I LOVE Bombay to Mumbai

13 Dec 2017
When a great new restaurant like Bombay to Mumbai opens in Bramhall it’s always a big event and it is what us restaurant lovers at Ilovebramhall.com are excited about!

Bombay to Mumbai has taken over the site of the former Khandoker restaurant on Fir Road, but this is a very different Indian restaurant to its predecessor. Many of the Indian restaurants in Manchester are are actually owned by Pakistani or Bangladeshi nationals, however this one is owned by an Indian born in Bombay.
Bombay to Mumbai
The owner Sandeep and his business partner Donya invited us down for a two-hour sampling of the menu to show us just why they are a unique Indian restaurant. Hey, this job does have its perks at times…
Sandeep is a former owner of  Aamchi Mumbai restaurant in Cheadle. He is really passionate about promoting Mumbai city and its cuisine creating an outstanding experience for his guests. He opened Bombay to Mumbai in Bramhall on 15th August 2017 to coincide with India’s Independence Day.  His business partner Donya is a trained opera singer from the Royal Northern College of Music, one of the leading conservatoires in the world, located in Manchester and she keeps the restaurant service running at just the right tempo. 
Bombay to Mumbai
As we waited for the starters to arrive we asked Sandeep about his choice of name for the restaurant.
“Bombay and Mumbai are one and the same place. So why did you decide to use both names?”
Sandeep replied,
“I was brought up in Bombay and I love the city because it’s such a multicultural melting pot that accepts all religions, and the variety of food on offer represents ‘all of India’ with modern-day Mumbai’s own unique flavour added to the mix”
So why do people still refer to Mumbai as Bombay? Here’s the history bit. 
Just as Peking was later renamed Beijing there are political reasons behind the shift.  Portuguese colonialists originally named the city “Bom Bahia” meaning “good bay” The word “Bombay” was simply the anglicised expression of the Portuguese word used by the British Raj when they later took power.  In 1995, to distance the city from its past under colonial rule it was renamed to Mumbai.
Mumbai is a city. Bombay is an emotion.
Bombay to Mumbai
 So depending on which side of the fence people sit, you’ll find that some call the city Mumbai whilst some still refer to it as Bombay.  Essentially it’s all about the age-old transition from old to new and there are pros and cons to both names.  Sandeep summarised the sentiment for us in one sentence, 
“Mumbai today is a bustling, modern city whereas Bombay still endures as an emotion”
Is everyone keeping up so far? Good. Because we will be asking questions at the end.
The former Bombay had many famous residents including Salman Rushdie and author of The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling.  Whilst we are on the subject of interesting facts, here’s one that’s a bit closer to home.  Rudyard Kipling was named after Rudyard Lake, as a result of his parents meeting there in 1863. Rudyard is a small village between Stoke-on-Trent and Leek, about 30 minutes drive from Bramhall, for all you history fans.Bombay to Mumbai
Both the restaurant’s decor and menu celebrate Bombay’s journey to becoming known as Mumbai.  From the bespoke and trendy serving stands and antique pure copper plates that present each dish on the table with style to the vibrant collage of classic Bollywood film posters adorning the walls, many of these finer details have been sourced directly from Mumbai. The decor, just like the city itself represents a journey from vintage to modern and creates a unique sense of emotion and theatre.
Bombay to Mumbai
 So on to the food.  The menu is one big adventure into Indian cuisine with dish after dish of new and exciting flavours to tickle your taste buds. Don’t expect to find the standard list of ‘curries for English people’ on offer here. Yes, there are some familiar choices such as slow-cooked Lamb Bhuna and Butter Chicken but pretty much everything else is a new experience waiting for you to explore. 
Bombay to Mumbai
 The menu features a large choice of starters including Mumbai street food, plus slightly spicy Indo Chinese fusion dishes and 6 tasty Tandoor oven dishes.  The main courses are split simply between meat or vegetarian dishes with 7 or 8 options for each. It is a concise menu which is always the sign of a good restaurant because it means everything is cooked fresh with love.
“The base ingredients of a curry are very important. Each of our curries has its own special base that is created from scratch in the kitchen.  It’s a big task but we prepare our food with love. Many restaurants only keep a couple of bases with which to create all their curries from which means that there’s little variation in flavour” Sandeep revealed.
Bombay to Mumbai Although there is no guide on the menu to indicate the spice level, the restaurant team will happily explain what’s what according to your personal taste. For those of you who like hot curries, the kitchen can dial up the spice on some dishes, but on others, the purity of the taste is kept sacred. True to the roots of Indian cuisine, over half of the dishes on the menu are vegetarian, so there is plenty of choice for non-meat eaters.  
Bombay to Mumbai
 So what would we recommend?
 The mini poppadums were very crisp and their size was perfect for dipping without tipping half of the contents onto the tablecloth. (Wendy is such a messy eater…) The dips themselves featured some fresh new alternatives to the norm including lime and coriander and red chilli and garlic. 
The Goan Fish Curry is one of the best fish dishes we’ve eaten in an Indian restaurant; delicately cooked, succulent and possessing a stunning amount of flavour.  “We only use Coley Fish for this dish because it requires good quality fish, regardless of the fact that it costs us more money, it simply tastes better” Donya added. 
Lamb Chumku instantly jumped off the menu due to its unusual garlic and beetroot sauce but it proved to be the perfect taste combination.  Also look out for the very traditional Mumbai Sizzler; a sizzling pan loaded with Paneer Tikka or Chicken Malai Tikka, stuffed pepper, makhani sauce & masala rice.  Absolutely delicious.
Bombay to Mumbai
It is also refreshing to see a wide choice of authentic Indian desserts on offer, all well priced and if you opt for the ‘Sweety Platter’ you’ll get to sample four of the most popular desserts on one plate.  A far cry from memories of dessert options when we were children which were a toss up between a ‘Punky Penguin’ novelty vanilla ice cream or half a plastic coconut shell filled with a sickly, coconut flavoured fondant ice.

This is Indian food for real foodies. If your idea of ‘going for a curry’ is a long-standing weekly ritual of ordering Chicken Tikka Masala and a Peshwari Naan, washed down with 6 pints of lager, then there are plenty of other restaurants to choose from in Bramhall.  Sandeep and his team will happily accommodate individual requests for favourite curries but that’s really not the point of coming here.  Bombay to Mumbai is all about authenticity, exploring new flavours, trying new dishes and discovering new favourites from a menu that combines the best of traditional and contemporary influences. 

Bombay to Mumbai

Bombay to Mumbai is open from Tuesday to Sunday and for readers mentioning Ilovebramhall.com, there’s a 20% discount on takeaways available from Sunday to Thursday.
Bombay to Mumbai…get carried away!
Bombay to Mumbia 
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