Best Mumbai restaurants for business meetings

Best Mumbai restaurants for business meetings

To talk privately, celebrate, impress, break ice and bread -- these six Mumbai restaurants do brisk business

Though it lacks the glitzy sheen of some of India’s newer business hubs, south Mumbai continues to be India’s financial epicenter, serving as headquarters for everything from the Reserve Bank to the stock exchange to the nation’s mint.

No wonder then that the area boasts many work-friendly restaurants.

We polled some city professionals -- lawyers, fund managers, bankers and finance media folk -- and zeroed in on the six best Mumbai restaurants for different business occasions.

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Wasabi Mumbai

This restaurant is like a pearl, embedded in the dramatic seascape corner of the city’s fabled Taj Mahal hotel, overlooking bobbing craft anchored at the Gateway of India.

Wasabi, the Taj's first-floor Japanese restaurant, is also is one of the most expensive tables in the city, at Rs 4,500 per person, not counting the sake.

Some 28 varieties of fresh seafood are flown in once a week from Japan to supply the sushi and live teppanyaki counters.

Sushi on offer can rival any Japanese restaurant in any other major world city, but caters to Indian palates with an outstanding vegetarian selection including Mexican-inspired delectable guacamole tacos.

Know your menu: Soft-shell crab sushi rolls; rock shrimp tempura with spicy mayo; white fish carpaccio; steamed Chilean sea bass with blackbean sauce, chef's scallions, ginger, hot oil; and Miso-marinated black cod.

Lunch: 12:30 p.m.-2:45 p.m. Dinner: 7 p.m.-11:45 p.m.

For reservations call Taj Mahal Palace, P J Ramchandani Marg, Apollo Bandar, Colaba; +91 (0)22 6665 3366; www.tajhotels.com

Thai Pavilion: Best Mumbai restaurant for a private business meeting

Thai Pavillion Mumbai

With its hushed tones and dark interiors, Thai Pavilion is Mumbai’s answer to Bangkok fine dining.

It's a choice place to hold a private business lunch meeting.

TP, as its affectionately known, was refurbished in 2007 and is spacious enough to make eavesdropping on neighbors difficult.

Its location at the Taj Vivanta in Cuffe Parade, makes it a convenient meeting ground for out-of-town business guests who like to stay at Taj's business hotel.

As far as Thai food goes, this is the Mumbai’s best on offer.

Know your menu: Gaeng Ped Thai red curry with jasmine rice, Pla Nueng Manao steamed John Dory with lemon and garlic sauce and Phad Phak stir-fried mixed vegetables in a Thai sauce.

Dinner approximately Rs 3,000 per head and lunch Rs 2,000 per head, with one drink.

Lunch: 12:30 p.m.-3 p.m. Dinner: 7 p.m.-midnight

For reservations call Taj Vivanta, 90 Cuffe Parade; +91 (0)22 6665 0808; www.vivantabytaj.com

Frangipani: Best Mumbai restaurant for a business lunch

Frangipani Mumbai

The Trident’s all-day restaurant is a favorite amongst local business folk, given its extensive hot and cold buffet lunch spread.

Diners are spoilt for choice, with a variety of salads and appetizers, a generous Indian menu as well as à la carte for those in the mood for Continental or Italian.

Plus its ample seating often allows for last-minute reservations and walk-ins.

In other words, it’s perfect for those impromptu, no-fuss work lunches.

Know your menu: Salad of chevre and ruccola with citrus fruits and crisp almonds; aglio olio spaghetti; sour dough margherita and four cheese pizzas; and Jambalaya-style risotto with Chorizo sausages, shrimps and ham.   

Budget for Rs 2,000 per head without alcohol.

Open 7 a.m.-12:30 a.m.

For reservations call Trident Hotel, Opposite Air India Building, Nariman Point; +91 (0)22 6632 6310, 6632 4343; www.tridenthotels.com

Khyber: Best Mumbai restaurant for Indian food experience  

Khyber MumbaiKhyber’s Mughlai cuisine is guaranteed to work with both foreign and desi business colleagues.

Its kebab and curry friendly menu reads like a greatest hits from north India, with a heavy dose of Mumbai thrown in with kali mirch rawas, a spicy local fish marinated in black pepper yogurt, or the crab bhurjee (stir fried spiced crab, onions and tomatoes).

It's a better choice for a business dinner than lunch, because after a heavy Tandoori meal it's near impossible to work.

Know your menu: There's 10 different types of kebabs, and vegetarians won’t be disappointed either, with a big thumbs-up to the pudina gobi (cauliflower marinated in mint yogurt) and the achari mushroom, or pickled mushrooms grilled on charcoal.

With most dishes under Rs 500, Khyber offers good value for money too, making it a preferred dining destination for big group business dinners. Rs 1,500 per head without drinks.

Lunch: 12:30 p.m.-4 p.m. Dinner: 7 p.m.-11:45 p.m.

145 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Fort; +91 (0)22 4039 6666; www.khyberrestaurant.com

Indigo: Best Mumbai restaurant to break the ice

Indigo Mumbai

Beloved by locals, Indigo has long been a must-stop on every Mumbai visitor’s list.

There’s something warm and familiar about this 12-year-old fine dine restaurant that pioneered modern European food served up with a South Asian edge and a healthy dose of ambience, outside the gambit of Mumbai's five-star hotels.

In good weather, the upstairs al fresco dining captures Mumbai’s laid-back yet boho chic mood, but if you’d rather be indoors, there’s a lively buzz to the downstairs space, with the long bar and lounge setting the tone for a fun evening out.

What’s truly great about Indigo is that it allows your dining experience to be whatever you want it to be -- casual for some, formal enough for others.

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Know your menu: Recommended dishes are the lobster risotto, the caramelized onion flan, buffalo tenderloin with braised oxtail, asparagus-stuffed gnocchi and beetroot carpaccio.

Indigo is also well priced, with average cost per head at Rs 2,000 with a glass of wine.

Lunch: Noon-3 p.m. Dinner: 7 p.m.-11:45 p.m.

4 Mandlik Road, Apollo Bandar; +91 (0)22 6636 8999; www.foodindigo.com

Hakkasan: Best Mumbai restaurant to celebrate closing a deal   

Hakkasan Mumbai

The most buzz worthy opening in Mumbai this year, where nouvelle Chinese meets London chic, Hakkasan is best enjoyed when you don’t have to worry about the bill -- and what better way to do so than a deal closing dinner?

Hakkasan’s pricing has already made it a legend among Mumbai’s chatterati, making it a sure fire winner with all those hard working colleagues looking for an emphatic pat on the back (and a night out on company expense).

The bar scene at the Ling Ling lounge is buzzing towards the end of the week, so after a sumptuous meal you can retire to digestifs for a fitting finale and blend with the crowd.

Know your menu: Hakka steamed dim sum basket, crispy duck salad, salt and pepper squid, roasted silver cod with Champagne and Chinese honey, stir-fry lotus root and asparagus in black pepper, Mabo tofu with chicken and Sichuan pickled vegetables and steamed whole crab.

Average price per head is Rs 5,500, with one drink.

Lunch: Noon-3:30 p.m. Dinner: 7-11:30 p.m.

Krystal, Waterfield Road, Bandra (W); +91 (0)22 2644 4444, 2644 4445; hakkasan.com/mumbai

Gayatri is a Columbia Journalism School graduate who has written on fashion, art and lifestyle for the International Herald Tribune, VOGUE, Conde Nast Traveller, Harper's Bazaar, HELLO!, CNNGo, The Book Review, ELLE, and The Hindu.

Read more about Gayatri R Shah