It's been a year since The Bohri Kitchen (TBK) started operations and I was waiting eagerly to sample their fares for a long time. My wait was well rewarded with an experience that entailed the warm touch of a really lovely family, The Kapadias.
Landing at the venue on a parched Sunday afternoon, we were asked to grab a glass of a very refreshing welcome drink, NARIYAL PAANI COOLER that superbly blended tender coconut with coconut water. While we were sipping on our drink, Munaf Kapadia, Chief Eating Officer (CEO) of TBK filled us in on a brief history of the Bohri community, that arrived from middle eastern shores to India centuries ago. He helped us understand how their cuisine over the years has incorporated nuances of the gastronomy of the land of Gujarat, where they first landed and eventually that of Maharashtra, where the community has migrated over a period of time. Munaf is the brain behind creation of TBK and while he works with a reputed internet company, he has devoted his time on weekends to establish TBK as a illustrious culinary brand in a very short span of time.
Before the meal could begin we were also explained the rituals of eating a traditional Bohri meal in a Thal, a gigantic plate and how the dining experience pans out alternating between savory and sweet courses. While we did not follow the exact tradition of sitting on the floor and beginning the food with dessert, we did begin our meal with the customary pinch of salt. Thereafter , we were subjected to a self-service procedure of various courses from the main Thal into our individual plates.
The enormity of the meal was evident the moment the Thal made its appearance in front of us with the delicious side dishes of chutney, raita and pickles that would accompany all courses. Each side dish was delicious but the yummiest of them all was the KOKUM ALOO. This was a simple preparation comprising of potatoes cooked in a masala that was spicy and also had a lovely tart flavor due to use of Kokum.
Then, began the courses with the savory appetizers pouring in. The arrival of SMOKED MUTTON KHEEMA SAMOSAS signaled the start of my gluttony. The samosas were crisp and had a generous amount of delicately spiced and smoky flavored mince. Biting off the tip off the samosa, then lacing it with a few drops from a lemon wedge and the mint chutney just went on to elevate this appetizer to another level in gastronomy. This was followed by CHICKEN CREAM TIKKA, which was also subtly flavored and the chicken was extremely moist. We were also served a special vegetarian appetizer called NARIYAL KE KEBAB.
The next course was the sweet course (Mithaas) comprising of a very flavorful KHAREEK HALWA. This was not overtly sweet, had a light crumbly texture and worked wonders on our palate.
This was followed by the much awaited and my favorite part of the meal the grand RAAN IN RED MASALA. This leg of lamb was cooked beautifully. The spices had seeped right through the meat owing to a patient two-day marination procedure performed on it. The meat was moist, gravy was delicious and the garnish of potato salli added a nice crunch to the dish. At this stage we were given a GINGER, LEMON & TEA drink to accompany the course.
For the next course came SHEER KHURMA. This is ideally a milk-based delicacy prepared on Eid but we were lucky to enjoy it at this lavish meal. This delight yet again was light, perfectly sweetened and laced with dry fruits.
This was followed by ADRAKI BHUNA GOSHT WITH PARATHAS. The mutton gravy was delectable and fused the flavors of ginger and the meat in a very refined way. The garnish of bolied egg just added another layer to the dish. Next came the CHICKEN KAARI & JEERA RICE. The curry was very mildly spiced with garam masala and had a nice nutty flavor to it.
Now, arrived the last sweet course of the day with delicious, creamy, traditional, hand-churned SAANCHA ICE CREAM. There were two yummy flavors served to us – KESAR PISTA & ROASTED ALMOND. We finally put an end to our gluttony with a juicy PAAN.
The charge of INR 1500 per guest at TBK is totally justified by the delicious, lavish meal served and the warm service provided.
Since TBK is operational for a dine-in experience only for lunch on weekends, reservations are a must and fill up quite fast. Also, please note the menu keeps changing at the TBK each weekend. But, there is information regarding the same available on their Facebook page beforehand for people to know what TBK will be serving on the coming Sunday. For those who cannot make it to TBK in Colaba on Sunday, there is no reason to be disheartened. You can enjoy select delicacies from TBK in the comfort of your home. Yes, TBK has recently commenced home-delivery of a few of their preparations which include the Raan in Red Masala, Raan Seekh Biryani etc. More information regarding the same is available on their website http://www.thebohrikitchen.com/
It was a delight to interact with the lady of the house, Nafisa Kapadia who dons the hat of the chef at TBK and creates lip-smacking delicacies with her treasure trove of culinary knowledge. A great recipe is matched by great produce and the responsibility of sourcing the same lies with the Chief Operating Officer, Turab Kapadia, who is also a jovial patriarch playing the perfect host to guests. There is a new member in the TBK team in the form of Chief Tangdi Officer, Gurmeet Kochhar, who is an ex investment banker and is helping with the setup of TBK's Home Delivery arm.
So, do try out TBK and let me know of your experience.
Till then, HAPPY EATING…
- Regional Indian Food & Travel enthusiast