Kamats Legacy at Nariman Point is a fine peek into the small corners of South India with its authentic culinary feast

From a themed decor representing the South-Indian homes to the traditional South-Indian recipies, Kamats Legacy is an ode to the culture of down south.

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At a time when the South of Mumbai is already battling modernisation and trying its hard to remain in its legitimate form as much as possible, bringing in the cultural ethos of other states to infuse it in Mumbai is an effort that must not go unnoticed and an afternoon spent at Kamats Legacy, a new restaurant in Nariman Point - a second after Bhandup by the Vits Kamat Group - got us pondering the same. The restaurant gives a fine peek into the culinary culture of the five south-Indian states, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana not just with its ambiance but also the lip-smacking food. 


Located on the ground floor of Dalamal Tower on Free Press Journal Marg at Nariman Point, the restaurant, surrounded by glass at the side of its entrance, provided us with a view of the campus while we savored some South-Indian delicacies. The interior welcomed us with a warm and cozy atmosphere, offering a glimpse into the standardized structures of homes in the southern Indian states. Replicas of wooden-styled windows with large pillars adorned the white walls, bathed in the soft glow of yellow lights from the chandelier. Additionally, a framed display of a Kanjeevaram saree showcased the popular textile fabric from South India.

To enhance the authentic charm, the staff at this outlet wears traditional clothes, with men donning white shirts and lungis, and women dressed in 'Mundum-Neriyathum,' representing the cultural attire of Kerala, which comprises green blouses and white skirts. Throughout our stay, we enjoyed sitting on the wooden furniture, immersed in the Carnatic tunes that served as the perfect background music, enhancing our experience of the cultural meals from the southern part of India.

All about remaining loyal to the culture  


Mangalore Bonda (left) and Murugan Podi Dosa (right)

While it is easy to venture into a culture-themed restaurant with the decor, it is much harder to remain authentic to the culture with the food. Sarvananand Chitambaram, the chef at Kamats Legacy in this outlet, who himself hails from the state of Tamil Nadu, maintains that all the items prepared here are true to their authentic taste. We got a glimpse of this commitment through the first bestseller from their menu, Murugan Podi Dosa, a variation of the classic dosa with Murungai Podi - a South-Indian masala known for its nutritional benefits - sprinkled over it. This dosa was served on our banana leaf initially. As expected, we relished every bite of the dosa before moving on to the next treat from the Vadas section: Mangalore Bonda, served with "Railway Chutney." When asked about the name, the chef chuckled and said, "Such a name for the dip is inspired by the local scenes at the Mangalore railway station." These soft, spongy, and deep-fried fritters, popular in the homes of South Indian regions, including Mangalore, undoubtedly turned out to be a light and refreshing snack.


Parotta Urulai Kulambu (left) and Filter Kappe (right)

Not only that, we delved into another traditional dish from Karnataka—Bisi Bele Bath, translating to a hot lentil rice dish. It aimed to stay true to its original taste, incorporating a mix of sourness, sweetness, spice, and even heat that remained undiscovered until tasted. However, what truly stood out for us was Parotta Urulai Kulambu, a perfect fusion of Kerala and Tamil Nadu cuisines. Shredded Malabar parottas, a specialty of Kerala, were topped with garlic-crushed potatoes in Kulambu, a Tamilian curry.

This hearty dish, with the lentil stew over it, turned out to be a slice of heaven for us and paired exceptionally well with the Filter Kappe or Filter coffee, served in the traditional small brass utensils used in South Indian homes.

Sweetness from South India to our table 


Pasi Paruppu halwa (left), Red Rice Payasam (middle) and Jigar Thanda (right)

The dessert section of the outlet deserves special mention as we discovered it with each spoonful of the traditional sweet we devoured. We began with Jigar Thanda, a specialty of Madurai. Chef Chitambaram explains that the main ingredient is almond gum, mixed with milk and nannari syrup, resulting in a mild-sweet drink that instantly cools down the body—exactly what it did for us.

Speaking of South Indian desserts without mentioning Kerala's Payasam would be unjust, so not only did we discuss it, but we also indulged in Red Rice Payasam. While it might not have perfectly suited our taste buds, its mildly sweet flavor certainly provided us with a pleasant experience. However, among all the desserts, Pasi Paruppu Halwa, a specialty from Thiruvaiyaru in the Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu, turned out to be a feast for the senses. The smoky taste of the halwa was nothing short of the cherry on top and served as the perfect way to complete our meal and call it a day.

In the age where the F&B industry, not only in the metropolitan cities but also in tier 2 and 3 cities is tapping into the themed restaurants with a special focus on the pop-culture preferences revolving around either popular comics or shows, delving into a cultural theme set-up in a city like Mumbai is a work worth-appreciating. However, what adds to it is the restaurant's persistence with the authenticity to the theme through its culinary presentation. And, nothing but a South-Indian chef stands as a major factor for the same who makes sure that even though the dishes are not "presentable" as the trend in the industy, they evoke the taste buds. Kamats Legacy also impresses with its welcoming nature, the warm hospitality and the affordability that comes with its offerings owing to its proximity to the office-goers.

Having said that, the outlet might surely deal with the space crunch as it is housed in a small one-room space and the commotion might feel during lunch hour for its location in a corporate building. But all that becomes worth as the outlet offers a range of culinary feasts from the nooks and the corners of South India, all stuck in a little corner of fast-pacing South Mumbai. 

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