TŪMBI is a modern Indian restaurant and bar now open steps away from the ocean in the heart of Santa Monica. Drawing from the extravagant flavors and artistry of India’s cultural heritage, the new Westside eatery is taking Modern Indian cuisine to the next level with an innovative menu that combines authentic Indian street food with haute cuisine. TŪMBI is the brainchild of owner RJ Singh, who was inspired by his trips through India and used his knowledge and passion about the foods he tasted during his travels to capture the best flavors from each region to create the TŪMBI menu. Together with Chef Imran Mookhi, they developed robust flavor combinations of tamarind, turmeric, and fresh herbs to transport guests on a journey reminiscent of a vibrant bazaar filled with food carts, spice stalls and sweet shops. TŪMBI’s menu draws on influences from various regions of India including Rajasthan, New Delhi, Goa and Chennai as well as the neighboring countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“I was inspired by my travels to India where I experienced every type of food from North to South,” states RJ Singh. “I sampled food from street vendors to 5-star restaurants, and each had their own unique and delicious flavor profiles. I feel diners could never experience these authentic dishes under one roof until they dine at TŪMBI. Our menu truly represents all of India.”
Designed by Architect Sat Garg, TŪMBI is a warm and engaging environment with an industrial-chic vibe. TŪMBI – a musical instrument used at many Indian celebrations – decorate the bar. At the forefront of the main dining room is a mural painted by Garg, which was inspired by the iconic temples and places of worship in India. Photos and artwork throughout the restaurant show street scenes taken from various places in India, particularly Rajasthan, Delhi and Chennai in South India. TŪMBI also features a patio with a view of the ocean and private dining room that seats up to fourteen guests.
Originally from Pakistan, Chef Imran Mookhi has always had a passion for Indian food and experimented with spices from India for years. Since moving to LA in 2000, he trained in numerous world-class kitchens including Michelin starred Tamarind of London where he received the Golden Foodie Award for Best Indian Chef in Southern California. “I love creating dishes that combine fresh California ingredients with authentic Indian cuisine with a large variety of spices,” said Chef Imran. “By using additional culinary influences from neighboring Indian countries, we’ve created our own modern interpretations of dishes that you may normally find at a traditional Indian restaurant, yet presented and prepared in a completely unique way.”
Owner RJ Singh has been in the hospitality industry for most of his life.He was the co-owner and creator of the famed Tantra in Silver Lake and India’s Oven, and is the owner of Sirtaj Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Some of TŪMBI’s signature dishes include: Pani Puri, a puff pastry with chickpeas, shallots, and tamarind mint water elegantly served in a shot glass; Afghani Seekh Kabob with ground lamb, fennel, tomato chutney; Charbroiled Paneer Tikka, yogurt, curry, mint chutney; Apricot Curry Patagonian Toothfish Masala with sustainably-caught Chilean sea bass, taro chips, and sweet peppers; Avocado Bhel Puri, avocado and citrus salad that includes puffed rice, tamarind chili, and garlic chutney; Channa Bhatura, a combination of garbanzo beans, garlic oil, garam spices, fried bread; and an impressive array of Dosas, rice and lentil crepes served with sambar soup, flavorful chutneys.
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