Mumbai, ever since the days when goras pottered about cobblestone streets, has been dominated by "town". Respectability was measured in direct proportion to distance from the Gateway of India, and for the longest time the Borivali national forest started just beyond Dadar. This was true of any kind of decent housing just as much as art or theatres or dining choices.
Things, however, insist on changing even when perfectly satisfactory in the first place. The city I returned to after a half-decade absence seems to have collectively heaved its arse and moved up and out. I have heated arguments with the townies who think the sun still shines where it always has, but the reality is that the heart of Mumbai is moving.
Dining is usually the first to move where diners are, and it is no different in Mumbai. Trishna, Kailash Parbat and Mahesh all smelled the coffee and got familiar with names like Andheri and Juhu. Even the venerable China Garden upped and opened in Khar. Rajdhani along with Cream Centre, Copper Chimney and Noor Mohammadi (as Hakim's) has wheedled itself into mall food courts even as far off as Thane and Vashi. 5-Spice, Royal China and Cafe Basilico already do Bandra, Kobe is sizzling everywhere, Gaylord lords it in Oshiwara, Tex-mex-gujju New Yorker co-habits with Natural's in Juhu while five-star dining choices are a dime a dozen north of the great divide. I would say that Colaba has surrendered the centre of the culinary world to Bandra, Versova and Oshiwara. Now I'm waiting for Leopold New Martin Cafe to look north.
The latest such move is Indigo Deli, now open in all its glory just off SAB TV lane in Andheri Lokhandwala. Given that its in a dead end in a small lane off another lane on the edge an industrial estate, its a wonder that it was packed to the gills on Sunday.
Gazalee, Natural's, Kareem's and most recently Olive are meanwhile heading the other way down the Bandra-Worli link ...