The first time I walked into Kaboom, I was struck by the vibrant green of their open Kitchen. Though I’d heard about their organic, farm-fresh fare, I hadn’t made a visit yet, until I attended the launch of the Slow Food Movement – Mumbai Chapter (more on that later). Mezzanine seating, bold colours and re-purposed furniture – while somehow still retaining that eccentric charm of the Irani Cafe which previously occupied the space – make up Kaboom’s interiors.
The food philosophy behind Kaboom is simple. Wholesome food – made with locally sourced ingredients – that you can eat on-the-go. Kaboom was started by Yohaan and Kunali Dattoobhai, with the initial idea being a food truck, catering to the office crowd at Ballard Estate. A qualified Lawyer himself, Yohaan and Chef Kunali (the genius behind Sucres de Terres) decided to go ahead and open a place they would want to grab a mid-day meal at. Sadly, due to municipal licensing issues, a food truck was not possible, but I think they’ve managed to pull off a casual atmosphere with a friendly vibe.
What I love about Kaboom, is that their menu changes every day – Mondays are for South-East Asian food, Tuesday focuses on artisanal Cheese (YES, Cheese is important enough to warrant its own day), Wednesdays are for Italian food, Thursdays for Middle- Eastern (my personal favourite) and Fridays for American cuisine. Everything is as locally-sourced as possible, so you can actually taste the freshness! It’s rather brilliant, because if you work in the area and need a place to grab a quick lunch every day, you can’t get bored! The containers in which the food is served, are made from bio-friendly bagasse – embossed with their logo – which unlike paper or foam containers, is both eco-friendly and also doesn’t get soggy when filled with hot food.
Having ordered home delivery from Kaboom twice before (through Meals on Wheels – now Scootsy) and being really impressed with the packaging and the quality of the food, I was happy to accept an invitation to dine at the restaurant. Lucky for me, I got to pick Yohaan’s brain over lunch about his and Kunali’s culinary journey so far, while we tasted a couple of dishes.
First up, from this fresh Classic Italian Salad of Buffalo Mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and shredded basil with a light olive oil dressing was right up my alley. Once you get a taste of fresh cheese like this, you’ll never look at processed store-bought cheese the same way again! Those cherry tomatoes were literally bursting with freshness and perfectly seasoned with fresh pepper. Clean and earthy flavours with a hint of sweetness make this a salad I’d definitely order again.
You can’t go wrong with an Arrabiata – a pasta sauce made with garlic, tomatoes and red chili cooked down in olive oil. This is actually something I make regularly at home, and I was pleased to hear that Kaboom makes all their own sauces from scratch (including their own tomato ketchup). It’s simple, but comforting to eat.
I haven’t eaten authentic Tabbouleh before, so I had nothing to compare this dish with – but I couldn’t stop myself reaching for seconds. Kaboom’s version of this vegetarian Arabic dish is made with cracked wheat, tomatoes, parsley and raisins. It’s a little bit dry, but a much healthier way to kick that carb craving than with rice.
I absolutely love their Falafel Salad – crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, their Falafel is super. Add shredded veggies, complete with their tasty house-made garlic and chili sauces and it makes for the perfect pick-me-up to snack on. My only grievance is that I wish there was more sauce – again, it was delicious but slightly dry.
Their Chicken Shwarma is gorgeous, with juicy, soft and crunchy textures. More of that lip-smacking sauce over the top make this something I would go back for. I’ve ordered it before, and the quality and taste has been consistently good.
The Jerk Chicken Sandwich and Hand-cut French Fries (seasoned particularly well, with a dried herb mix) also lasted well on the trip from Kaboom to my house (not more than 15 minutes away) and were devoured down to the last bite.
For Dessert, I highly recommend the Lemon and Semolina Tea Cake (scrumptious!) and the Coffee Walnut Cake – both baked fresh every day. If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, order yourself a Nutella Toastie – though I’m not a huge fan of the Burun bread they make it with, even I can’t resist Nutella.
Eating at Kaboom even twice in one week (I’ve done it) is easy on your wallet and the portion sizes are enough to satisfy to your appetite – two things that don’t usually work in synchrony. If you’re hungry, head on over (or be lazy and order in, like I did). You can find Kaboom on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. They’re open Monday to Friday, from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm.