“The old Irani cafés of Bombay have almost all disappeared – their faded elegance once attracting all measure of Indian life. Slowly turning ceiling fans breathed life into the students, lawyers, writers, taxi-wallas and businessmen who sipped tea or dined next to walls adorned with sepia-toned family portraits.” Bombay Street Food
In 2014 two sisters-in-law Seema & Amreen Omar joined forces to open Bombay Street Food. The restaurant is located on Bay Street and is the first bricks and mortar location. Before opening this jewel, Seema and Amreen sold their delicious dishes at pop-up markets around Toronto, which included Evergreen Brickworks. The Omar’s Travel annually to Mumbai to fuel their inspiration for the Bombay Street Food menu, they visit street vendors and see what’s trending in the eateries.
The restaurant menu focuses on traditional Mumbai street foods the Omar’s grew up with. Everything is made in-house along with the spices used in the dishes. All meat used in the dishes is 100% halal.
The décor is inviting and a reflection of the Old Irani Cafes of Bombay of the past. Geometric tiles and sepia prints create a colourful space to enjoy your meal.
I’m here at the restaurant to sample their Spring Tasting menu. We arrive before the lunchtime rush and are greeted with a Mango Lassi (yogurt infused with mango fruit) that is naturally cool and delicious.
Tandoori Chicken Wings, not your typical wings but cooked in a Tandoor all spiced up to give a heat kick when you bite into them. They are served with a cooling mint chutney. Simply delicious!
Ragda Pattice served in Mumbai, in many of the food stalls scattered across Mumbai. This dish has two parts: Ragda, a dried yellow pea dahl, and Pattice, a fried potato patty. The dish is not overly spicy and I can’t say its one of my favourites.
The veggie platter includes Daal Chawal Rice, basmati rice topped with aromatic red lentil daal, considered comfort food for many Indians, it’s topped with grilled onions. The second dish is a vegetable curry Mattar Paneer and the BSF Mixed Salad containing seasonal greens and vegetables tossed in our signature coconut lime dressing. The salad is crispy with a crunchy texture which compliments the other dishes nicely. It also includes a grilled Roti on the side.
Home Style Beef Curry with a side dish of Gunpowder fries are simply mouthwatering. The fries are tossed in nine different spices.
Chaat is often described as a savory snack, available most often in India on street food carts. At Bombay Street Foods we tried two varieties offered on the menu.
The first was the Ragda Pani Puri which is filled with is ragda, softly cooked white peas and topped with spices and fresh coriander. It is accompanied by a green sauce made of mint leaves and coriander and provides an extra heat kick once you bite into it.
Cheese Sev Puri consists of a flat puri topped with potatoes, green mango, chutneys and Bengal gram flour noodles. Some may call it the Indian version of nachos. It’s crunchy and a mesh of flavours that tantalize your taste buds. I can see this being a perfect appetizer for evening entertainment.
There are quite a few desserts available for tasting including the Khaari Biscuit but we sample this in its next iteration as Khaari Paradise a base then topped with Nutella and covered in Raspberries and blueberries topped with Icing drizzle.
What’s also new on the dessert menu is the Mava Cake. Very much like a traditional sponge cake but Parsi/Irani Cafe version. It’s all buttery goodness infused with cardamon and perfect for the grand finish. Let’s not forget the traditional cup of Chai, tea with copious amounts of milk.
Overall, the lunch at Bombay Street Food was delicious and the owners pay special attention to keeping the food on the healthy side as much as possible. They avoid using Ghee (clarified butter) and infuse their menu with locally sourced products. Judging by the line-ups at lunchtime I can say other diners have discovered this gem and are enjoying the good eats.
If you go:
Bombay Street Food Co.
828 Bay St., 647-344 7862, http://www.bombaystreetfood.ca, twitter @bombaystfoodto
Owners: Amreen and Seema Omar
Coming soon is the Tiffinwala Lunch Delivery service just like you have seen in the movies.
Note: I was a guest of Bombay Street Food for this menu tasting, all opinions expressed in this review are my own.