Phone: 022 23614466, 022 23614477
Address: First Floor, Soni Building, Opposite Bharati Vidya Bhavan, Girgaum, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Time: 11:00 AM to 11:30 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 1,100
Cuisines: Rajasthani, Gujarati, Beverages, Desserts, North Indian
Facilities: Home Delivery, Vegetarian Only, Valet Parking Available, Serves Jain Food, Indoor Seating
Time and again, I’ve discovered restaurants thanks to you – my foodie readers (who constantly email, tweet and Instagram), my foodie blind dates (who accompany me and guide me to their tried and tasted restaurants), and other foodie blind dates all over the world, too. But today, it’s about Mumbai. Gratitude to this charming young man who I met while shopping at his authentic namkeen and sweet store in Grant Road. This was over five years ago. Not only did I munch crunch on many a unique farsan but I tried the mithais, too. A few years ago, Jimmy Thakker had guided me to a restaurant nearby. This time, I walked out of the hospital (Jimmy’s 20-year-old shop faces the hospital gate) and on my spontaneous request, he took me to many an eatery. We rejected a few and zeroed in on the one his brother Sachin Thakker had recommended. And, it sure was a yummy adventure! It was the perfect antidote to my three-hour-long medical tests.
The Culture House, Girgaum, Mumbai: Decor
Walk up the stairs to this first-floored restaurant, and wham! The ornate and intricate ambiance overpowers and coddles. Chandeliers, Madhubani paintings and more. They’ve recreated the ambiance of a royal haveli.
The Culture House, Girgaum, Mumbai: Food
In the photograph, the spoonful I’m holding closest to the camera is their most unique (hold your breath) jalebi mirchi chaat. It brilliantly balanced the sweet interplay between sweet and spicy crunchy and squishy.
Our next favorite is Chef Paras’ tam tam khaman — moist, soft, spongy, flavorful tangy chaats in small plates. Full meals and more are served here. Traditional authenticity infuses the bajri khichu. As it does in the home-style achari vaghareli khichdi with sweet, silken kadhi. And as Jimmy points out, sabudana khichdi is a boon for those on a fast. It uses only sindhalun salt. Rich and luscious dry fruit lassi. End with the signature madhur milan; it’s a rich sweetness overload of motichoor ladoo with rabdi. Super-attentive service (kudos Santosh Pradha).
As in most other pure vegetarian restaurants in Mumbai, this one too slips up on the dhanshak,which does not deliver the authentic Parsi flavors. Lacklustre Govind gatta with satpadi roti. Sai bhaji could do with more punch. Papad churi avoidable.Some of the fusion dishes are too complex. No alcohol. Parking very difficult.
Sometimes, names can mislead and put you off, like “The Culture House”. It’s not a somber museum dedicated to culture, but a glamorously done up eatery, which serves tasty pure vegetarian regional cuisines of India. Sometimes, the fusion translates to confusion — fafdafondue, bhakri pizza and the like. But, most of the time, it hits the sweet spot. Regional Indian vegetarian food ki jai ho!