How Chef Hussain Shahzad’s Winter Menu Celebrates Winter Produce
Image Credit: The Bombay Canteen

As we make our way to The Bombay Canteen on a windy January evening for dinner, it felt like the moment came a full circle. I am reminded of their Chenna Podda Cheesecake that I had the pleasure of trying a few years ago and feeling goosebumps at the sheer brilliance I experienced; and this time around, I felt the same way, except more at home than it felt before. The winter menu delivers exactly what it promises – a celebration of some of the finest winter produce our country has to offer.

Chef Hussain Shehzad (also the mind behind O Pedro’s menu) dishes up some pretty stellar creations, bringing back some of last year’s hits like the sweet and smoky Smoked Pumpkin Launji served with a flaxseed khakhra and Charred Carrots marinated in a tikka masala that taste rich and tangy. Other offerings like the Crab Kulcha with a creamy, garlicky crab and a runny egg as well as the Canteen Undhiyu ‘Okonomiyaki’ topped with four types of root vegetable chips paired well with our fruity and citrusy Canteen Negroni.

Canteen Undhiyu 'Okonomiyaki'

There was also the wonderful Khasi Pork Tacos that were marinated with warm spices and served with a Naga chilli salsa which had a meaty contender in the Andhra Bheja Fry tossed in a spicy pandi chilli masala and black pepper. Both these dishes stood out for us because of how delicately the meats were treated and felt like biting into smooth butter. The iconic Bengali favourite Prawn Malai Curry made with fresh coconut milk and cream, Gondhoraj lime leaf and pickled chillies eaten with rice, makes for a delightful main course option. However, the dish that came out tops was the Corn Locho, spun-off of a Surat special, which was basically a creamy corn pudding topped with crunchy cornflakes, a scallion chutney and Belper Knolle, an aged Swiss cheese.

Gucchi & Girda

As we neared the end of our meal, the much-anticipated Guava Tan-Ta-Tan, a Canteen classic served with a red chilli ice cream was different but delicious. Not too overtly sweet or overpowering, the flaky puff pastry and gorgeous guava rose were an interesting inter-mingling of textures. The showstopper however, was the Strawberry Honey Cake that not only looked too pretty to eat but tasted as good as it appeared to be. Our meal was rather elaborate and we were taken through an extensive part of the menu while trying each dish, with every detail carefully thought out and executed. The beauty of dining at a restaurant such as this, is that you find yourself opening up to new experiences and tastes; and the enthusiasm is evident in every plate that reaches the pass.