When Sandeep Gursahani opened Aamchi Mumbai in Cheadle, we were customers on the first night. We went back fairly regularly and, after a break of several months, recently went back again. We found that Sandeep was no longer associated with the business. And, to be honest, we also found the restaurant wasn’t as well run as before. Google found the answer to my question of “I wonder what Sandeep’s doing now”. Which is how we came to be having dinner at Bombay to Mumbai.
There were poppadums to start – mini one bite poppadums that come topped with finely diced tomato and onion. And four excellent chutneys to drizzle over, yoghurt and mango ones as you might expect, a fiery tomato (?) one and, my favourite, a mint based one spiked with chilli.
The menu draws heavily on Mumbai street food and many items were familiar to us from Aamchi. For one starter, there was a perfectly crisp masala dosa, stuffed with lightly spiced potato. As is traditional, it comes with a light vegetable sambar and a lovely fresh coconut chutney. The other plate was samosa chaat. Chopped up vegetable samosa, topped with crisp chopped salad, yoghurt and tangy chutney (tamarind I think). It’s never a dish that calls for elegant plating or eating – you just need to mix it all up and get stuck in. Sandeep and his daughter had recognised us as having been customers at the other place and were keen for us to try a couple of the new menu items. He brought a plate of sharabi chicken – one of the “special starters”. Lovely moist chicken tossed with still “al dente” onion, chilli, tomato and, interestingly for an Indian restaurant, finished with a little white wine. It was, without doubt, the best chicken we’ve eaten recently from any cuisine. My partner who is not a big fan of chicken reckons she might actually order this next visit.
There was another sample to try in the main courses. The “staff curry”. It comes as either chicken or lamb. This was perfectly tender and tasty lamb. Sandeep warned it was particularly spicy from chilli. The menu warns that it’s “ferocious”. It is. One for the chilliheads but a bit too spicy for us – I couldn’t really taste anything else in the dish. But I’m glad to have tried it. Better was the Chicken Kolhapuri – another dish from Maharashtra, Mumbai’s province. I’ve eaten it before as a vegetarian dish but not seen a chicken version. It was so good. Yes, there’s a goodly kick from chilli in this but it’s balanced by a well rounded spice mix and a gravy that’s traditionally softened with coconut and, I presume, was here. The other main course was, perhaps, the star of the meal. Lamb Chamku – loads of garlic in a very clingy, semi-dry beetroot sauce. Great red colour from the beet and a background note of earthy sweetness balanced well with the chilli and other spices.
Carbs were excellent. We shared a portion of plain rice and a kulcha – onion and chilli baked into the soft bread dough.
The restaurant has only been open for four months but, already, you can see it should be a great success. This really is good food with excellent attentive service. The quality of Aamchi Mumbai was recognised by its entry in the Good Food Guide for the last two years – then counting it amongst the country’s best 1000 restaurants. I’ve little doubt that Bombay to Mumbai is heading exactly the same way.