A visit to Mumbai simply isn't complete without trying the succulent kebabs and grilled chicken from Bademiya in the Colaba tourist district. It's some of the best street food you'll have in the city.
What Makes Bademiya so Legendary?
This open air, roadside "restaurant" has been serving up mouthwatering street food since the 1940s. It's now run by the founder's son and has become one of Mumbai's favorite eateries. This is not just because it's one of the few places to stay open late into the night -- the food here really stands out.
People from all levels of society seek out Bademiya for its delicious rolls and barbecue specialties. The seekh and boti kebabs (made out of minced lamb), and grilled chicken tikka are firm favorites. Bheja fry (fried goat brains) is also popular with those who like such dishes!
However, there's no need for vegetarians to feel left out, as Bademiya has a separate stand serving up yummy vegetarian alternatives as well.
The restaurant, which is really just an elaborate food stall, has a row of tables and chairs seating around 50 people on its side walk. Many people prefer to have their food served on the hood of their car though, in a scene reminiscent of an American diner way back in the rock and roll era.
The pleasing thing about this street restaurant is that it's surprisingly hygienic. You'll find workers wearing rubber gloves and chefs hats, tantalizingly cooking your food over flames right in front of you.
What's Not to Like?
Despite Bademiya's iconic status, satisfaction among many regular customers has decreased in recent years. There are complaints about the inattentive service and disappointing standard of food. Prices have increased. Plus, the quality of meat isn't as good as it used to be and portion sizes are smaller.
Other drawbacks are very slow service when it's busy. There's often a wait for a table, especially after 7 p.m. The crowd, from surrounding nightspots, really begins building around midnight.
These days, the atmosphere is the main attraction, and the convenience of the restaurant being open late.
- Located on Tulloch Road (a side street between Colaba Causeway and the Taj Mahal Hotel), in south Mumbai's Colaba neighborhood.
- Open until about 3 a.m.
- Sidewalk seating for 50 people.
- Take away service is offered.
- Food also served on the hood of your car.
- Alcohol not available.
- Cash only.
- Expect to pay 180-250 rupees for a kebab. A kebab platter costs 700 rupees.
- A range of other dishes is available, apart from kebabs.
Note that Bademiya has opened an enclosed restaurant in south Mumbai's Fort district (it's located in Botawala Building, near the Near State Central Library at Horniman Circle). The menu is similar, albeit with few extra dishes. The dining experience isn't as unique or as memorable as the roadside Colaba branch though.
For more information, visit their website.