Busaba Turns Ten! Mumbai's Foodies Partake of the Grand Celebrations...

Ranjit Rodricks , 23 Sep 2011
Nikhil Chib with Anil Chopra
Nikhil Chib with Anil Chopra
Singers Gary Lawyer and Suneeta Rao with actor Farid Currim
Singers Gary Lawyer and Suneeta Rao with actor Farid Currim

It was a decade and a half ago that I first met Nikhil Chib. He was dating a certain supermodel – who is my friend – at that time and she told me to drop by for a Burmese meal which her boyfriend would cook especially for me. At the time, I was writing a weekly column for a daily tabloid and I was intrigued by the notion of having Burmese food – something that was totally alien to the Indian palette of the early Nineties. In those days, people didn’t think beyond Mughlai, Udipi and Chinese food. Even Italian food was restricted to pizzas.

Designer Arjun Khanna
Designer Arjun Khanna

When I landed up at his Colaba apartment, Nikhil had an interesting spread of noodles, some chicken gravy thingy and many bowls of  chopped condiments and spices. “This is Khauswey, a Burmese street-food specialty, much like our bhel-puri is a street-food staple,” he told me. “People sell this in hand-carts all over Burma,” he added.

With much elan, Nikhil mixed the noodles, the chicken broth-gravy and the condiments, according to my taste. The result – a taste of Heaven!

Designer Aki Narula wears his "night-suit"
Designer Aki Narula wears his "night-suit"

A few years later, Nikhil opened his first restaurant in Colaba (Mumbai) called Busaba and he hasn’t looked back since. Now in it’s tenth year (with another branch having recently been opened at Lower Parel), Nikhil’s restaurant is a firm fixture on any foodie’s list of “must visit” eateries and is a huge favourite among the expat community.

Designer Narendra Kumar
Designer Narendra Kumar

Last night, Nikhil and his wife Natasha invited all their regulars for a Tenth Anniversary party and expectedly, Mumbai’s well-heeled were out in full-force to cheer on the couple. Everybody’s favourite starters were being served endlessly and for the main course, there was – what else? – Khauswey!

Spotted: Designers Narendra Kumar, Arjun Khanna, Arshiya Fakih Eapen and Aki Narula, socialite Lata Patel, Samantha Nayyar (Arun Nayyar’s sis-in-law), actor Farid Currim, singers Suneeta Rao and Gary Lawyer and ex-Lakme Head Anil Chopra among many others.

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