Migrants from all over India pour into Mumbai, bringing their cuisine with them, so the city's kaleidoscope restaurants might be compared to a vast national buffet. Mumbaikars tend to dine late – reservations are strongly advised. Remember that food sold from stalls on the street may look tempting, but its hygiene might be dubious.
Many of Mumbai's top restaurants are found in Colaba. For super fresh seafood, try Mahesh Lunch Home (8D Cowasji Patel St; 91 22 2287 0938) – the tandoori pomfret is especially toothsome.
Coming to India to eat Chinese may seem a bit odd, but the experience is more than worth it at Henry Tham (Dhanraj Mahal, Apollo Bunder; 91 22 2202 3186) with its throne-like seating and regal menu.
'Tiffin' is an Anglo-Indian word meaning a light meal. However, at this restaurant of the same name (The Oberoi, Nariman Point; 91 22 6632 5757) the menu embraces Pacific Rim rather than super spicy curry. The decor's fun and the home-made ice cream are essential.
Khyber's (154 MG Rd, Kala Ghoda; 91 22 2267 3227) Mughlai cuisine has been keeping patrons satisfied for decades, and with good reason. Konkan (Taj President Hotel; 91 22 6665 0808) has an imaginative menu highlighted by dishes like crab cakes and Goan chicken marinated with chillies and spices. Indigo (4 Mandlik House; 91 22 6636 8999) is renowned for its upscale customers as much as its kitchen. Regulars advise sitting upstairs and trying the lobster risotto.
Elsewhere in Mumbai, Don Giovanni (Hotel Bawa Continental, Juhu Tara Rd, Juhu; 91 22 2612 2372) is Italian run and has the authentic flavour of a true trattoria. M Bar (Grand Hyatt Mumbai Hotel, Western Express Hwy, Santa Cruz; 91 22 6676 1234) is a top-rated grill house with a cellar to match. Copper Chimney (Dr Annie Besant Rd, Worli; 91 22 2492 0505) is 'kebab central' for Mumbai, and also does a splendid butter chicken.
Finally, Zenzi (183 Waterfield Rd, Bandra; 91 22 6643 0670), anything but run-of-the-mill, is an eclectically designed lounge-bar-restaurant with top food to match the cast of colourful characters who come to relax and chow down..
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