Britannia & Co.
Dine on an aromatic mound of saffron-splashed rice laced with chunks of mutton kebab, elaborately decorated with fried onions and cashews, and accented with the lemony twang of dried Persian barberries at this 90-year-old Parsi (Indo-Persian) landmark that is nostalgia incarnate.
Opened in May 2007, China House’s chic, ultramodern décor and multiple levels draw Bollywood’s A-list. Look out for Bipasha Basu or the Bachchans sipping appletinis at the light-up LED bar—or on the mezzanine I-deck, the private area where guests can plug in their own iPod, if the in-house DJ isn’t hitting the right notes.
Mumbai mainstay Indigo’s lengthy wine list is famed. But the drinks are just the tip of this exclusive iceberg. The Euro-Asian cuisine includes dishes like thandai-marinated chicken with spiced balsamic glaze, and coconut and lime risotto with asparagus and hearts of palm, which are best enjoyed alfresco on the rooftop terrace. Opened in 1999, this upmarket, low-key hideaway has stood the test of time and allows Bollywood stars like Aishwarya Rai to sip their rosé in peace.
Koh by Ian Kittichai
In August of 2010, Thailand-born chef Pongtawat Ian Chalermkittichai (of New York's Kittichai) opened Koh by Ian Kittichai in Mumbai's InterContinental Marine Drive, where he serves signature dishes such as chocolate baby-back ribs, Japanese hamachi sashimi, and green curry with slow-roasted chicken.
Tote on the Turf
When it made its debut in 2009, the 25,000-square-foot restaurant complex was an immediate hit because of its location—beside the Mahalaxmi Race Course—and its avant-garde design by London-based Serie Architects, which lined the ceiling with a forest of white metal branches. Drinks such as tequila-infused sangria and celery martinis are still crowd-pleasers at its 40-foot-long teak bar, and foodies come for the East-meets-West menu (think beef tikka, Parma ham spring rolls, and a savory mushroom-and-walnut “tiramisu”).
Vie Deck & Lounge
You may find Bollywood king Shah Rukh Khan lounging underneath Vie’s white canopy on the beach. Located in ritzy Juhu, Mumbai’s Malibu, Vie specializes in light Mediterranean fare with a focus on seafood. Order one of the Italian seafood dishes, like the grilled Spanish lobsters cooked with an olive and wine sauce or a martini made by one of its London Academy of Bartending-trained mixologists. But make sure you dress “smart”—this beachside haven has a dress code.