Maharashtra-themed restaurants in Bangalore, Delhi-themed restaurants in Mumbai and Bollywood cafes in Delhi – this place-themed dining trend is picking up fast. Even if it seems a bit odd for a Mumbaikar to eat vada pav in Noida or for a Delhiite to eat gol gappas in Bangalore, these places are cute attempts at being ‘somewhere else’, showing the cultural crossovers that often happen in a country as large as India. Go on then, read at your own risk!
Mumbai in Noida
‘Mumbai Matinee (The Bollywood Cafe)’ is what this superbly colourful restaurant in Sector 18 is called. It has a mixed collection of posters from across the eras, from Sholay to Mr India to Devdas (the Shahrukh one). Yes, the menu does feature Vada Pav, priced at Rs 90 a plate though! They also have an outlet in Shahpur Jat, Delhi.
Top picks: Keema Pao, Paneer Dhania Adraki
Cost for 2: Rs 600-800
Kerala in Gurgaon
Zambar is a South Indian restaurant with special focus on coastal fare. Located in Ambience Mall, this is fine dining amidst interiors designed like a Kerala houseboat. From Chettinad Urlai Roast to Malabar Kai Stew to Alleppey Chemeen Curry, they’ve got it covered.
Top picks: Zambar Gunpowder Prawns, Achamma’s Lamb Curry, Chettinad Kari
Cost for 2: Rs 1,500
Kashmir in Mumbai
Speaking of boats, KongPoush in Mumbai brings the flavour of all the Kashmiri mutton dishes set in interiors that reflect houseboats on the Dal Lake. Enjoy Goshtaba and Kahwa while Goregaon rattles on outside.
Top picks: Chamman Qaliya, Gosht Yakhni
Cost for 2: Rs 1,500
Gujarat in Chennai
Feel like a Shrikhand in the heat of Chennai? Try Amdavadi Snack House, a Gujarati restaurant in T. Nagar. The dhokla is great here, but what we also like are the sunny and spacious interiors.
Top picks: Kadhi and Rice, Rajwadi Chas
Cost for 2: Rs 500
Punjab in Pune
Oye Pape in Pune is supposed to be Punjabi, but really is a psychedelic mela where they serve North Indian and Mughlai cuisines. The buffet is decent value for money. The ‘prized’ table is shaped like a huge birdcage with red velvet cushions!
Top picks: Go for their buffet
Cost for 2: Rs 700
Goa in Bangalore
Carnival de Goa, situated in Ulsoor, seems to have got it right. Very Mario-Miranda style murals and pastel yellow interiors that are reminiscent of Goa. Pork Sorpotel with Sanna will have you going back again and again, as will all the beef dishes. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Top picks: Goan Country Style Beef Curry, Brinjal Peri Peri
Cost for 2: Rs 1,000
Nagaland in Delhi
Dzukou Tribal Kitchen in Hauz Khas market has most of its interiors created using bamboo imported all the way from Kohima, and you can tell. Authentic Naga food (buff intestines and brain chutney for Sunday special!), the occasional unplugged gig and a friendly staff has us going back.
Top picks: Pork Ribs, Chicken with Anishi
Cost for 2: Rs 1,400