Co-owners Sandeep and Donya tell us a little about their Indian inspiration
BOMBAY To Mumbai is a hidden gem in Bramhall, featuring modern Mumbai-inspired street food and traditional dishes from the heart of India – available both in the warm and welcoming restaurant and as take-out. As they say at B2M: ‘Get carried away!’ With a hand-picked team headed up by Sandeep and Donya, exceptional service goes hand-in-hand with outstanding food, and guests at B2M are treated like friends not just customers. We chatted to the business partners to find out more about their story…
Donya and Sandeep, how long has Bombay To Mumbai been going?
It’ll be two years this summer. We opened our doors in 2017, on 15 August, which coincided with the day of India’s independence and also, that particular year, with a popular festival in India, especially in Mumbai. It’s called Janmashtami, and it celebrates the birthday of Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu.
“The taste is unique and some dishes are not served anywhere in Manchester, which we are proud of. Every guest should feel as if they have been to Mumbai city and experienced its food and lifestyle.”
You’re listed in the 2019 Good Food Guide – describe the food and the vibe of B2M.
It was a great achievement to appear in the Good Food Guide – the diners really know their food and have also travelled a lot. Our dishes are simple and rooted to Mumbai street food and household curries, and we have created our own specials too. The taste is unique and some dishes are not served anywhere else in Manchester, maybe not even the whole of the UK, which we’re very proud of. After a trip to our restaurant, every guest should feel as if they have been to Mumbai and experienced its food and lifestyle.
Sandeep, what does Bombay To Mumbai actually mean?
Bombay and Mumbai is one and the same city. Some like to call it Bombay and some prefer Mumbai. I prefer Bombay because I was born and brought up there, and I was 12 when the city got renamed Mumbai in 1995. Our menu is created in such a way that some dishes are classical Bombay street food and curries, and some are modern Mumbai dishes.
Could you give us a bit more info about your background?
My parents still live in India and I stay updated with things happening there and make sure I visit and explore every year. My first job was at Hotel Taj Mahal Mumbai, India’s first five-star hotel, and I studied at the Institute of Hotel Management Goa then the UK. My first job in the UK was as a trainee at Manchester Airport Marriott Hotel and I was there for almost 10 years, leaving as Food and Manager in 2014 to open my first venture, then Bombay to Mumbai with Donya.
Donya, tell us a bit about your own story…
I was born and brought up in Iran, and came to the UK in 2009 to pursue my music career at the RNCM – I’m a trained opera singer. When Sandeep opened his first restaurant in 2014 he asked me to help run the operation with him and I did not have to think twice about it, as we had been friends for many years. I was planning on becoming a music teacher, but then Sandeep asked me to join him as his business partner when he opened Bombay to Mumbai. To learn more about Mumbai and its lovely food, I visited with Sandeep and his wife, staying with Sandeep’s family to explore and understand the culture and lifestyle of Mumbai. Now I run day-to-day operations with Sandeep and sometimes I also do live singing in the restaurant, which is my passion.
Your website says the B2M team is hand-picked – what various skills do the different team members bring?
We have three chefs from different regions of India and we encourage people of all nationalities to work with us, which is great as everyone has their own identity and culture, so we learn from each other and that helps make us unique.
Namaste! Find out more about Bombay to Mumbai here.