Food review - +94 BOMBAY, Lower Parel

BY WHIM Official Food Critic.



The pandemic has been the biggest learning curve for the hospitality industry. In a span of a year, hundreds of fine-dining outlets shut shop since the overheads were a bludgeoning burden.

But there was this entrepreneurial genius, hospitality business baron and stake holder of a glorious, culturally-rich culinary lineage who stood tall amongst the herd.

He’s always been the lightening-charged blitzkrieg who ushers in influences, hood-winking culinary memories, introducing trend-setting internationalization of gastronomic techniques to the Indian audiences (and even internationally) and launching new business models that form the epic-centre of marvels for the Indian foodies. ZORAWAR KALRA has added his dynamism to the culturally-rich iconic Kalra heritage with great aplomb.

Like always, it’s about learning fast and pivoting to a new business model when necessary. It’s about spotting an opportunity, packaging it right and using the best business acumen to make the venture a success. The birth of ‘+94 Bombay’ at Palladium exemplifies Zorawar Kalra’s business acumen of filling the coastal influence void at the Mall, and effectively blending it with rich culinary Sri Lankan delicacies. The maxim of giving connoisseurs an extravagant eating experiences in the best way possible is worth an applause.

The credit for this miraculous marriage of Maharashtrian and Sri Lankan cuisine goes to Chef Dipesh Shinde who has skillfully harmonized and accentuated flavors and textures, unified ingredients and bringing to life a scintillating, lip-smacking menu. A brilliant confabulation and a delectable menu from this humble, humility personified Chef whose travel trips to Sri Lanka have created the ultimate drama to the gastronomic experience at ‘+94 Bombay’.

We chose to sample only the Sri Lankan dishes and bingo, the zippy flavours are surely a temptation to go back again.


What we tried:


Jaffna black pepper prawns - True to its formidable reputation, this prawn creation is a fiery highlight on the menu for sure. Fortunately it’s not fiercely, numbingly spicy but you would savour the rich smothering of a coating of delectable, roasted curry powder. The overall effect is a lingering of the spices and the brooding, fleshy depth of the prawn meat is perfectly cooked for a juicy, crunchy flavour.

Kappa crab cutlet - A wholesome, sizeable portion of these cutlets have tons of flavour. They are packed with so many aromatic levels that trying to decipher the actual filling of the recipe is a task. Blended well with the mango chutney adds the zing element to the dish. Neither did the fine coconut shredding or the mashed potato layering interfere with the crab meat flavour. Loved it!

Wild mushroom and sago wade – A must have for the vegetarians, the wild mushroom is finely chopped and the magical tinge to this creation comes with the embedded sago seeds which are crunchy.

Veg poriyal roll – An absolute delight. On the lines of a spring roll, the filling is dramatically different with fine layering of the veggies and the extra-crisp outer covering.

Bombil fry – Although we were already stuffed with the appetizers, our server convinced us to try their all-time super-hit dish. Promising to get a small portion, we ended up feasting on one of the most perfect bombil fry we have tried in recent times. This iconic Maharashtrian dish was done perfectly without an over-addition of semolina coating.

Main course:

Veg moilee hoppers – Loved the sweet marriage of three different chutneys, a thick creamy vegetable gravy (rich and loaded with flavours) and the hoppers. A satiating, light dish – you will surely slurp on the rich texture of the gravy.

We requested for sampling portions of the non-vegetarian gravies and the Chef was brimming with joy.

Jaffna goat curry - Cooked with everyday Sri Lankan spices, this Mutton curry had a thick gravy bringing about extra depth and color. The Mutton is cooked until tender and flavoured perfectly. Rich and amazing flavours!

Colomba chicken curry – There’s no cream in this curry yet it is thick and creamy. A variant of taste and spices when compared to the goat curry, this one has some intense aromatic flavours that titillate your taste buds.

Konkani rawas curry – Finally, the epitome of tangy, coconut gravy which is resplendent of every fish curry. Fluid and easy on the taste buds, it’s difficult to spotlight which one of the three the best one is out. In fact, all are winners and worth trying if you are going in a group.


Watalappam – A Sri Lankan dessert speciality, delicious, creamy coconut custard / pudding / cake sweetened with traditional “Kitul Jaggery,” and with warming spices like cardamom and nutmeg. This block of delight has been skilfully blended with an in-house shell-shaped ice-cream which one notices in the MasterChef series. Rich and totally sinful!

Salted caramel lotus biscoff – A must have, rich and loaded with dry fruits and assorted, multiple layerings (the elusive biscoff too). Worth the price and a perfect treat for all, not just the kids.


Cocktails & Mocktails:

Thabikal – a tri-colour layered juice which is pre-dominantly famous in Dubai. This one is rich, and the restaurant’s ‘Gadbad Stall’ serves some amazing fresh juice concoctions are dirt-cheap prices.

Serendib – A vodka based drink, with faint hints of mango. Refreshing and well-balanced on the spirits. Just make sure you get a low-on-ice cocktail to relish it for a longer time.

Kolamba – A gin creation, with subtle hints of a jaggery syrup, not to over-powering. Perfect, but the black tea is just a tea bag addition and minimizes the power of iced tea.

On the service front, the staff is bang on and always out to please. Do try the juice bar which is excellent and a guarantee that you will sure go back for a second round to savour the menu…just like I will!!!! 

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