Here’s to the power of Food and restaurants. Did you think Food is only about nourishment, taste, excitement, great cooking, expression of love? It’s much more. It’s a global force. I write from the most prestigious Oscar of food awards being held in Mexico. Not only did the Minister of Tourism Enrique De la Madrid, grace the awards but even the President of Mexico tweeted and congratulated the chefs.
Building this all-powerful global platform to promote gastronomy is Charles Reed and his dream team of the Worlds 50 best restaurant academy (also Asia’s 50 best, Latin America’s 50 best). I am all admiration for this dynamo dream team from London who even in as far away as Latin America not only encourage and award the finest 50 best restaurants, give diners an accurate compass to find the best but also ensure positive benefits to flow to local communities from greater awareness and international visitors and even promote tourism. May this uniting global power of food and restaurants grow and magnify!
Note: Latin America’s top two restaurants, Central (Virgilio and Pia Martinez) and Maido (Mitsuharu) are both in Lima and I had the most amazing meals there…including 15 course, pure vegetarian ones.
Cheery. Stamp-sized. Crammed with five tables, open kitchen. Asian multicuisine menu and specials chalked onto the blackboard. A small alfresco area too.
Please notice the three bottles of “Chibs multipurpose sauces” in the photo. Turn up the spice levels of your food and buy them (Red chilly is the best at Rs 68) to take them home too. The star of Nikhil Chibs menu (the first to introduce it to Mumbai), is the velvety, coconutty Burmese Kaukswe, ladled on to either noodles or rice and sprinkled with crispy crunchy condiments and twist of lime.
Go for the meals in a bowl. Ask for the moist steamed crunchy Vegetarian Momos and Prawn Momos. The special of the day, the Bekti steamed fish sparkled with lemon is worth trying, as is the succulent, robustly spiced Korean Bulgogi. Go for the freshly squeezed “Make your own juice”, Nespresso coffee (served in a paper cup, Alas) too. Though not authentic the Bánh mì sandwich is tasty, filling and inexpensive.
Bland Thai curry, Madras curry powder-laden Cambodian curry are avoidable as is the Coconut nimbu pani laced with ginger and honey. Lacklustre Kungpao with peanuts. Hard crusted, oversweet Banoffee Pie. No alcohol.
Open through the day, VFM (average meal for 2, Rs 500. Home delivery too). Though some of the dishes are patchy the Kaukswe and Momos are worth trying. A welcome addition to buzzing Bandra.
Gaspar Enclave, Shop No 11, Pali Naka, Bandra West, 400050
Tel: 6127 8897
Open: 11:30am to 11:30pm
Rating: * Food: 3.5 * Service: 3.5 * Décor: 3