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26.11.2019

Fellow lox-lovers, rejoice! The restaurant inside Jewish cultural centre Chabad House is finally accessible to locals. Kosher Mumbai recently got on Scootsy; plans are underway to open the restaurant to the public by the end of this year. “Mumbai didn't have a place where you could sample kosher cuisine,” notes Chaya Kozlovsky, co-director of Chabad-Lubavitch, and he hopes that the restaurant will be a gradual introduction.

Recently back from, and already nostalgic for, New York (Russ & Daughters all day, every day), we order up a storm. The menu is bewilderingly sprinkled with Indian options like aloo paratha and samosa that we immediately sidestep for more authentic treats (all kosher, of course), which we pick with the help of a visiting Israeli friend.

We begin with two salads, both of which alas, are disappointing. An Israeli salad promises tomatoes, cucumber, onions and bell peppers, but turns out to be nothing more than a pile of cubed tamaatar-kheera. The onions and peppers and completely missing, but thankfully, they’ve sent along a delightfully zesty lemon and olive oil dressing – large flavours in a small container. Couscous salad too, is missing critical ingredients like chickpeas and onions, but it does get heft from the addition of nutty walnuts.

The abovementioned lemon and olive oil dressing makes a second appearance, this time more successfully. It further bolsters a bright, fat sandwich of challah piled high with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and most importantly, lox. Oh, dear reader, that lox. Briny, fresh and generously piled on pretty-decent challah, it is a Portkey strong enough to transport you, just for a second, right to the Lower East Side.

Chicken schnitzel is another success, and arrives with a side of hummus – lemony with tons of nutty tahini. Deep-fried, crunchy and just a tad bit oily, it is delicious.

The biggest failure of our meal is dense, crusty falafel, far too mealy and not herby enough. We abandon it for a side of hand cut fries and root around for a promised side of pita, which the restaurant forgets to send. PS: we manage to sample the pita during a second order; it is fluffy, airy, just a tad bit tangy and should make regular appearances at your breakfast table.

We hope that Kosher India’s uneven dishes are teething problems that the restaurant will iron out before it opens, but even if they don’t, we’ve travelled much further than Colaba for lox and schnitzel of this quality.

Getting There: Chabad House, 5 Hormusji Street, Colaba. For now,food can be ordered on Scootsy. A meal for two is approximately Rs 2,000

bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.

Aatish Nath is a freelance food and travel writer based in Mumbai. He can be found on Instagram at @aatishn

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