REVIEW: Mumbai Milano

As a lover of Indian food whose passionately loyal to her local takeaway, I must admit I was wary about trying something new when heading to Mumbai Milano last weekend. Three 5 star courses and a couple of cocktails later, however, this cosy spot in central Belfast was high on my recommendations list, a rather prestigious position if I do say so myself.

The clue is in the name at Mumbai Milano - with a menu boasting classic Indian and Italian dishes as well as an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch and Sunday carvery. Situated opposite Belfast City Hall, this quaint spot has you covered for every craving you could imagine… curries, steaks, pizza and pasta are the four main food groups after all.

Rushing in from the rain on a miserable Saturday evening, we were quickly seated at a comfortable table in the back, past a generously sized bar area, where the night's service was in full swing. Aesthetically pleasing decor never goes unnoticed by me, so I was quick to appreciate the character and warmth of the space, with decadent umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, a spacious layout and large mirrors and paintings dotted around. An air of celebration filled the room as large bookings tucked into their starters and smaller groups filled comfy-looking booths along the wall.

Casting our eyes over the menu, my boyfriend and I both felt spoiled for choice. A generous thirteen items featured on the starter selection, with a range of meats and breads to choose from- not forgetting the classic onion bhajis and two choices of soup. Clearly designed to suit everyone's requirements, even the starter menu boasted an impressive nine gluten free options.

Playing it safe with a signature dish for my starter, I opted for the salt & chilli masala chicken and I've been dreaming of it ever since. A strong favourite of mine, I enjoyed the most tender chicken I've had in a long time. Soft, melt in the mouth with just enough spice to leave me longing for my main course - Mumbai Milano delivered. The chicken was paired with a fresh, lightly seasoned salad that complemented it perfectly, and as for the curried mayo- well that's a revolution in itself.

Always one to taste a little bit of everything, my other half Conan opted for the kebab tasting platter, a selection of chicken tikka, seekh and chicken malai kebabs. The puréed mint dip served as a beautiful accent for the range of spices from the generously portioned kebabs.

Now I couldn't go any further without letting you know about the cocktails. I've tasted my fair share of watered down daiquiris and average martinis, so one things for sure – I'll never forget anywhere that serves a decent cocktail.

With separate menus for classic and signature cocktails, almost every drink you could imagine is available. The first port of call for me was the bramble- a gin based fusion of cointreau, blackberry, lemon juice and cane syrup. Credit to the barman at Mumbai Milano, as if the curry wouldn't knock your head off, the gin bramble certainly would.

Meanwhile, Conan fancied something a little more fruity and ordered a mango daiquiri that proved the generous measures weren't just a one off.

After washing down our starters with cocktails, our main courses promptly arrived. For a busy evening, the service was top notch and the staff remained pleasant and chatty while keeping everything under control.

If, like me, you can't think of anything better than a curry on a Saturday night, Mumbai Milano has just about everything you could wish for, including veggie, prawn, monkfish, lamb and paneer options.

The menu is also bursting with tandoori specials and a diverse list of chef's recommendations- the chicken makhani (butter chicken) is next on my wish-list. Plenty of people around us opted for the steak, proving that this spot will cater for everyone, while the range of Italian dishes featured classics like penne arrabiatta, risotto, seafood linguini and chicken parmigiana.

On this occasion, I went for a jalfrezi. Made with green chillies, this chicken dish can be anything from medium to hold-on-to-your-hat-hot depending on where you go, but the level of spice is a deal-breaker for many who enjoy Indian cuisine. For that reason, the chefs at Mumbai Milano have been clever to give their customers a choice of either creamy or hot.

The dish and side order of pilau rice arrived piping hot, just how I enjoy all of my food. Large yet tender chunks of chicken coated in a think creamy sauce, I must say I enjoyed every bite. Generously portioned, with a strong kick and sensuous tomato flavour, the jalfrezi went perfectly with the fragrant pilau rice.

After much deliberation over the tempting range of pizzas, Conan joined me for Curry Saturday with a balti- a sweeter and milder option. More of a stir-fried curry dish, the balti was packed full of peppers and onions. Rich, flavoursome and tangy- this main course went down a treat.

Speaking of treats, one glimpse at the dessert menu later and the lemon tart was on its way, while Conan ordered the chocolate fudge cake. Bursting with citrusy flavour on a soft & chewy crust, this dessert was everything I wanted and more. Both came paired with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream, which of course went perfectly with the rich yet moist chocolate fudge cake.

All in all, I was hugely impressed by the mixed-cuisine offering at Mumbai Milano. The diverse menu, paired with excellent service and top quality food made for a perfect meal that I've been recommending to my friends and family ever since.

Jenna Gardiner

Mumbai Milano can be found on Wellington Place in Belfast City Centre. & @MumbaiMilano on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Christmas bookings are available, with a set lunch and dinner menu and an all-you-can eat buffet lunch. Call 028 9031 1101 to secure your table.

Recent Restaurants Reviews