Rajus Malvani Mejwani

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Go on. Steer clear of over-hyped, over-priced restaurants.  Bypass  the fancy-schmancy ones. Forget  fusion-confusion, tasting-wasting menus. Instead, veer off the eaten track with me.


Over the past three decades of my tracking Mumbai’s restaurant scene, its the “Hidden gems” the “no frills” “family run” eateries that have always kick started my adrenalin  to immediately start trawling Mumbai for more. Not only have I written countless columns but even dedicated chapters and even volumes of my Food Guides to these.

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The original Foodie Kunal Vijayakar at Raju s Malvani Mejwani 


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It’shaute and happening! London, Los Angeles, NYC and now Juhu.The uber stylish and exclusive, (members only) Soho House has sashayed onto the Juhu Beach withit’s vibrant branded, Italian offspring Cecconi’s (open to all).

I admit, I was apprehensive and sceptical about dining here as Im never a slavish fan of hyped up global brands. Brand or no brand, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Would the food at Cecconis live up to thehype and hoopla which preceded it? It’s a magnet for the young (Soho House even gives a discount to those below 27 years). In order to get an accurate assessment I lunch with a globetrotting vivacious young university of Pennsylvania graduate Namrata Jaykrishnanow focussed on food blogging, writing and higher studies. 

Read my full review on

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At Cecconi’s Fab fun lunch with globetrotting gourmets: Namrata Munjal and Sejal Jaykrishnam


WHITE CHARCOAL Progressive regional Indian cuisine

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The good Lord be praised! A reincarnation is in progress! A rebirth of regional Indian dishes in a modern avatar. And its happening silently in a gleaming new Andheri W restaurant. Sadly, its open only for dinner, so we have to brave the two hour long trafficked drive from South Mumbai to get here..My dinner companions (sportingly drive all the way)   discerning foodies are also rejuvenating healers.  Firoza Moos and Meher Davis both work wonders with their non invasive, drug free  natural solution to eliminate allergies. The dapper Jeff Davis,  Indian food aficionado, is just back after several years in Egyptwith an American oil company.

Was our harrowing, traffic choked  drive worth it? 

Read the full Article on to find out.

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At White Charcoal: with Meher, Jeff Davis and Firoza Moos.

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Chef Sandro Gamba and Radha Arora at the exclusive Manor club. 


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“Hidden gems” “Holes in the wall”  eateries: are these the  kind of eateries that you’re always on the lookout for?

If “no”, please skip reading this. Ive devoted several years to sniffing these in my restaurant guides to Mumbai and Pune. And by a happy coincidence I write this review from Hongkong: am just off to do a round of these “no frills” “local” eateries.  Before leaving Mumbai, I was super excited to lunch at “Punjabi Tadka” since it’s the offspring of “Crystal” Chowpatty.

Read my full review on

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Global gourmet Sameer Sain at PUNJABI TADKA  OF CRYSTAL FAME, 

Srilankan HOPPUMM in Bandra

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Im rejoicing. Atlast! SriLankan hopper, kuttu, vattalapam and more are being offered in Mumbai. And this In the catchily named Hoppumm ( Srilankan Hopper meets South Indian appam). No bookings we were told over the phone. So we took a chance and popped in (unannounced) really early for dinner.

Read my detailed review on

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Good news ahead! Two reasons: Firstly, Im a full time fan of Spanish cuisine. Over the years have been researching (read eating) my way through sunny Spain. Second reason: I have a big fat soft spot for family run restaurants. And so when a small (seriously small)  family-run Spanish eatery opens, its time to rejoice. And ofcourse to head there for a meal. My assistant tries to book in a fake name…its Monday. They’re closed. A Saturday afternoon sees us nattering over a fun girly lunch.

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Homestyle Spanish at EL MERCADO… Tarinni Shirodkar flanked by Ashlesha and Chandni Tolani.


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Vegetarian/vegan healthy cuisine

It’s serendipity!  Im about to mail my thesis to my mentor professors in Paris and my thesis subject is “The rise and the rise of vegetarianism”.  I m not only at Mumbai’s latest vegetarian/vegan hotspot “Sante spa cuisine” but also dining with most committed vegetarians,  who re into healthy and organic and who “walk the talk”. Gir cows in their home, organic vegetables in their garden,  the lovable creative Harsha Ashok Hinduja redefined “homemade” when some years ago she sent me “sandesh” made from  the milk of Gir cows at home. From spearheading Ikebana and Bonsai societies this fine art connoisseur, trained  vocal singer, philanthropist ensures that the finest most healthy and tasty food graces her table.


Shom Hinduja, the dashing Columbia university graduate, Mumbais most eligible bachelor,  is leading the group’s foray into the alternative energy sector, next generation digital technologies  and sustainability. He’s a great vegetarian gourmet too Im forever grateful to him for taking me to his vegetarian hotspots in NYC. I have a guiltfree, fun-filled dinner with the perfect dining companions.
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Sante Spa Cuisine


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Can something as mundane as a  “Townhall” (a building which is the seat of a town government)  be glamorous, rocking and buzzing? Yes! yes! when it comes to Mumbai from Delhi it most certainly is. Beloved of Dilliwallas, this Townhall comes complete with it’s South Delhi legend, partner chef Augusto Cabrera (sushi maestro). It’s reputation precedes it and a lot of the young restaurant going lot make an immediate beeline for it.

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At the rocking Townhall, With the  fabulous foodie five: Jay Dalal,  Shrey grover. Aishwarya Mariwala Maneka Grover and Anchit Nayar


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Welcome Mumbais first  Izakaya!

I first  fell in love with an Izakaya in Kyoto’s Nishiki market “Izakaya is our Japanese pub with homestyle Japanese food” explained Yamamoto san my foodie blind date with whom id dined at the buzzing  Izakaya. The difference is that Mizu boldly and cheekily serves a layer of Indian flavours with Japanese  recipes  and techniques.

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