I’ve been craving for travel, I’ve been craving for beef, I’ve been craving for a little taste of home. Busaba, one of the restaurants in my bucket list.

Busaba serves memorable pan-Asian cuisine while retaining a hip vibe…Burmese khao suey, Korean bipimbap and bulgogi, Tibetan momos and Thai lime chilly fish are favorites, my Time Out guide informed me.

Busaba is located in one of the side streets of Colaba, in a building with an old facade. It was Sunday lunch time when I entered and I was surprised to see that no one was there–a luxury in Mumbai! The staff were very friendly and accommodating (well, if the ratio is five servers to one customer they should be!) and the interior is modern, in contrast to the facade, and beautiful. They have some purple walls, with lamps and orchids placed strategically on window ledges.

I sat by a window that had a pretty view of, ironically, a garage.

The interior reminded me of some restaurants in Manila. I know I talk a lot about Manila, but I can’t help it. It’s where I’m from and I admit to missing the variety of international food choices that I had back home. Forgive me for diverting a bit here. In Manila, you can walk into a shopping complex that offers Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian and American food. It’s something I’ve taken for granted. By now, I am used to the food choices in Mumbai and have picked my “comfort food” places which are mostly Indian food, specifically parathas, chicken shwarmas and chicken tandoori. Yum yum! But at this point in time, I’m glad that I’m forcing myself out of my comfort zone, and discovered Busaba, which brought brought back memories of another comfort zone–Manila! šŸ™‚

“Bulgogi and steamed rice,” I told the waiter as I slammed the menu shut. Of course I’m going to have bulgogi. I haven’t had bulgogi in more than a year. My mom used to cook it at home and it was a common food choice in many Manila fast food restaurants.

“Where are you from, Madame?” the head waiter asked me.

“I’m from the Philippines.” But I have an Indian passport and my Mom is very mixed, a mutt!, is the usual tagline I follow with, almost apologizing for the fact that I don’t seem to represent the country where I’m from.

“You don’t look like you’re from the Philippines,” he commented.

“Yes, I know.” I smiled back. I was relieved from having to further explain myself as my bulgogi arrived.

My yummy bulgogi!

The waiter served me the rice and poured some sauce over it. Then he served me the beef and red concoction in a small sauce bowl.

“Korean chili paste, Madame.”

I am usually averse to spice, but these days I want to try new things, so I spread some of the chili paste on the beef and sampled the recipe, which reminded me of home, the recipe which I haven’t eaten in so long!

I chewed and savored the juices of the beef, and the softness of the rice. At first, it reminded me of the pre-made marinated beef bulgogi that you buy in frozen packs. Oh my!, I laughed to myself. I just spent 600 bucks on a TV dinner!

But the chili paste added another dimension to the dish. It was spicy but not the type that makes you cry. Instead, it just prickled my tongue, and the memory of paste combined with the doused rice and beef, is now making me crave for it more and more.

The Korean chili paste was unbelievable!

The serving was big so I had it packed thinking I could finish it off the next day. But I had it for an early dinner, and I had it again for a late dinner. I couldn’t stop thinking about and eating the yummy bulgogi!

Busama is more expensive than most restaurants in Mumbai, and I’m suspecting that this is the reason why it was empty on a Sunday afternoon. For the bulgogi, rice, iced tea and tip, I spent 1000 rupees.

Was it worth it? Yes yes yes! Will I go back? Definitely, this time to try a Japanese or Thai dish.

If you’re interested in visiting Busaba the address is–
4 Mandlik Road, Colaba , Mumbai

Contact number: 22043769, 22043779, 22043772