What is it about street food that promises so much … oomph? Why is it that street food always leaves us with complete abandonment of dining decorum? What if you took street food from one of the biggest Eastern cities in the world, and brought it to a bustling metropolis in the Western hemisphere?
Enter Bombay Street Food Company – a name itself so great that it removes all obscurity and guesswork of what’s on tap: pure, unadulterated food from the streets of Mumbai.
And then I discovered, they served frankies.
A little similar to a Kathi Roll (which originated in Calcutta), a Bombay “Frankie” can only be described as a burrito-style roll that is packed with Indian flavours. Having not bitten into one for over 20 years, you can imagine my childlike excitement when I realized I could have one in my city. BSFC’s Frankie was a little larger, less spicier and the roti a little denser, but the flavours came pretty close to what I was used to growing up. It’s a great sandwich roll and large enough to be a meal on its own.
When it came to the Dahi Puris, one of the most popular street side snacks in India, I felt the need to coach my dining partner, Gastroworld, on the proper form of eating one. BSFC’s dahi puris were a delicious mix of yoghurt, chutney and potato-lentil, carefully stuffed into the crispy puri ball. Indians will tell you it’s all about flexing your jaw muscles – the challenge is to get the entire puri into your mouth without spilling the savoury fillings, in order to experience all the flavours in one bite.
Our second main of the Masala Haddock was a broiled haddock filet marinated in a fish masala, topped with tomatoes, cucumber, red onions and coriander. It was a beautiful dish – both in sight and taste – and the side of chawal (basmati rice topped with aromatic red lentil stew) had us scraping the bowl for more.
As with any great Indian meal, I topped off my dinner with some chai and biskoot. The dessert came complete with a Bourbon biscuit, and once again, a long-forgotten memory of childhood days vacationing in India came to mind – the times when great granduncles would come visit, never empty-handed, but always with a packet of Bourbon biscuits for us kids.
|Hop on over to Gastroworld for a great review of the food experience.|
Bombay Street Food Company is a place with a lot of heart. You can see this not only in the food and homely service, but also in the thought and attention put into the design and decor of the restaurant.
The owners have a great story — sisters-in-law, Seema and Amreen Omar, wanted to showcase the incredible variety and flavours of traditional Indian street food here in Toronto.
To do this, they traveled throughout Mumbai on an epic journey of research and learning. You’ll see photos of their travels, along with family portraits, blended in with the decor. From the wall of corrugated metal sheets, to tableware, lighting and decor elements sourced from Mumbai markets, BSFC is incredibly reminiscent of an India I never fully experienced as a child, but grew to love as an adult.
It’s interesting that Bombay Street Food Company’s website opens up with the statement, “Mumbai is the city, Bombay is the emotion”. When you put so much emotion into your food, you’re sure to come out with a winning recipe.
Visit: Bombay Street Food Company for more information
Address: 828 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1Z6
Hours: Mon – Sat 11am to 9pm, Sunday Closed