Address: 828 Bay St., Toronto, ON
Visited: April 2017, 3 people, dinner
Rating: 4, $$
Bombay Street Foods (BSF) showcases traditional street foods found in Mumbai with all dishes homemade using mainly local ingredients. The open concept restaurant is bright, full of charm, and transforms customers to the old Irani style cafe’s of Mumbai. An intimate feel is achieved with family pictures of the owners Seema and Amreen Omar, as well as their trips to Mumbai on the walls.
Check out the short (45 seconds) video of the interior of Bombay Street Food:
I first met sister-in-laws and owners Seema and Amreen at Food Share’s Recipe for Change charity event. They started out with many pop-up dinners and events, and also had a space at Market 707 by Scadding Court not far from Chinatown. About a year ago, they took the plunge to open a permanent location on Bay St. where ‘What a Bagel’ used to be.
Seema and Amreen are constantly bringing their business to the next level with an evolving menu, a breakfast menu, as well as their newly launched Tiffinwala lunch delivery service (read more a bout BSF`s Tiffinwala service).
During my visit, I brought along friends who have tried the street foods in Mumbai, and are regulars at BSF. We had a chance to try out appetizers, mains and desserts from their current menu that includes chaat, sandwiches, and curries; as well the BSF specials. All mains come with a choice of sides including the BSF mixed salad, gunpower fries, or daal chawal rice. Many of the items in the “special menu” will be incorporated into their new menu.
Here were my “must haves”:
Mango Lassi ($4.95) – An extra thick and creamy lassi with yogurt and ripe mangoes.
Sev Puri ($7.95)- Flat puris topped with potatoes, green mango, chutneys and Bengal gram flour noodles. I love discovering new dishes that blow my mind and wow my taste buds. It was the perfect bite with crunch, heat, and appetizing sour notes from the green mango.
Mumbai Veggie Pav Bhaji ($10.95)-Crushed sautéed mixed vegetables in a medium spice sauce served with two warm buttered griddled pav buns.
My friend said this dish tasted just like the versions that he had on the streets of Mumbai. This was a comforting and spicy dish that I could have over and over.
Gunpowder Fries-Crispy home-style fries tossed with unique spices and coconut chutney. Gunpowder spice is popular with the South Indian community of Mumbai.
Koliwada Fish Frankie ($13.95 from the BSF specials menu)-Marinated haddock, deep fried in a gram flour batter with red onion, cabbage, pickled onions, lemon juice, and egg; rolled in a soft freshly made roti. The haddock was meaty and not overcooked.
Tandoori Chicken wings ($9 for 6 from the BSF specials menu)- The wings were marinated for 24 hours and were flavourful tender bites served with a spicy yogurt sauce.
Qubani Ka Meetha ($4.95)- A traditional layered of stewed cardamom-infused apricots, custard, fresh cream and almonds. This fragrant dessert is local to Hyderabad.
A few of the specials including the beef shami kebabs and homestyle beef curry still needed a bit of tweaking to perfect in my mind. The beef patty could have been more crispy, and the beef curry was a little heavy handed on the salt for me.
Bombay Street Food does an excellent job at evoking the feeling of being in old Bombay as you step into the restaurant with an exciting menu inspired by culinary offerings from the streets of Mumbai. With a specialized menu not typically seen at other Indian restaurants, Bombay Street Food is a “must visit”. Be prepared to be stuffed!
*Disclosure: The food was complimentary but the opinions in the post are my own.