face of Food in Mumbai

31 Dec , 2015  

Let’s admit it – food is sexy right now. Knowing your maki from nigiri or talking about the slight hint of acidity to balance out the flavours of your salad will win you attention and adulation in any conversation. And the best part? You don’t even have to be a cook to be leading such conversations!  I couldn’t help but sleuth around to find out what’s making Mumbai so hot for food!

1) MasterChef Australia masterchef australia

Because Gary, George & Matt Preston (yes, we all feel like we know them well) showed us that risotto ought to be creamy without any hint of cream in it!

2) Food Entrepreneurs

A meal kit by Haute Chef

Jiggs Kalra told me about how he wasn’t allowed into his mother’s kitchen as a kid because his father didn’t want him to become a “bawarchi”. But 2015’s food entrepreneurs like Vishal Shah of Haute Chef and Rupali Samant of Choc Le lived the 9 to 5 routine of corporate jobs, only to switch careers to follow their food dreams. And neither seem to have any illusions about the hard work involved. In Shah’s case, it was driving home the concept of a meal kit with measured ingredients to consumers and for Rupali the sheer volume of her business that can produce 800 kilos of chocolates in a day!

3) Food Festivals11204894_965764563467285_2436740530066924097_n

 The recently held Kitsch Mandi

Rupali points out, “people are always looking for something unique to dig their spoons into.” Hardly does a weekend ever go by without a dessert crawl, beer trail, dining experience or food festival of sorts in the city. These make for the perfect backdrop for entrepreneurs and home chefs to interact with consumers. Haute Chef used the platform to give people a hands-on experience of how fresh their ingredients are and the minimal prep required to make a gourmet meal at home.

4) Social Media is the new word-of-mouthPicture1

Dhansak by Bawi Bride

 “I was just experimenting with a new flavour for samosas and posted pictures on Instagram, and boom, the next day I had orders for it,” says Perzen Patel who caters Parsi food and writes the wildly popular blog, ‘Bawi Bride’. We don’t call it food porn without reason, right?

5) Home Chefs

Eggplant rolls by The Hungry Bunny

Remember when Thapa uncle would cater for a dinner in your house and leave the kitchen looking like it was hit by a tornado? Not if you’re ordering from home chefs like Perzen of Bawi Bride or Sama Ankolkar of The Hungry Bunny who specialises in Mughlai and Continental food! Neat, hygienic and customizable menu options for a crowd as large as 100 people in Perzen’s case and about 50 for Sama.

6) Meal delivery apps

Image used for representational purpose

“Mumbai’s dabbawalas have serious competition,” says Rohit Khilnani, who orders his lunch in office regularly from Hola Chef. “The best part is, that I don’t have to talk to anyone, I just log in, see pictures of what I want, place my order and the food reaches me really fast,” he tells me. With a vegetarian mini meal costing as little as Rs.70 on Spice Box, Khilnani’s claims aren’t far out. In fact tie-ups with meal delivery apps like Zomato and Scootsy have also helped Perzen scale-up her operations and reach out to customers apart from her catering gigs.

7) Dining experiencesPicture4

Image used for representational purpose

With a world of options comes a world of confusion. Many a times, food connoisseurs and amateurs alike find themselves sitting at a restaurant, wondering what to order. Dining apps like WowTables curate customised menus at pocket-friendly prices bringing fine dining closer to you.

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Tarika Singh is a Mumbai-based food blogger, YouTuber and recipe developer. Every week, she comes up with recipes that are lapped up by an audience not just from India, but around the world. Her growing popularity and following has led to successful collaborations with brands such as Dove and KitchenAid India amongst others, and Tarika also features on the cover of Femina magazine dated July 14th 2015.



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