Samyukta Nair and chef Rohit Ghai, the duo behind Mayfair’s Jamavar (voted Top Newcomer at Harden’s London Restaurant Awards 2017) will launch a second London venture in November. Bombay Bustle in Mayfair’s Maddox Street is inspired by Dabbawalas – the institution of men who use Mumbai’s railways to deliver home cooked meals across the city.
Traditionally towered boxes brimming with food made in the homes of the working community, dabbas are transported to their intended recipient through a complex route of local trains, handcarts and bicycles. The path of each tin is carefully navigated by the Dabbawalas, with each being marked by an individual code; a carefully crafted system which has been at the centre of day to day life in Mumbai for decades.
Rohit’s menu will recreate the family recipes within two dining rooms which reflect the bygone railways of Bombay and the art deco buildings which surrounded them. Dishes include: Misal pav topped with potato salli, Kolhapuri spiced spit roasted chicken, Seabass and scallop Tawa Pulao along with Kerala style ishtew with idiyappam and a sweet double ka meetha with tutti fruity masala milk and almonds.
Reminiscent of Samyukta’s school days, where lunch was delivered by the Dabbawala, there will also be tiered tiffin dabbas. Each box will be presented to the table and unpacked to reveal curries, breads and rice ideal for quick a yet wholesome lunch.
Split over two levels, the dining room on the ground floor features two areas. The first, inspired by an old first-class railway coach, houses a pewter dining bar, complemented with pale green leathers and a terrazzo and Marmoleum floor. The second room draws on the strong art deco presence in the city, contrasting combinations of vibrant pink clay plaster walls with bottle green and candy pink leather upholstery, with tables that are marked with the legendary alpha-numeric markings, produced for the restaurant by the Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association. Inspired by the retiring rooms seen at Indian railway stations, the lower ground floor is enveloped with brilliant-cut glass screens and a timber panelled ceiling, with a seated dessert bar and deep booths for larger groups.
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