Review: Panki vs Patra-Ni-Paneer at The Bombay Havelli
If you thought there is absolutely no space for yet another vegetarian restaurant in South Mumbai, come this way.
SoBo is teeming with dine-outs that offer some of the tastiest and best quality vegetarian fare. The cheese overload nachos at Cream Centre, puran poli at Soam and the baked khichdi at Swati Snacks have secured permanent spots in the hall of fame of Mumbai foodies. Just when we thought that there is absolutely no space for yet another vegetarian restaurant in that stretch, we were proved wrong by the newest entrant – The Bombay Havelli.
What's Hot: Positioned as a family restaurant, their menu boasts of a wide variety unlike other restaurants in this category. The highlight is the Parsi food that comprises everything from the famous Parsi Sodas – Ginger, Raspberry, Masala - to Patra-Ni-Paneer, along with Gujarati favourites such as Panki, Masala Fafda khichdi and more. Marwari cuisine makes an appearance with Gatta Nu Saag and Daal Baati Churma. Parth Dalal, one of the three founders, shared, “Catering to kids is key for us and keeping this in mind, we have pasta, pizza, cheese balls and hummus which are a favourite with little ones.”
We began our meal with the refreshing Raspberry Soda (INR 120) which completely fit the bill. As the starters arrived, we couldn’t get enough of the creamy Beiruti Hummus (INR 370) that had a little surprise in store. Fresh chopped tomato pieces were generously added along with onion and needless to say, it was addictive. The Cheese Tukdi (INR 340) which are almost like cheese balls spiced with Indian masalas and served with mint and chundo will tempt you to have more than your fill.
Being hungry, we pleased our palette and tummy with enough starters to surpass the mains and dig into desserts. But, the Mag Ni Dal Ani Khichdi with Gujarati Kadhi was highly recommended and we gave in with much reluctance wondering who would order this basic dish at a restaurant. It surprised us with its rich flavour and enough ghee to remind you of your maa-ke-haath-ka-khaana. This whetted our appetite to try out Mr Batliwala's Veg Dansaak (INR 450) and we will come back to this place just for this. Served piping hot in a wine bottle that's designed like a plate, we would give full marks for the presentation. The rice is coated with the perfect blend of masalas and even two helpings won't be enough.
Just when we thought that nothing else on the menu could top this, we were lured by the dessert menu. Jalebi with gulkand rabdi (INR 280) promptly arrived on our table and we felt like there is definitely some space left for more. The jalebi was strictly ok but the gulkand infused cold rabdi deserves a special mention for it was fresh, creamy with just a hint of gulkand. We are truly happy with this new dessert discovery in the city.
What's Not: We waited with bated breath for what was touted as one of the highlights of the meal – Patra-Ni-Paneer (INR 400). It had the right mix of spices, but the missing factor was taste. Something was not right about the blend of masalas or perhaps the paneer didn't absorb the flavours of the spices. We believe these are teething troubles and it is only a matter of time before they master this trick.
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