Every year, 80 million tiffin lunch boxes are delivered to workers across Indian cities by an insanely efficient network of dabbawallas.
These tiffin delivery men transfer carefully colour-coded lunchboxes directly from workers’ homes, by rail and by bike, directly to workers, before repeating the whole process to send the boxes back home again.
It’s the world’s most efficient Deliveroo, and it’s over 100 years old.
Paying homage to this impressive operation is the latest restaurant from the respective co-founder and executive chef of Jamavar, Samyukta Nair and Surender Mohan. Taking inspiration from Mumbai’s railways, the space is an elegant take on a vintage train carriage, with curving art deco lines and Wes Anderson-esque pastel hues commingling with textured tabletops and the occasional glint of steely hardware.
As executive chef, Surender Mohan brings his creative flair to traditional Indian home cooking and comfort food. There are Malabar chicken wings and Koliwada squid; Kerala fish curry and overnight black dal. There are slow-cooked biryanis and giant parcels of crispy fried bread, puffed up like balloons, that are the size of your head. And on Sundays, they serve a colossal ‘Samosas, Dosas and Mimosas’ brunch, with inventive dishes like scrambled egg masala and lamb keema and offal on toast; a choice of six mimosas (including Curry Leaf & Ginger); and spice-dusted prawns cradled in egg appam bowls.
As you wind up your meal and the plates are cleared, you’ll want to head downstairs to The Retiring Room. It’s a stunning, moodily lit, art deco bar serving both classic cocktails and originals like the Pearl of Bombay (which arrives with an edible pearl garnish).
It’s the real jewel in their crown.
NOTE: Bombay Bustle is open daily for lunch and dinner, with brunch from 11am on Sundays – you can reserve a table on their website HERE.
Bombay Bustle | 29 Maddox Street, W1S 2PA
Last Updated: 6th April 2020
Like fancy train-inspired restaurants? Uhh, have you been here?