Interviews People

My City With Vanika Choudhary, Chef and Founder of Noon – Mumbai

Nestled in bustling Mumbai, Noon emerges as a distinguished fine-dining haven, reimagining Indian cuisine through a fascinating fusion of ancient fermentation practices and inventive mold utilization. At the helm of Noon’s culinary revolution stands Chef Vanika Choudhary, a vanguard of India’s farm-to-table movement. A luminary who catalyzed the inception of restaurant Sequel in 2016 and subsequently Noon in 2022, Chef Choudhary orchestrates a culinary symphony by synergizing locally sourced indigenous ingredients with time-honored cooking methodologies. This distinctive approach engenders an eloquent medley of traditional Indian and global flavors, an embodiment of her culinary prowess. We chat to Vanika and find out what she loves about her home town, Mumbai.

1. Tell us about the area that you live in and why you chose to make it your home.

We live in Colaba, Mumbai which is home to the world’s second largest collection of Art Deco buildings after Miami. The building we live in is in the heart of Colaba and is a remnant from a forgotten era, the neighborhood is like a time portal. We absolutely love the high ceilings and the old world charm in our home, and in many of the buildings you get in this area of the city. 

2. Where are your favourite places to eat and shop?

My favourite places to eat are Shree Thacker Bhojanalya, a laid back restaurant that offers the most delicious traditional Gujarati thalis, Swati Snacks, a casual restaurant that has the most delicious street foods and Soam which I love for its vegetarian comfort food. 

3. How would you spend a perfect day in your town/city?

A few of my favorite things to do when friends come are to go for a walk in the By Lanes to see amazing street art early in the morning followed by a laid back breakfast at a nearby cafe before going art spotting in city’s art district – Kalaghoda and finishing with lunch at Shree Thacker Bhojanalya. 

4. What is your favourite thing about your town/city?

Definitely Mumbai’s active art scene. 

5. Any other local insider secrets we should know about?

You cannot visit Mumbai without trying two local dishes – vada pan, Mumbai’s signature street food and Bombay duck, fish that’s best eaten fried. At Noon, one of our signature ferments revolves around it – Bombay Duck & Roselle Garum, fermented for a year. A garum that is an ode to the city’s most famous fish.

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