High-end Indian restaurant opens in Mayfair

Bombay Bustle, a new Indian restaurant from Samyukta Nair and chef Rohit Ghai, Co-founder and Executive Chef of Michelin-starred Jamavar, has opened today in London's Mayfair.

Originally to be named Dabbawala, after the institution of men who use Mumbai’s famed local railway to deliver home cooked meals across the city, Bombay Bustle pays homage to the culture and people, whose expanse of origins from across India have influenced its culinary history.

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.

The menu sees Ghai recreate some of the city’s most loved dishes alongside his own family recipes, passed down by his mother. Seasonal delights, inspired by Mumbai and the surrounding areas, will 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 Nair’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.

Nair said, ‘Mumbai is a city built on traditions, filled by an endless influx of dreamers, working professionals, and those seeking their fame and fortune; A true melting pot. In one moment you can be in old world Bombay and the turn of a street corner will thrust you into an urban amalgamation. In this complex, bustling metropolis, the Dabbawalas are a constant, bridging the distance between work and home, between different cultures and diverse regional cuisines, with their near-clockwork precision, and we hope to bring the same ethos to London’

Ghai added, 'Bombay Bustle will capture the essence of Mumbai, our love of home comforts alongside our rapid pace of life, both existing side by side. The restaurant will be a place just as well suited to a leisurely dinner with friends as a quick lunch for one, always inspired by Mumbai’s diverse flavours, and home style cooking.'