Mumbai’s posh Bandra area is flooded with fine-dining restaurants that echo luxe interiors and sophisticated settings. But finding a restaurant space that feels like home, is a rarity. And that’s where Joshi House shines the most.
Feels like home
Inspired by the cultural aesthetic of a traditional Rajasthani haveli, Joshi House steps away from over-the-top interiors and adopts a more comforting space defined by a bohemian courtyard with a mosaic ceiling, marble balustrades, a burbling fountain, and splashes of greenery. The vibe within the space isn’t that of a restaurant but rather a home belonging to a well-travelled, nomadic food connoisseur.
Designed by renowned architect, Ashiesh Shah, this minimalist mansion with its Rajasthan-meet-Western vibes, is spread across five dining areas, each having its distinct mood. The courtyard is undoubtedly the most enchanting space – fluffy cushion-laden sofas, vivid red chairs, hand-carved pale marble balustrades, and a sleek fountain enliven the monochromatic dining room flanked by wood and white terrazzo tables. A staircase in the courtyard leads to the second storey with a charming balcony dining area, perfect for an intimate meal.
The indoor dining area on the first floor is filled with argentine booths for four in a narrow hallway which leads to an interesting elephant safari bar. Here, monochrome murals of pachyderms over low-slung charcoal couches sit under a glimmering glass mosaic ceiling with a curtained gilded bar counter.
The location holds nostalgia for its founder, Suren Joshi, who founded the erstwhile Pali Village Cafe that previously stood here. The memories of the cafe along with that of his childhood in Rajasthan were incorporated creating a space that is reminiscent of a home in Jaipur. And Joshi wants his guests to feel like they have come to his home!
Flavours of the world
While the interiors and design of the space scream traditional Indian, the food is far from restricting. Although it does borrow inspiration from the restaurants in Rajasthan, the menu at Joshi House is classically modern. It presents the best of both worlds with a mix of eclectic and diverse, Indian and global, not to mention some very interesting fusions such as a vegan ceviche, khasta kachori, sweet potato shammi chaat and so much more.
The menu was thoroughly worked on by Chef Richard D’Souza, who helms the kitchen here and has previously worked at Pali Bhavan and Masala Craft. Most Indian dishes are cooked on a tandoor using ingredients that are locally sourced. “There is something for everyone. From French fries for kids to salmon teriyaki for adults or even for that lingering feeling of having simple dal chawal on a hot afternoon, it truly is the world on your table. Many dishes on the menu come with a contemporary twist—like the chaat is a sweet potato shammi topped with avocado salsa and a scoop of frozen yoghurt—a treat to the senses,” Chef Richard adds.
Inviting us for a special 9-course meal, owner Suren Joshi and Chef Richard presented a beautiful blend of flavours and ingredients from across the world, in an attempt to reintroduce Joshi House as more than just an Indian restaurant in Bandra.
“Joshi House is actually being judged by the name “Joshi House” as an Indian restaurant, and our restaurant is more than that,” Suren Joshi says. “The idea presented here is that of the customer coming over to someone’s house, where it’s a chef’s kitchen; where he can put forward any food or any cuisine on the table. We wanted to put forth the concept and let everyone know that this is a spot where people from all generations can sit together, at one table and have something to eat at the same time, much like a home-cooked meal.”
The extensive 9-course meal showcased diversity and brilliance in terms of innovation and flavour. Gratifying the experience, each course was paired with a different wine, selected by Ketan Upadhyay, Manager at Joshi House and Level 2 Wine Sommelier.
The smaller plates included dishes like baked brie kunafa and sweet potato shammi chaat. The kunafa had a sweet and savoury flavour that was a great meal opener while the chaat was a crowd favourite. It had some very unique elements like a tarty avocado salsa and a sweet frozen yoghurt that could very easily be mistaken for a sweet side of vanilla ice cream! The salmon ponzu that followed was an interesting break, steering towards a wholesome contemporary cuisine.
The fond memories of a juicy, delicious chicken satay was presented in the form of a kimchi grilled chicken. This was soon followed by a hearty plate of truffle risotto. One of the most noteworthy ingredients in the culinary industry today, truffle is a crowd favourite and the truffle risotto at Joshi House is a winter must-have meal!
The menu at Joshi House has been lauded since its inception, and now we know why. The mains here present some of the richest ingredients and flavours at their authentic best. Dishes like the burrata palak saag and the mutton ghee roast are fine examples of this. While the former dish blends tradition with contemporary, the latter was a tantalizing plate of heaven — tender cooked mutton in an aromatic gravy and served with a soft, warm naan.
And finally, my favourite part of any meal, the desserts include two polar opposite plates. A rich and bold combination of beetroot and chocolate in the form of Beet Te Chocolate where a beetroot ice cream and chocolate mousse taste surprisingly delicious. The second, Tub Tim Krob, was a lighter plate, perfect for those who turn away from overly sweet desserts. A vegan Thai dessert, this dish comprised a coconut panna cotta with jasmine granita served with a rose and blue pea-flavoured chestnut.
This uniquely crafted menu was a great example of Joshi House’s attempt to stand out in a crowd, breaking norms while still inclining towards heritage and culture. It has Rajasthan’s regality and a hint of Mediterranean nonchalance. It offers a luxurious escape while still presenting a cosy, homey experience, giving guests the perfect Rajasthani hospitality while taking them all around the world.