Moombai & Co Café and Bar – Authentic Indian Gastro Dining in Dubai
July 3, 2018
Walking into the H Hotel for the first time since it changed over from being the Monarch Hotel a few years ago, we were unsure what to expect and curious about the new outlets it has recently opened – one of those being the Moombai & Co Cafė and Bar. Billed as ‘an authentic Indian gastro bar, fusing together the magic of olden day Mumbai with the modern vibrancy of Dubai’, the restaurant introduces itself whimsically, with a brightly painted rickshaw and rustic wooden panels beckoning you in directly from the street. Once inside, we were pleasantly surprised with a warm brick, rustic wood and edgy ‘street hipster’ vibe throughout the cafė.
The staff, warm and friendly, were eager to explain the menu to us for our Friday Brunch, which turned out to be a tasting journey through the furthest reaching regions of India, taking favorite street foods from across the country for a hugely enjoyable culinary experience. The best part, the set brunch menu is served directly to your table in beautifully plated slate ceramics and wooden crates – no elbowing crowds and endless waiting to fill up dishes. As an avid lover of all things Indian food, long gone were the usual suspects of Tikka Masala, Korma and Vindaloo but instead replaced with Dilli Aloo Tikki – crispy potato patties with tamarind and spiced mint chutney, Jhodpur Ki Pyaz Kachouri – a spicy deep fried puffed bread stuffed with onion and a delightful Patna Ka Litti Chokha billed as ‘soul food for the people of Bihar’, which was so delicious we would go back again just for that dish alone! The remaining eight (yes, eight!) dishes are served in phases and at your requested pace. Admittedly, we enjoyed the first 7 dishes over the last four served, but they were all pleasing and well considered. The food is extremely flavorsome, aromatically delicious, well-prepared and a feast for the eyes. It is certainly a journey away from the ‘norms’ of Indian food and extraordinarily topped off with their desserts of Moombai & Co Jalebi, a deep fried flour batter soaked in sugar syrup that tasted like a decadent pretzel-shaped funnel cake with an Indian twist, followed by the most unusual Agra Ki Malaiyo, which can only be described as cotton candy created from milk, which literally melts in your mouth and accompanied by a deeply spiced nutty custard.
This is also a very family friendly place, with a dedicated play area for younger ones and outdoor seating area for those brave enough to endure the heat. There is also a live DJ playing a mix of Indian chart toppers, Bollywood favorites and occasionally serenading patrons with his own dulcet tones over stripped back background music, which makes for a very unusual and entertaining atmosphere. The very cool, bearded bartender makes some amazing mocktails with unusual combinations of fresh squeezed lime, honey and pepper and a refreshing spiced peach ice tea, replete with all the tall pouring, flipping and catching you’d expect from such a lively little place.
If you’re tired of the ‘same ol’ brunch’ scene and looking for something that’s super casual, unusual and a walk through some of the most delicious and undiscovered delights of Indian street food, Moombai & Co is the place you should head to for your next Friday brunch. Besides that, it’s incredibly well-priced for the amount of food you receive with an unlimited a la carte menu with soft drinks at 149 AED, house beverages 299 AED and sparkling wine 349 AED. Remarkable food, coupled with a characterful, casual atmosphere and a friendly staff explaining the story of each dish and how to eat it – what more could you want for a laid back Friday?
Written by Leah Tedrow for Luxuria Lifestyle Dubai and Abu Dhabi