A good-time Indian meal that has plenty to offer beyond standard westernised Indian offerings.


Sometimes you want to eat in a place that has a great atmosphere and decor that wraps you in warmth, where you can just chill out with a cold glass of beer or a wine to hand. Mumbaiwala hits the mid-range market – it’s comforting and family friendly, and nicely covers off the dilemma of where to take your resident vegetarian or vegan.


Mumbaiwala’s tagline is ‘Indian Street Kitchen’ and that’s a hint as to how you should order. Hit the snacks hard. Think sev puri, chana dal chaat and the excellent dahi puri. The puffed bread rounds are filled with mashed potato and chickpeas, then topped with a spiced liquid: fun to eat and a mouthful bursting with flavour. The vada pav is perfect for those looking for a snack-sized slider replacement. The soft bun with its crisp patty of spiced mashed potato is pure comfort food. Do try the prawn koliwada, a dish that has its origins in a fishing village near Sion. The crunchy red coating of chickpea flour, spices and mild chilli powder with the sweet prawns is a wonderful combination, especially with the accompanying piquant green chilli chutney. It’s hard to go past sali boti in the mains. A Parsi-style slow-cooked lamb is tender and its deeply flavoured gravy is rich with jaggery and vinegar. It comes topped with crisp shreds of potatoes for a textural contrast.



Head chef Pramod Bhatt has been with the company for over a decade and the consistency here is great.


Owner Aneri Nathu comes from a family of hospitality stalwarts. Her parents Anup and Sadhana Nathu founded the chain of Tandoori Palace restaurants over 30 years ago in Christchurch. They then expanded into marketing their sauces under the same name. The first Mumbaiwala opened in Christchurch while the Auckland branch has been operational for a couple of years. The young staff are well versed on the menu and drinks.


Much has been made of the toilets which have been styled to look like they belong in a Mumbai train station. A soundtrack of trains and horns, complete with large bags of charcoal (used in the tandoori), offer a wry cheekiness to proceedings.

ADDRESS: 252 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby, Auckland
Check website for opening hours
MAINS: $30 – $35
CONTACT: 09 213 4152