Mumbai: A Mood Indigo

Mark Luscombe-Whyte

On any given night at Indigo, a chic Indian-accented Mediterranean restaurant and lounge in South Mumbai’s Colaba neighborhood, a casual observer might witness some combination of the following tableaux: girl-about-town Haseena Jethmalani holding court with her well-heeled friends, retail magnate Mohan Murjani dining with designer Tarun Tahiliani on lobster risotto, and young execs spending their astronomical paychecks on kiwi margaritas. Overseeing it all is owner Rahul Akerkar, who began his cooking career in New York and pioneered high-design dining in his native Mumbai. He launched Indigo (4 Mandlik Rd.; 91-22/6636-8999; in 1999, in a turn-of-the-century mini-mansion, and followed his success there with the nearby New York–style Indigo Deli (5 Pheroze Bldg., Chatrapati Shivaji Marg; 91-22/6655-1010). Serving fine antipasti and wines, plus comfort-food staples like roast chicken and flatbread pizza, the two-level space attracts a laid-back, stylish crowd, especially at breakfast and lunch. More recently Akerkar joined with other entrepreneurs to open the restaurant, bar, and live-music venue Blue Frog (D/2 Mathuradas Mills Compound, N.M. Joshi Marg; 91-22/4033-2300; Its futuristic LED-lit banquettes, overhead video projections, and changing roster of jazz singers, bands, and DJs made the unique space an immediate hit. (Beware: That Moët the bartender suggests is $50 per glass.) July saw the debut of Indigo Café in the North Mumbai suburb of Lokhandwala and this month Akerkar will debut The Tote, a new fine-dining restaurant and lounge at the city’s Mahalakshmi racecourse. Diverse as these projects may seem, they’re all connected by a global perspective and an insistence on quality.