TYPHOON SHELTER: TOOK ME BY STORM (clichéd I know.. but couldn’t help it)
I simply fell in love with the name. Typhoon Shelter. Since the name intrigued me enough – here is the back story – there is an area in Hong Kong called Causeway Bay which acted as a sheltering station where boats could dock when the weather threatened. It soon became a melting pot of diverse people that shared their passions such as food, drink and music as they waited out the storms. The dishes that came out of this amalgamation uses sea fare and ingredients such as scallions, garlic, white pepper, and basics like soy sauce that could be stored for a while on boats, while the cooking techniques were simple such as frying, steaming and boiling – well there isn’t much you can do on a boat in a storm. And it is this cuisine that Typhoon Shelter promises to serve up.
I went to Typhoon Shelter with one of my closest friends who now resides in Sweden and is a vegetarian – wanted to put this out there as you will see a couple of vegetarian dishes I tried (happily I might add). It was a pretty apt restaurant considering she has been my shelter and port of call growing up in my 20s on a number of need-to-grow-up-but-don’t-really-want-to situations. Since she landed in Bombay before me, I asked her to book us a table. What I found strange is that not many of her friends even knew of Typhoon Shelter – but hopefully that will all change soon (thanks to word of mouth my friend have created and this blog).
The minute you walk through those traditional looking red wooden doors of Typhoon Shelter, you are in for a treat. You instinctively know you have entered an Asian restaurant yet, thankfully, it’s not overtly overdone with oriental motifs. I only realized that the celling projects different cloud formations, with some lightening thrown in, which bathed our table in different light every time I was setting up to take a photo. The restaurant’s ambience is an immersive experience where you feel you are sitting in the middle of an approaching typhoon, where spatial elements, visual art and music all come together. Love love love.
NOTE: Forgive my photography on this blog.. but I have to be honest, the photos of the food don’t do it justice and I find that Asian food doesn’t always lend itself to the prettiest of photos (if only we could capture taste in a snap). With that out of the way, its time for me to share with you my absolutely mouthwatering experience.
There was so much I wanted to try but settled on a few (more reason for me to go back on my next visit) from the small plates menu.
Wild Mushroom and Edamame Dumpling: I love mushrooms so this was an easy pick considering we needed vegetarian options. The textures of these dumpling were simply out of this world. And the sauces.. now don’t get me started on those 😊
Chengou Chicken: This was recommended to me by the server, and I can’t thank him enough. It was love at first bite (looks like this blog is going to be full of clichés) – it had such an amazing after kick spice taste that I could not wait to take another bite. I would so so so totally recommend this dish – you can thank me later.
Pepper-spiked Tofu: I will be honest, I did take a bite of the tofu just so I could write about it honestly. It was flavorful but tofu has never been my go to ingredient so it would not be fair for me to be judgmental (positive or negative).
The only regret I have… I wish I had stayed for dessert – heard they are awesome. I guess there will have to be a next time.
The service is attentive and yet not obtrusive and the staff definitely know their menu. There is a brilliantly stocked bar (unfortunately wasted on a coffee-totaler like me) and I am sure some of those spirits would perfectly compliment the many flavours of what you will have.
In a nutshell, if it hasn’t already been made clear – I would totally recommend Typhoon Shelter. I will definitely go back when I visit Bombay next. Until then, I wish Typhoon Shelter smooth sailing and clear skies (cliché again, I know!)
Location: Typhoon Shelter, S-3, Second floor, Skyzone, Phoenix Mill Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai Telephone: +91 22 49193100 or +91 9730427206 Open from 12 noon – 4 PM and 7 PM – 1 AM
NOTE: I ate at Typhoon Shelter on my OWN time and money! The views and opinions expressed on this blog are truly my OWN.