Devoted fans and dedicated readers (of which there are many) often ask us how we manage to repeatedly hunt down the best restaurants in the city, and turn our experiences into mildly amusing, if not somewhat schizophrenic articles. Haters think all we do is filter restaurants on Zomato by popularity, and then check to see which of the popular ones will let us in with chappals, PSPs, and serious camera equipment. However, the truth is that we’ve always wanted The Bombay Report to only reflect the best this city has to offer, and so we’ve committed to put low quantity before low quality. While we do our very best to only find the very best; sometimes, through a clever mix of branding, obfuscation, and general subterfuge, a few restaurants manage through slip through the cracks and find their way onto our website, an otherwise untarnished roster of the best restaurants in Mumbai. Here are three such establishments that tricked us into coming, and whose food we deeply regret putting into our bodies.
Perhaps our most scathing, albeit judicious review, The American Joint lured us in with its first world name and upscale location. Nowhere was it mentioned that this was a Jain restaurant that had little-to-nothing to do with American culture or cuisine. What we ate that day will haunt us forever, from veg nachos to pizza samosas to a sickening, gunky rendition of a seemingly un-fuckupable cold coffee. We like to pride ourselves for their eventual closing, but that could probably also be attributed to their nonsensical menu and dismal food. Either way, the world has been rid of another Jain restaurant, and for that, we are eternally grateful.
Our love for burgers has taken us far and wide, and we’re always one step ahead of the competition; determined to find the best burgers in the city. In collaboration (some would say collusion) with the Russian KGB, we even produced an entire web series dedicated to Mumbai’s burgers, that’s yet to be adopted, or even understood, by the general public. We were drawn to The Burgery because it ran its operation rather suspiciously, out of a steel shipping container that seemed to have dropped quietly out of the sky and lodged itself into Pali Naka. The Burgery’s interiors were everything that we hate, kitschy posters and doodles across the walls, with tiny, gimmicky furniture. Needless to say, both the food and the service were as terrible and absurd as everything else.
The J was started by a couple of enterprising students from HR college, who used their sindhi vegetarian-ness and business acumen to turn a small stand outside their college into a massive franchise with more than 40 outlets across multiple cities. At first look, The J seems pretty straightforward. French fries with a myriad of cheesy and saucy toppings; how bad could it really be? The devious craftsmen at the J took up our challenge and showed us just how bad fries and cheese could really be; a nauseating glob of oily, viscous starch; with an optional topping of chicken sausages. Maybe if you’re broke and in college this is a fun snack; but if you aren’t and can afford literally anything else, we’d advise against it.
Do you think we should do more bad reviews? Have you been to The American Joint? Do you think The J isn’t that bad? You’re wrong.