Ask any food blogger or an influencer for recommendations on where to eat in Mumbai and Bandra will feature on almost all lists. Bandra is a hot spot for entertainment and dining. Home to swanky, gorgeous restaurants offering delectable meals, the suburb has added an additional feather in its cap, an Instagram worthy restaurant to its name.
Taking over the baton from an iconic spot like Birdy’s is no easy task, but La Loca Maria is up to the challenge. The newest entrant to the thriving cultural scene in the city brings along a mood update with an irresistible ambiance and Insta-worthy decor and food. Located in the spot where Birdy’s has stood for thirty years, co-founders Chef Manuel Olveira Seller and Mickee Tuljapurkar knew that they wanted to reinvent the space to honour the chef’s indigenous legacy.
Chef Manuel decided to go back to his roots to his real inspiration—his mother, Maria after whom the restaurant has been fashioned. The eponymous muse was then brought to life a creative collaboration with local street artists, Za Works. Leaving ladylike conventions by the wayside, you’ll find her sitting with her legs uncrossed, sipping on sangria in between bites of a wholesome burger. The founders also left their personal stamp on the place by inculcating a painting of their pet dog, Max on the walls. The vivacious and botanical walls of the restaurant complement perfectly the vibrant and spirited food Chef Manuel offers his patrons, and make La Loca Maria the newest Insta-worthy space in Bombay.
Having opened its doors in August, the eatery is frequented by the creative crowd of the city, with Chef Vicky Ratnani, Adhuna Bhabani, Amrita Arora, Poonam Damania, Erika Packard and more dropping by to sample the gourmet fare and the intriguing interiors. The next time you want to gorge on delicious food and to capture your next Insta-worthy #OOTD! you know where to head to.
About The Chef
Born in the UNESCO heritage town of Toledo in Spain, Chef Manuel’s earliest childhood memories stem from his mother’s restaurant where he got his first glimpse of the various techniques of cooking. His passion for the craft inspired him to start cooking at the age of 14, and he helped out at the family restaurant on weekends, where he often served Spanish home-cooked food. He furthered his passion by enrolling at a culinary school in Toledo where he received hands-on knowledge of Spanish cuisine as well as unique techniques of making cheese, sauces and breads. Upon graduating with a certificate of diploma, he proceeded to work in a Michelin-star restaurant. Over the course of his career, he has worked as Chef De Cuisine at several illustrious hotels around the world, including St. Regis, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi and Le Cirque and Café Belge at The Ritz-Carlton in Dubai.
La Loca Maria provides Chef Manuel with a unique platform. As a chef-driven restaurant, the versatility of the place presents him with the freedom to play around with his own imagination and serve comfort foods that are exceptionally plated and presented. From the preparation of ingredients to the style of cooking, the restaurant is a living testimony to his Spanish heritage and his own personal creativity. As time passes, he hopes to delight patrons with delicious amalgamations of Mediterranean cuisine with Spanish influences.