Best Buddies 2017

Sameer Seth and Yash Bhanage

How a small chat at a bar led The Bombay Canteen founders to spice it up with a desi restaurant venture

Soumik Kar

The camaraderie is evident right from the word go at the India-inspired restaurant, The Bombay Canteen (TBC) and it is not just between its owners — Sameer Seth and Yash Bhanage. As Seth and Bhanage bustle about getting things ready for the photo shoot, curious looks are shot across the room between the team as they go about doing their job. The bonhomie is quite evident at the place. Seth and Bhanage were classmates at the Cornell University and the idea to start a business together was something they toyed with, way back in 2010. But the thought gained steam only around a year and a half later, when they decided to pursue their passion for food and set up a restaurant back home. By this time, Seth had also met chef Floyd Cardoz, the man behind many successful restaurants in New York. With Cardoz as the culinary director, TBC was set up at Mumbai in 2015. With its bungalow-inspired interiors, desi-themed cutlery, and a simple, yet sophisticated menu on regional Indian food, TBC is a quirk-flavoured ode to India. Talking to the duo feels more like a casual conversation with a friend rather than an interview. Their motto is to make work fun. But that doesn’t translate to being flippant about what they do. It is easy to believe them when they say, “We take what we do seriously. Ourselves? Not so much.” They share a common vision of offering the best experience to their guests, which makes TBC a happy place to be in.