Kamala Mills is one of the busiest mills in Parel. While some of you might think we’re talking about the number of offices in the complex, food-lovers are wiser about the matter. Some of Mumbai’s hottest restaurants, secret bars, popular pubs, dance spots have roosted at this unassuming mill.

It can be a little confusing – pork belly at Farzi Cafe or banh mi at Eat Kaboom? Smoothies at Zesto or a bacon and beef burger at the Old Wild West? {Okay that last one was pretty easy}.

Here’s our guide to getting the gastronomic best at this mill, one eatery at a time.

Please Don’t Tell

Photo courtesy: Please Don't Tell

Photo courtesy: Please Don’t Tell

The graffiti and bright red door make this ‘secret’ bar pretty easy to spot. While we love their drinks, their food isn’t shabby at all.

Try the Basil Instinct, a pesto and chicken burger served with melted cheddar and fries {and extra bacon, if you like}. For INR 350, this will line the most delicate tummy for a night of drinking. Vegetarians, pop the Millionaire Potatoes in your mouth for a fun bar snack. The jacket potatoes with truffle oil and cheese are indulgent and easy at INR 300.

Cafe Haqq Se

The earthy crockery at Haqq Se makes their desi food taste even better. We suggest you start with dessert – their PistaJaam Pie is a gulab jamun baked with rabri and pie and served with a scoop of salted toffee ice cream for INR 316.

For mains, we suggest the tandoori chicken momos for INR 396, which are as tasty as they are sacrilegious. Also, the watermelon prawn curry for INR 526 is one of the more unique takes on seafood we’ve had in the city.

Grandmama’s Cafe

Photo Source: Grandma's Cafe via Facebook

Photo source: Grandma’s Cafe 

The cute, almost twee decor at Grandmama’s Cafe can seem a little cloying {it’s complete with a very sentimental soundtrack being played on the speakers, so be prepared for that} but their food has some bright spots. Try the Belgian chocolate shake for INR 190, which was thick, creamy, and with the accompanying decor, made us feel like something out of an Archies comic. Also favoured by us was the shakshuka with crumbled feta for INR 170 which was piping hot, wholesome and filling.

Bar Stock Exchange

The Bar Stock Exchange, with its finance-friendly approach to alcohol pricing, is mostly seen as a place for cheap booze. But their food menu shouldn’t be ignored. We recommend the Misal Pav Fondue, which sees the traditional Maharashtrian delicacy being served with toasted pav and cheese for INR 175. Believe us, this dish takes the roadside version to the next level. Also grab the Undertaker Wings for INR 250: spicy as hell and served with onion rings makes them the perfect bar snack.

Pop Tate’s

While it’s located next to slightly more glamorous colleagues like Bombay Canteen and Farzi Cafe, Pop Tate’s still finds a packed house most nights for its cheap alcohol and greasy bites. We suggest trying out the mutton crispies for INR 256 – mutton kheema rolled in rice crispies and cheese, for the perfect drink accompaniment.

For the vegetarians, we recommend the nachos with an Indian twist for INR 188, which are served with chana masala and green chutney.

Eat Kaboom

Photo courtesy: Eat Kaboom

Photo courtesy: Eat Kaboom

Kaboom is another new entrant to Kamala Mills, a cross between a food truck and a cafe in the Trade World B Wing, serving up a different menu on each day of the week. We like to visit on the weekends, when all the selections are available. We’re fans of their egg selections, which include the anda pav sandwiches {INR 120} which are healthy and filling.

Zesto

Zesto is a small cafe, but we like it for its healthy bites and drinks. They’re a good option for breakfast if we’re in the area. Though we have in the past opted for a cream cheese bagel, we highly recommend their smoothies. The Berry Blast Smoothie for INR 150 {or INR 180 for a large} has blueberry, banana, strawberry, raspberry, orange juice and yogurt, and is both refreshing and filling.

Farzi Cafe

Photo courtesy: Farzi Cafe

Photo courtesy: Farzi Cafe

The Farzi Cafe feels much more like a lounge than a restaurant. Once your eyes adjust to the lack of natural light, order the Inside Out Vada Pav {which is exactly what it sounds like} for INR 225, and follow it up with the Parle G Cheesecake served with milk custard and topped with chocolate gems for INR 295, which took us straight back to our childhoods.

Old Wild West

This American Wild West-themed bar with a somewhat confused Tex-Mex menu still has a few bright spots worth gobbling up. First up is their bacon and beef BBQ burger. Topped with BBQ sauce and french fries, this burger for INR 425 is surprisingly juicy and fresh, and will please every Ron Swanson fan. We also liked their Texas Stye Beef Nachos, served with heapings of sour cream and guacamole for INR 425 that will satisfy any of your wild cravings.

Anncensored

At Anncensored, food-lovers can choose from two menus – the ‘censored’ menu with Continental dishes, and the ‘uncensored’ one with desi takes on the same dishes. Don’t censor your appetite and opt for the Old Delhi-Style Chicken Leg for INR 575, which is first cooked in a tandoor and then pan-fried. For dessert, opt for #drama all the way and get the chocolate rum ball flambe for INR 450, and watch it be set on fire and reveal its chocolatey depths on the table.

Koko

Photo courtesy: Koko

Photo courtesy: Koko

This Asian gastro pub is the latest entrant to Kamala Mills. With a huge 3,500 square feet area covering both an island bar and a dining area, there’s more than enough space, but make sure you’re ready to pay a hefty bill. Try their sushi menu, especially the misaki rolls {with fresh tuna and salmon} for INR 850 and the spare ribs for INR 350.

The Bombay Canteen

One of the first ‘modern Indian’ entrants to the mill, The Bombay Canteen is one of our perennial favourites. Some of the classics that we always go back to include the Desi Tacos, especially the ones with Goan-style pulled pork vindaloo for INR 350. We also strongly suggest the My Uncle’s Coconut Mutton Curry for INR 550. This homely curry with boneless mutton is best mopped up with pav.

Chemistry 101

This gastrobar with its unique dish names, presentation and interpretation of Indian cuisine can seem a little intimidating, but don’t be alarmed. Try their Disney Ratatouille, a take on the classic pav bhaji for INR 300 which involves smoke, bell jars and pav in string-form. If not vegetarian, try the Atlantic for INR 600, which involves a mini fish tank set with prawns in garlic powder {which represents the sand}, with microgreens and coconut milk foam.

Mighty Small

Photo courtesy: Mighty Small

Photo courtesy: Mighty Small

If you’re in Smaaash, you’ve probably not come for a sit-down dinner. But as long as you’re there, we’d suggest that you drop by Mighty Small. The circus-themed bar doesn’t have much by the way of a gourmet selection, but it does have that breaker of social media – the freak shake. We love their caramelised apple, cinnamon, salted caramel and marshmallow shake for INR 300, which will give you enough of a sugar high to power through at least three rounds of bowling.

While you’re there, share a plate of the kheema gotala fondue for INR 349. With fried eggs, green chilis and mini toasties, this will sedate you back to normality after the shake.

Featured photo: Athul Prasad/LBB