Shreyash, a chef of seven years, saw a gap in the culinary market in Vancouver to share authentic dishes from the streets of Mumbai.
Mumbai is a cultural hub, gathering culinary experiences from around India and serving it up in the markets and numerous street-side stalls for millions to enjoy. Indian restaurants normally focus on northern or southern Indian food, showcasing local delicacies from just two or three of the thirty-one states within India.
Shreyash and his chef Tushar, who is also a friend from his college years, decided that they would serve authentic dishes, shying away from other dishes, like Butter Chicken, that you would expect on an Indian restaurant menu. While their menu is focused on food from Maharashtra, their lunch feature is the ‘Dabba’, where lunch is served in small, stacked compartments, a common sight across India.
One side of the restaurant showcases a captivating mural, depicting various scenes and vendors one would find on the streets of Mumbai. A lady is seen selling corn on the cob, a man is seen carrying several Dabba and yet another scene shows a man making chai. The mural is designed by Shreyash’s talented wife, Shraddha, who is a designer and illustrator at a media company. The vivid illustrations set the tone for the authentic dishes guests can enjoy at the restaurant.
(Left) Studying the menu while enjoying a hot cup of Chai.
(Right) One of the sharp illustrations showcasing a man making Chai.
The first dish we tried was the signature Dabba available on the lunch menu. Each container within the stack contains a different component of the meal, one with rice and chapati, another with Aloo Jeera (Potato and Cumin), dal (lentil stew), and the last with rice crackers and mango pickles. Just the sight of a Dabba makes one think of a hearty, homemade lunch. In India, Dabba contains home-cooked meals, and delivery services would pick up from these homes and delivery to offices (versus in North America where delivery would be from restaurants).
Puri, a dish featuring hollow crackers filled with filled with tasty ingredients such as mashed white pea and potato, onion, shev, tamarind, chilled chutney and raw mango, serve up literal explosions of flavour. As you bite into the hollow crackers the mixture inside pours out to shower your taste buds with intense flavour.
Other notable items would be the the Chicken Lollipops, chicken winglets served with schezwan chutney and cabbage slaw. The chicken meat is pulled back from the bone, to make it easier for guests to eat; the staff shared that this is also the way it is served on the streets of Mumbai.
For those looking for a hearty meal, we would recommend their Kombadi Vade. The chicken is cooked with coconut caramelized onion and served with rice and vade (traditional deep fried bread). The chicken is brined for 24 hours, then sous vide for 7 hours to achieve the tender and juicy texture.
The desserts are also thoughtfully considered, with highlights such as the Shrikhand, made with sweet hung yogurt (water drained of all of its water content) and topped with dry fruits and mango. Light, tangy and not too sweet, the Shrikhand is the perfect way to complete your meal.
If you are looking for a spot to experience street food from the streets of Mumbai, Mumbai Local is the place serving up dishes you won’t find anywhere else in the city. Stop by their location on David Street today and order a hot Dabba for lunch!