Dinner in a Kashmiri boat

Dinner in a Kashmiri boat

What about a rickshaw in a Bollywood-style Punjabi dhaba? CNNGo reader Ruchika Vyas shares her unconventional dining experiences with traditional food in Mumbai

Kongpoush for Kashmiri cuisine

KongpoushShare my shikara?

Aside from Kashmir’s breathtaking natural beauty, it’s the state’s delectable cuisine that has kept it on India’s list of regional food favorites. 

Located on a rather inconspicuous street in Goregaon, Kongpoush was opened to offer Mumbai carnivores a rare chance to get their hands on Kashmir's rich and meaty food.

In contrast to the easy-to-miss plain exterior, the restaurant’s interior adopts an interesting facet of Kashmiri culture -- boats.

The decor is dominated by tables shaped like shikaras, wooden boats used to get from one house boat to another on Srinagar’s famous Dal Lake, paired with cane lamps, cozy cushions and flowing curtains.

The chef is from Jammu and Kashmir and comes equipped with ingredients available only in this snow-clad valley, ensuring that delicacies such as roganjosh and goshtaba are authentic.

Fortunately, there is a wide variety in the vegetarian section too, such as nadir (lotus stems) and gogji (turnips), typical Kashmiri specialties.

Adding to the ambiance is the sound of instrumental music playing shyly in the background.

Must try: vegetarians should not miss the rajma (kidney beans stewed in herbs and cooked in Kashmiri spices, Rs 149), whereas goshtaba (lamb pieces pounded into soft, spongy meat balls, cooked in curd based gravy goes best with rice, Rs 259) is a must for meat lovers.

For dessert, grab a bite of the shufta (made with dry coconut, raisins, dates and khus khus, cooked in sweet syrup, Rs 79).

End your meal with the ever-popular Kashmiri kahwa tea, flavored with cinnamon, cardamom and saffron, Rs 39. It is said to be a good digestive drink and you'll definitely need it!

Kongpoush, opposite Veena Apartments, BEST Colony Road, near Oshiwara Bus Depot, off Link Road, Goregaon (West); +91 98 2119 2910/(0) 22 6539 1201. Open 12:30-3:45 p.m., 7:30-11:45 p.m. Meal for two: Rs 600-800 without alcohol (inclusive of taxes).

Firangi Dhaba for Punjabi food

Firangi DhabaFirangi Dhaba, means literally, a Western-style dhaba.With a dash of Bollywood kitsch, this funky restaurant creates a modern setting, while retaining the authentic road-side dhaba appeal.

Vintage movie posters of cult films like "Deewar" and "Mughal-e-Azam," and a patchwork of kites and glass bangles adorn the walls, while old lanterns, irons, charpoys and a funky cut-out of actor Salman Khan define the decor.

Firangi Dhaba's semi-al fresco seating area with colorful mosaic flooring is particularly special as it comes with a variety of unique seating options.

You can take your pick from low-lying shamiana seats, an old sewing machine, hand-driven carts or rickshaws that double up as one-of-a-kind tables.

The cuisine is a fusion of authentic 'dhabe da khana' (authentic Punjabi dhaba fare) and other North Indian options. 

Its USP however lies in the dholwala that plays the dhol drum every half hour, urging people to get on their toes and break into a dance.

Must try: murg-dil-e-bahar tandoori chicken cooked in raw mango gravy, Rs 178, sabzi-diwane-khas, which is a dish of vegetables cooked in a special in-house sauce, Rs 148 and lassi (Rs 49) milk served traditionally in a tall brass tumbler.

Firangi Dhaba, 9 Remi Bizcourt, Veera Desai Road, Behind Fun Republic, Andheri (West), Mumbai 400053; tel. +91 (0)22 2674 3232/2674 4444. 12-3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.–12:30 a.m. Meal for 2: Rs 500-1,000.

Firangi Dhaba

About the author: Ruchika Vyas is a Mumbai-based writer, hopelessly addicted to travel.

Ruchika submitted this piece as part of CNNGo's CityPulse section. To find out what other stories we are looking for, go to our CityPulse page.