Mmmmmumbai Chopstix! You just have to say it that way. And say it fast.
This evening was my second time visiting this restaurant on Newbury Street. Here is the description from its website:
The centuries-old marriage of Chinese and Indian flavors is insanely popular throughout India; but it was practically unknown in Boston until MUMBAI CHOPSTIX came on the scene in spring of 2010.
This 100-seat restaurant with an outdoor patio on trendy Newbury Street combines Chinese ingredients and cooking techniques with Indian seasonings (and sometimes vice versa). Often known as Hakka cuisine, it was developed in the 1800s when Chinese immigrants flowed into the city of Calcutta, forming a thriving Chinatown.
The addition of Indian chilies and peppers, spices like garlic and ginger, and sauces enriched with yogurt add interest to native Chinese dishes, making them complex, delicious and addictive.
When I arrived, we hung out on the bottom level of the restaurant/bar area and I had a cabernet sauvignon to start.
I love the clear chairs. It definitely makes the restaurant seem more spacious, since on Newbury Street, a lot of the restaurants are in old brownstones and space can be limited.
Oh, hello there yellow scarf. Thank you for keeping me warm this evening.
As we were chatting and drinking, appetizers were being passed around.
- Steamed Momohs (vegetable or chicken dumplings) served with Tangra chili sauce
- Chicken 65, stir fried with Curry leaf and dried chilies
- Vegetable Surmai with a spicy potato filling
- Scallops in coconut sauce
- Fried lamb
My steamed momoh with the remnant toothpicks that once had chicken 65 on them. One that I did not try was the scallops. I’ve never really been a scallop fan. They seem too grainy and fishy for me.
After enjoying the apps, we headed upstairs and were seated at the “spice” table. At my station there were cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and lentils.
Once we sat, we were presented with Sweet Corn Soup: creamy ginger infused corn soup with vegetables and shrimp.
Our next dish was the Tandoori Chicken Spring Rolls with chili sauce. It came with a side of noodles and watermelon.
Instead of ordering a meal off of the menu, we were given some of the more popular dishes to share, family style. My plate had the following:
- White Rice/Basmati Rice
- Singapore Noodles
- Chili Paneer “Dry Hakka Style”
- Vegetable Manchurian
- Calcutta Szechuan Chicken
The lighting in the restaurant wasn’t the best
There was even a sitar player! We chatted him up a bit and we found out he was a student at Berklee and he was the first to major in the music of the sitar. It was very relaxing to hear that music. Might have to pick up a CD!
For dessert, yet another sampler was placed in front of us:
- Indian specialty of wheat balls dipped in syrup, rolled in coconut
- Toffee banana with candied peanuts
- Rich vanilla ice cream
- Side of Green Tea
A few more shots of the restaurant
My final verdict on Mumbai? I love discovering new, ethnic restaurants and this one definitely delivers. The food has great flavor to it without being overbearing. The dishes are well prepared and are great for serving family style. It took me a while before I actually started liking Indian food. I think for someone who may want to “ease” into the cuisine, this would be a great restaurant to check out. The majority of the dishes aren’t that spicy. (I can’t take too much spice) The atmosphere is also beautiful and it’s very easy to carry on a conversation. I definitely have no trouble recommending this restaurant to people who want to discover something different. I highly recommend it!
Do you like Indian food? What is your favorite cuisine?