The Canteen Chettinad table – May 2019 (the Bombay canteen, Kamala mills, mumbai)


In a NUtshell

A very well planned meal with so many items but did not end up in a situation where one wud feel like bursting out at the end of the meal. The 4 kinds of rasam, the 4 kinds of chutneys were thoughtful & a class apart.

Address & other details: the Bombay canteen

Meal for 2: ₹3200 for veg & 3600 for non veg

Cuisine type : vegetarian & non vegetarian

Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.

I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster

Short description- in case u r in a hurry

Over the last few months we have been to more pop ups in mumbai, than to restaurants. Pop ups happen at people’s homes, cool studios, restaurants & different places. Mostly these r announced on the social media. A booking link is provided. People book seats by pre payment only. Once the seat is booked, usually there is no refund. Sometimes, there is a voucher for future pop ups.

When we heard that The Bombay Canteen is doing a Chettinad menu, we were very excited. Reasons were two –

1. the name ‘Chettinad’ has been heavily bastardised by restaurants across the globe, similar fate as the term ‘roganjosh’. Most people do a uncooked spice & chilly attack on the senses in name of Chettinad food.

2. We visited karaikudi last year & had some brilliant food at chidambara Vilas – a heritage hotel launched by converting a traditional Chettiar mansion. Our memory is still full with the outstanding food that we had there, cooked by the ladies of the village. Read the full story here.

In case of this pop up, I saw this on social media on a Friday morning, while at work. Friday evening when I attempted to book a seat for two, it showed ‘fully sold out’. I called the restaurant assuming it is a tech glitch. The guy resonated the same feeling & said he will call bk. He called bk after 15 minutes to say that ge was pleasantly shocked to tell me that the Sunday launch menu (the largest, signature spread) was actually sold out in a few hours. We had to go back a week later for a smaller spread.

Of the word Chettinad, the most commonly used dish by average to poor restaurants is Chettinad chicken. Thankfully, at the Bombay canteen, there was no Chettinad chicken in the menu.

Overall the food was very good but the food at Chidambara was definitely better. However must say that this was closest to Chettinad food that we had at chidambara – as close as it cud guess in mumbai I guess.

Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:

Thengai thuvaiyal (Roasted coconut Chutney) – excellent, even better than at the famous Tamil eateries in matunga mumbai. Rate it 4.5/5

Thakkali thuvaiyal (Slow cooked tomato chutney with tempering) was very different from what is available at some of the best South Indian restaurants in Mumbai. this one had a very interesting smoky flavour the one usually found in Baingan chokha or in the Bihari tomato chokha. Rate it 4.25/5

Daangar was Sweet and Sour chutney with tamarind and potato. again excellent. Rate it 4.25/5

Vellai paniyaram, shallow fried rice pancakes was good – while I shud not comment on a cuisine, this was not my kind of thing. I surely like the steamed paniyarams, idlis etc better. Rate it 3/5

Ravai cutlet (semolina & cheese cubes with fresh coriander) was insanely good. We cud not believe a simple rawa dish, that also with a little bit of cheese cud b so good!!!! Flavours of coriander, perfect taste, soft yet firm texture, perfect temperature – all added to the magic. Rate it 4.5/5

Mulai keerai vadai- crispy pakodas of Lal math & daal was very nice. It was moist, yet crisp on the outer side. Loved the flavours & the taste. Rate it 4/5

after this the curries started coming in. We were served rice with molten flavourful ghee on top.

Milagu kaadai masala – quail in black pepper was excellent. The meat had become soft on cooking & the texture perfect. The masalas looked hot but they were not much hot from chillies, but from pepper. Hence the aftertaste was quite hot. The dark brown spiced dry gravy was textured & really nice. Rate it 4.75/5

Moolai masala -soft cooked bheja with onion & tomatoes had to be ordered a la carte. The bheja was excellent. One of the best goat brains I have had in a decade, till I had another outstanding version at tasallibaqsh. The bheja at The Bombay Canteen was Creamy, soft, yet firm, intense flavor, masalas played along brilliantly. Rate it 4.95/5

Sambhar – daal with loads of vegetables was just so simple & home like. Loved the big chunky vegetables that partially retained their texture & fully retained their shape. Great taste. Licked off every drop. Rate it 4.75/5

Mangai vellam pachidi was raw mango pickle, quite similar to the Bengali aamer chatni (sweet & sour raw mango chutney). Rate it 4/5

Beetroot thayir pachadi was beetroot & curd flavoured with ground mustard. The mustard made a big difference to the taste & flavor. Rate it 4.25/5

Loved the Tamilian rice papad called Appalam. Crisp. Perfectly seasoned.

Milagu kozambu was black pepper & fermented buttermilk chilly curry. Intense taste. Loved the dish. Rate it 4.25/5

Kootu was vegetables cooked with mustard. Loved it. Rate it 4.25/5

Vazhaipoo kozhambu – chickpea coated banana flower in tamarind & onion gravy. This rendition of banana flower was very different than the ones eaten in Bengal , orissa, Assam. Here the distinct flavour of banana flower was lost. Rate it 3/5

Uppu kari was dry cooked mutton with gundu milagai chilly. We liked it on the day of the meal. We re ordered on a later date & super loved it. We licked off every single drop from the plate on day 2. Rate the meal day uppu kari at 4/5. The day 2 was 4.75/5 – difference in sheer execution of same recipe. Considering 4/5 for this post.

There was an option to order nandu kozhambu a la carte but we were too full to order that.

Loved the thayir sadam (curd rice). Rate it 4.5/5

Millagai mandi was okra, garlic, shallots simmered in tamarind & rice broth. Super loved this simple home like dish. The sheer simplicity and balance of taste was incredible. Rate it 4.5/5

We had 4 rasam & all of them were unique yet had some similarity. The flavours of te main ingredient was expressed very well in each. Collectively rate them 4.25/5

Anasi pazham rasam (sweet & hot pineapple broth)

Nandu rasam (pepper flavoured crab broth)

Pepper rasam (traditional pepper flavoured dal broth)

Kozhi rasam (lemon & coriander flavoured chicken broth).

Paal paniyaram rice dumpling , cardamom infused milk & coconut milk was good. It had soft rice dumplings. Coconut milk flavor expressed itself well. However overall it was not as wow as many other dishes in the meal. Rate it 3.5/5

Overall rating of food at Chettinad festival at the Bombay canteen averages out to 4.1/5

Look forward to revisiting the restaurants for more pop ups.

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