“Cooking with love provides food for the soul.” Who doesn’t want to enjoy a meal they love in a comforting set-up? That’s exactly what Yash Bhanage and Sameer Seth’s restaurant The Bombay Canteen is all about. Even though having been around the best cities in the world like New York, Singapore, it was the love for his hometown that made Yash return to Mumbai to open a food paradise for the soul of people and not just their stomach.
The Bombay Canteen is not just any other dining place, it is a celebration of sorts. Keeping intact the old beautiful charm of the place with fresh and updated elements in its interiors as well as food choices. Menus of the food-place come in notebooks, with the specials-for-the-day highlighted in fluorescent. Corners are well-built for intimate conversations and a meal alone.
Yash had trained with IHM, Goa, before going to Cornell’s University for further studies. Later, he opened a bar in Singapore named ‘Antidote’ in 2014, which went on to win the title of “Best Bar In Singapore”.
When asked about his inspiration behind this unique concept, Yash says, he wanted to set up a restaurant that showed-off its Indian roots, both socially and culturally. The Bombay Canteen aims to be a celebration of India in it’s menu, feel of the interiors, and the complete space. He constantly works on updating his menu to keep up with the pace with the season – not just in the kitchen, but also at the bar. He always keeps an eye on what’s fresh in the market and works his dishes around it.
Yash believes his biggest challenge has been to establish themselves as a fun and approachable brand to it’s customers. A die-hard fan of Manchester United, he was inspired the most by the warm hospitality, and food ingredients from Japanese people, when he was there for a trip.
As a kid, Yash never was interested to be in the kitchen, but always loved the managers of the restaurants that caught his eye every time he went out with his family. So, even though he took science in school, he later went on decided to pursue his passion in Hotel Management. While working at Mumbai’s Grand Hyatt in the front office, he knew he would rather be a waiter and that front-office wasn’t for him.
Since The Bombay Canteen’s launch, everyone love the restaurant for Yash’s ability to tell a story through it’s food. What makes Yash more approachable is the fact that he doesn’t mind clearing the table on a busy night, get behind the bar to mix up a cocktail or even shut down the restaurant for a day to party and celebrate with his staff.