Chef Floyd Cardoz’s passion undoubtedly lay in food, an apt personification of which is visible in his co-owned Bombay Sweet Shop. While the great man might no longer be among us, his magic will continue to live on through the whimsical mithai shop. After all, with Cardoz, it was always about spreading the sweets and smiles forever. Today, we reminiscence our little outing to the happy place. By Pallavi Mehra
From the wide variety of Indian mithai on offer to the theatre-inspired space, glass-front kitchen, a café serving innovative chaats and snacks, and a separate gifting section, the Bombay Sweet Shop is a whimsical spin on the traditional mithai shop. The team behind Mumbai’s award-winning regional Indian eatery The Bombay Canteen and popular Goa-inspired restaurant, O Pedro, bring us their newest offering—a re-imagined Indian mithai shop and café. Bombay Sweet Shop, located in Byculla, Mumbai is both a retail outlet and a factory space, where recognisable Indian sweets have been transformed into something amusingly fresh and delectable.
Bombay Sweet Shop is where your craziest Indian sweet dreams will become a mouth-watering reality, with the normal and the unusual blending seamlessly to create delicious mithais. Imagined of and created in-house, the sweet treats are as much about playing with concept, colour, texture, flavour and appearance as an opportunity to exhibit India’s rich culinary history. A hand-poured mosaic tiled floor that has been custom detailed with katli flowers and honeybees welcomes guests to an old ironwork factory, which has been converted with deco style motifs reminiscent of theatres in the ’40s. We loved the high ceiling, massive windows and art deco interiors.
We started our dessert tour with the Coconut Caramel Patissa Fingers (pepper caramel, coconut fluff, milk chocolate), Drunken Motichoor Ladoo with rum and coated with dark chocolate and Ferrero Rocker Laddoo, which is a besan laddoo with the addition of hazelnut. This was followed by the chocolate-coated Kaju Bon Bons that finds its roots in the French Calisson and the Dulce De Leche Pedha (stuffed with salted caramel and peanut chikki). We couldn’t resist the Aam Papad Lollipop, a sweet, tart mango candy with pieces of the fruit trapped in its circular rendition.
Furthermore, there’s an entire section, of the menu and outlet, dedicated to Chikki. The adored Indian sweet finds a new avatar in Chikki Thins (like wafers) and Chikki Bars, which you can have made-to-order in the flavour of your choice, right there in store, in just a few minutes. We tasted the Chocolate Miso and Smoked Almond Chikki Thins. Also, competing for our attention were the Indian Gummies and the inventive Kulfi Softees. We tried the Aamchi Kulfi (puran poli-flavoured milk, black pepper) and the Pineapple Jam Gummies (cashew, ginger, chili). Also, we learnt that seasonal sweets and curated collections around special themes and festivals would also be on offer.
After all that mithai, we needed a break from the sweetness, so we tried some of the savory offerings of Bombay Sweet Shop’s café. We had the Avocado Papdi Chaat that comprises millet and avocados, Green Pea Matri Taco, which comes with goat cheese and radish, Burmese Bhel—noodles tossed with raw mango in a spicy chili chutney and a smoky Baingan Bharta and Green Pea Hummus served with papad and pita. To end our meal, we ordered one of the plated desserts known as Malai Toast.
Talking about the philosophy of the shop and café, Floyd Cardoz, Culinary Director, Bombay Sweet Shop says, “We created the Bombay Sweet Shop to bring out the magic of mithai to all Indians who absolutely love it. We want people to come in and enjoy all our traditional, the slightly adapted traditional and the fun playful mithai that we are offering. It’s about making mithai fun again!”