Restaurant Review: When planning a culinary adventure in Mumbai, it’s almost impossible to ignore Kamala Mills. Over the years, the neighbourhood has grown to become a foodie paradise. Chic cafes, fashionable bars and award-winning fine-dining establishments – Kamala Mills has it all. One of the newest openings this season is Tijuana, a casual Mexican restaurant and bar located in the heart of the mill complex. Helmed by Anurag Katriar, with chefs Jason Hudanish and Chef Rohan Dhotre (previously known for their collaboration on Xico), this spot is a great choice for lazy lunches or upbeat evenings. Take a look below at what we tried and recommend here.
In the starters, we tasted the Totopos: plain, crispy corn tortilla chips. To a regular diner, they will seem like a close cousin of nachos, but lighter in comparison. They are served with cheese sauce, salsa fresca and Mexican crema. But what took our experience to the next level was pairing it with the different options at Tijuana’s signature salsa bar. This delectable range of complimentary offerings is something you should not miss out on. The salsa bar features 9 different types of salsas and dips, with varying levels of spiciness (indicated by Roman numerals on a board). Our top picks were the verde cruda, chipotle aioli, roasted tomato chipotle and mango habanero. If you want to try only one, go for the last. The pungency of the mango habanero hits you just as you finish chewing, and the sensation is unmatched.
Another vegetarian favourite was the Potato Flautas. These are crisp, fried taco rolls filled with potato and cheese stuffing. Lettuce, jalapeno, salsa and crema form the accompaniments. The final combination is undeniably satisfying – we savoured the crispiness of the tortilla, the softness of the cheesy potatoes and the freshness of the other veggies. Pro tip: Pair these flautas with the verde cruda (fresh green salsa) from the salsa bar. Believe us, it adds a whole other dimension to this appetiser.
Non-vegetarians, consider ordering the Chicken Arracheras (marinated pieces of meat/veg ingredients served on skewers). The description will undeniably remind you of desi kebabs and seems like a fitting parallel. The chicken was beautifully tender and was well complemented by the guajillo salsa. The subtle yet distinctive smoky flavour confirmed it as “Al Carbon chicken” (cooked over coal). If you enjoy quesadilla, we recommend the hearty Birria Quesadilla, which has flavourful lamb stuffing. Be warned, this is a heavy treat, and you might just feel extra sleepy after finishing it!
Among the cocktails, the Avenida Revolucion (tequila, Campari, dry curacao, hibiscus syrup and lime juice) is a must-try here. We also liked the Tijuana Temple (tequila aneo, litchi juice, yuzu syrup and lime juice). After all, Tijuana prides itself on its “tacos and tequila”. But don’t forget to check out what they do here with the other Latin American spirits such as Pisco and Mezcal. The Jai Alai Palace (Pisco, passionfruit syrup, lime and cinnamon) is a drink we would return for. Fay Baretto and her team at “Mr. Bartender & the Crew” are the ones behind Tijuana’s bar programme.
We appreciated that the non-alcoholic beverages had some interesting options beyond classic offerings. In the mocktails, we fell in love with the rollercoaster of flavours that came with a sip of Ignacio. Orange, passion fruit, basil, chilli and salt were combined to make this tart concoction with a delightful edge of heat. If you want to take the sourness up a few notches, opt for the Sweet Maria (cranberry, floral sweet spices and fizz). If you’re in need of something simple and cooling, opt for the comforts of Celestial – made with celery, green apple and lime.
Along with the culinary delights, Tijuana’s lively decor and music manage to bring in a certain sense of “fiesta.” All that’s missing is some dance. If you’re looking for a place to unwind after a long day or week, with friends or family, Tijuana could be your next foodie haven.
Where: Ground Floor, Kamla Mills, Tower B, Unit No.2, C S No. 448, Trade, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai