Café Mumbai – Vancouver, BC

Café Mumbai
2893 West Broadway (@ Bayswater Street)
Vancouver, BC
(604) 737 2500

In my past travels through India, I have never been able to make it to the west coast mega-city of Mubami (ex-Bombay) much to my dismay. Though I am aware that it is the centre of the country’s business and entertainment institutions, and the metropolis attracts people from all over India to work and live.

Café Mumbai seemingly picked up on this, and claimed to cover the diverse range of cooking and styles of cuisine of the nation.  In an almost-direct rebuttal to the Indian-influenced creations at the city’s best known “Indian” restaurant Vij’s, Café Mumbai states they focus on tradition and there is “no confusion by fusion”.

To me, the dine-in menu seemed to be represented more by staples from the north such as samosas and tandoori, with a few smatterings of those from the south such as pakoras.  With owners originally from the western state of Gujarat, the menu also featured a good number of vegetarian choices.  Though not photographed, the Daal Makhni (black lentils cooked with onions and tomatoes) was unfortunately bland in flavour and disappointing.

Lacking a full out buffet as it common at many Indian restaurants in town, for lunch there are some set specials, including the pictured above non-veg mini meal that included two pieces of tandoori chicken, a choice of lamb curry or butter chicken, the day’s vegetable, rice and naan.  It was just fine, not outstanding nor horribly bad, and portion-wise good for a solo diner.  The butter chicken was a touch on the tart side, so for those who like it sweeter, keep this in mind.

Though in a high pedestrian traffic stretch of West Broadway, it seems Café Mumbai suffers from poor curb appeal.  This visit was on a Saturday lunch, and no other customers were there besides our table, though I could see through the front windows many people passing by and some stopping at the dark , heavy door but not entering.  From the outside looking in, the contrast from the brightness outside to the darkness indoors was striking, and perhaps adding to the lack of enticement to come in.

If it were me, I’d open up those windows and the door to allow more flow and air inside.  As well, if I were the lone manager/server who was there that day, I’d get rid of the spread out newspaper and not sit there at the front table while your diners are eating, as it didn’t seem that professional to me – after all this is a place of business and not your living room.

Cafe Mumbai on Urbanspoon

7 thoughts on “Café Mumbai – Vancouver, BC

    • My sense of things here is that their design doesn’t need an overhaul, just utilized better (e.g. open up those great front window panels they have, try to minimize the daunting look of that front door so people can feel more comfortable entering, etc.). As for their food, its not a total loss, just not overly exciting or tasty IMHO. Not sure if RM could do much for them. 🙂

  1. The food looks so yummy and I am so HUNGRY NOW!! hahaha
    Yeah it’s hard to compete for indian food these days coz they are way too many. I think the West Broadway area has already been dominated by Maurya.

    • I’ve not yet been to Maurya, but have heard similar good things about it. While Broadway (West and East) has its fair share of Indian cuisine, I keep hearing the ones in Surrey are the best to check out for taste and authenticity.

  2. Maurya may dominate West Broadway in terms of overall offering and style. But they also tip the scales in terms of pricing.

    For a pricing schedule a little lower down the food chain, but service and quality of indian food to back it up, we’d strongly recommend Indian Oven on West 4th (second floor).

    It doesn’t look like much…but it’s worth it!

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