The 10 Most Stunning Restaurants In Maharashtra, India
The western Indian state of Maharashtra’s two biggest cities, Mumbai and Pune, are home to a number of stunning, contemporary restaurants putting the state firmly on the map as a premier dining destination. From exquisite Thai joints and award-winning European fare to authentic north Indian cuisine, check out our guide to Maharashtra’s restaurants you need to try.
Located in Mumbai’s Lower Parel neighborhood, o:h cha is a truly stunning new addition to the city’s vibrant dining scene that opened in the spring of 2014. Serving authentic Thai cuisine built around its renowned flavor bases – spicy, sour, sweet, salty and bitter – in stylish surroundings that blend chic, modern elements with references to Thai culture, the restaurant was recently named Best Thai Restaurant in The Times of India Food Awards 2015. With a menu overseen by o:h cha’s resident master chef Pipat Niyomsin, guests can try dishes like spicy fried banana blossom cakes and deep-fried lobster in red curry sauce.
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A venture from world-famous chef Masaharu Morimoto, of Iron Chef fame, Wasabi by Morimoto is based at Mumbai’s luxury Taj Mahal Palace Hotel that for the last two consecutive years has been listed among Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Serving a menu inspired by chef Morimoto’s trademark sushi and Japanese cuisine, the restaurants’ signature dishes include white fish carpaccio, black cod miso and the wasabi crème brulee dessert, though in keeping with Mumbai’s vegetarian population a number of fish and meat-free options are also available like its spicy avocado or asparagus tempura sushi rolls. Dishes can be teamed with Wasabi by Morimoto’s extensive Japanese whiskey, sake and plum wine lists.
The recipient of a whole host of awards including the Times Good Food Awards’ Best European and Global Cuisine of 2013 and Best Restaurant in India from the 2014 TimeOut Food Awards, since opening in 2011 The Table has become one of the most popular dining destinations in Mumbai. A proud supporter of locally sourced produce, The Table grows much of its produce at its very own urban farm, while executive chef Alex Sanchez, a native of San Francisco and graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, crafts eclectic small and large plates like shiitake-asparagus dumplings and suckling goat with mashed potatoes, pumpkin, Swiss chard and green peas.
Over in bustling Pune, the second largest city in the state of Maharashtra, is Paasha – a beautiful rooftop restaurant and lounge specializing in the rich, exotic flavors of north Indian cuisine. Nestled on the top floor of Pune’s JW Marriott Hotel, guests at Paasha can take advantage of the restaurant’s enviable location and relax under the stars while enjoying breath-taking panoramic views of the city and its surrounding hills. Feast on dishes that include chatpatta jhinga (tiger prawns marinated in yogurt, chili, carom seeds, ginger and garlic overnight and cooked in a tandoor oven) and phaldhari kofta – vegetable paneer dumplings in a tomato and cashew nut gravy with fennel and fenugreek.
Widely regarded as one of the best Italian restaurants in Pune, Favola is one of several dining options at the classy Le Méridien hotel and with head chef Roberto Boggio, a native of Italy’s Piedmont region, at the helm, guests are ensured an authentic dining experience. Favola gets its name from the Italian word for ‘fable’ and its beautiful dining room – a mix of light wood floors, exposed brick and quaint floral upholstery – is certainly like something out of a fairytale. A mouth-watering, rustic Italian menu features plenty of thin crust pizzas, hearty pasta dishes, rotisserie meats and classic homemade desserts complemented by an impressive number of Italian and New World wines, is available all year round.
Situated within Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex is The Good Wife – a new upscale gastro-pub opened in late 2014 by brothers Ryan and Keenan Tham. A luxurious and inviting lounge welcomes guests to try fine wines, spirits and cocktails crafted by internationally renowned mixologist Dimitri Lezinska – which include The Good Wife’s signature self-titled mix of orange vodka, Campari raspberry, passion fruit and dried rose spray. Chef Pankaj Bhingarde cooks up gourmet fare, like poached tuna with teriyaki and pickled vegetables or pepper-crusted tenderloin with mustard mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus.
Perched atop the Gulf Hotel in Colaba, Mumbai’s southernmost district, is Koyla – a beautiful rooftop restaurant that for 15 years has been offering delicious, authentic northwestern Indian cuisine and sweeping views across the city and ocean. The restaurants’ name means ‘coal’ and true to form, dishes at Koyla are slowly cooked over coals by chefs native to India’s northwestern Garhwal region. Under a canopy of Rajasthan-style tents, guests can enjoy dishes like chicken tikka masala and dal makhani – a Punjabi dish of lentils, tomatoes, garlic, ginger and cream – followed by classic Indian desserts like rabdi and rasmalai.
Opened in 1999 by chef Rahul Akerkar, who honed his talents working in some of New York City’s finest dining establishments, Indigo is a fine-dining restaurant serving eclectic, contemporary European cuisine in the heart of Mumbai’s Colaba neighborhood. The multi award-winning restaurant boasts a chic interior with several dining spaces each with their own distinct style, and a charming terrace ideal for candlelit al fresco dining during Mumbai’s dry winter months. Standout out dishes include grilled Portobello mushrooms with cabernet barley risotto, and fenugreek cress and the maple-glazed pork belly with apple, choucroute and corn sauce. A Sunday brunch menu is also available.
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Named after a method of slow-cooking native to the Awadh region in northern India, Dum Pukht is a fine-dining Indian restaurant renowned for its rich and aromatic, yet delicate cuisine. Based at Mumbai’s ITC Maratha hotel, Dum Pukht’s interior is as rich and vibrant as its food with carved wooden screens, beaded curtains and bright splashes of orange and gold, and with accolades including being the first restaurant in Asia to be recognized with a Golden Fork Award, guests can rest assured they will have a luxurious dining experience. Dum Pukht’s ‘royal repast’, a set five-course menu, is very popular and includes dishes like shorba, qaliya and meetha.
One of the first Thai restaurants in Mumbai, Thai Pavilion first opened its doors over 20 years ago in 1993 at the Vivanta by Taj hotel. The restaurant re-launched in 2007 after a dramatic makeover, incorporating both traditional Thai and contemporary elements, led by visionary Japanese interior designer Noriyoshi Muramatsu that made Thai Pavilion into the stunning space it is today. Chef Ananda Solomon oversees a menu that references traditional and modern Thai cuisine – his duck liver foie gras with sea asparagus in a mango sauce and the soft shell crab with red chili paste are highly recommended.