Freakshakes were one of the biggest trends this year. Photo via Facebook
When The Bombay Canteen took over the city’s foodscape in 2015, we were thrilled to have a restaurant that celebrated regional Indian food. By early 2016, 'Indian fusion food' got a newfound status, and we lost count of the restaurants that were innovating with regional dishes from across the country. A sophisticated yet Indian at heart approach seemed to work.
Meanwhile, the pop-up scene in Mumbai was seen thriving with more and more home chefs sharing their tables with those wanting something unique. Pia Promina Dasgupta Barve hosted a Jewish and Anglo-Indian pop-up influenced by her childhood memories in Kolkata, Cairo-bred Bhakti Mehta recreated her Egyptian food experiences at her Khar home, and Assamese pop-up queen Gitika Saikia celebrated Durga Puja by hosting a Nepali meal among others. The more the merrier, isn't it?
2016 was the year of international food trends. Turmeric latte, Matcha desserts, freakshakes and rainbow foods came to India, thanks to restaurants who innovated with them. We tried the Golden Milk or haldi doodh at The Pantry in Kala Ghoda, rainbow bagels at Bandra's It Happened in New York, and Matcha cake at PaPaYa; popular coffee chain Di Bella introduced freakshakes to Indians, a trend pioneered by a café in Perth.
After quinoa and kale, millet became the newest superfood in 2016 - a grain native to our country that we forgot and embraced following a growing interest in the West. The trend got supermarkets and local stores alike to stock it.
In other news, Kolkata boy Gaggan Anand visited India, although not to open a restaurant. The Bangkok-based chef and restaurateur was in Mumbai to host a pop-up for select guests in August. It was also earlier this year that Jamshedpur-born (now settled in London) and twice-Michelin starred chef Atul Kochhar launched his first restaurant in India – NRI in BKC, Mumbai.
2016 also saw some great food photography constantly reminding us to eat with our eyes. There were expert food styling and photography workshops for those who wished to pursue the art. Instagram displayed enough proof.
The year gone by has opened the doors to new adventures in food. Can 2017 live up to the expectations?