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So here’s the answer to the question I asked in an earlier Blog – where is this picture taken?
It may look as though I’ve just stepped outside a downtown bar in India but in fact I’m airside in the international departures area of Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport in Mumbai.
To be more precise, I’m in the Spice Bazaar Indian bar and café run by Travel Food Services in the International Terminal (which will be replaced by the all-new integrated T2 next September) – one of the most vibrant environments and offers I have seen in a long time.
Travel Food Services Chairman Sunil Kapur had promised me that his team would give me a tour of the company’s Mumbai offer when I took a late night flight to Kuala Lumpur last week.
When I got through security, I was surprised to be met by a young man in chef’s whites, TFS Head – Production Milan Gupta, together with Vivek Sharma, Head Operation, and colleagues.
[Spices on display, imbedded under glass on the dining tables]
Milan is absolutely passionate about food and it shows. And he’s particularly proud of the Spice Bazaar. Rightly so. Here the cuisine is typical of India’s north west frontier, with the TFS offer varying at other airports to reflect regional tastes and styles. The north west is a historic epicentre of spice trading and that is beautifully reflected in the magnificent display on the ‘spice table’ in the centre of the outlet.
The Spice Bazaar also features an exquisite rustic fit-out including quite lovely charpais (see below) – a form of wooden seating, very common in rural India – and some great dishes including Dahipuri, an Indian snack especially popular in the state of Maharashtra. Oh yes, they also do a fine, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc – no, not Cloudy Bay from my native New Zealand but Four Seasons from Baramati, Maharashtra.
If you want authenticity in your airport food & beverage offer & environment, if you want a great combination of colours, aromas and tastes, don’t miss the Spice Bazaar Indian bar and café next time you’re through Mumbai Airport.
Footnote: We’ll profile the outlet in more depth in the next edition of The Foodie Report.