Mumbai Milano is the latest addition to Belfast’s food scene, launched in mid-August 2019 on Wellington Place (in the space formerly occupied by Solo), fronted by Indian head chef, Jainal Abedin, and Italian sous chef, Luigi Savarese, offering a fusion of Indian and Italian dishes.
We’re always cynical of restaurants which offer two seemingly disparate styles – it makes us think of kebab shops that do pizzas, or Chinese restaurants that also do European dishes. It almost never works so we were keen to check out Mumbai Milano…
The chefs at Mumbai Milano come with impressive CVs – Savarese worked for Paul Rankin for years and has four decades of experience, while Abedin has worked all over the world including Dubai, London and Jersey. That experience shows, as the food on offer at Mumbai Milano is hard to fault.
We opted for the Antipasti sharing platter to begin, which came with a selection of cured Italian meats, breads, piquante peppers, olives, fresh mozzarella, bread, tapenade and butter. It was the perfect portion size to start, not too big, but just enough for two of us to polish off. Everything tasted super fresh, too.
Important to note that the staff in Mumbai Milano are very friendly, happy to answer questions about Indian dishes we’d never heard of and willing to customise our food to suit. First impressions mean a lot when you visit a restaurant for the first time and the team here are incredibly welcoming.
We went for an Italian and an Indian main – to see if they do one better than the other. Chicken Tikka Masala with Pilau Rice and, more importantly, the Salt & Chilli Masala Pizza which comes with a tomato base, mozzarella, salt & chilli masala chicken, peppers, onions, chillis and spring onions. The pizza was what we came to try; it’s the most obvious fusion between Italian and Indian on the menu, so we had to give it a go.
We’re pleased to report that it did, in fact, blend. It works really well. The pizza base is not deep dish, but not super thin; it has a satisfying crunch, and the toppings are all very fresh. It could’ve come across gimmicky but thankfully the flavours all complement each other perfectly.
The Chicken Tikka Masala was also top notch. The portions were huge, and the sauce was full of flavour. Coconut at the fore, with hints of cinnamon, cumin and fresh herbs.
Pro-tip: dip your pizza crusts in the masala sauce. This food-hack was the true fusion of flavours, taking it to the next level. We wonder if they could push the pizza even further and use the masala sauce as the pizza base – maybe it would be a little over-the-top, but maybe it would be awesome? We have a feeling it would be special.
We paired our meal with a frozen banana margarita, which tasted like a healthy (boozy) smoothie, and a bottle of Whitewater’s Maggie’s Leap IPA. It’s nice to see a local craft beer on the menu, alongside the more typical beer options.
Mumbai Milano is a really exciting addition to Belfast’s food scene. It’s more Indian than Italian, from the menu to the decor, but we’d firmly recommend it if you’re in a large group and you can’t agree on a style. They do both very well. They’ve also got extensive buffet options at lunch time if you’re in a hurry. And remember, dip your crusts!