Trishna is my favorite restaurant in Mumbai.
This is because they specialize in crab. If you know me at all, you know that my favorite food is chili crab. I believe this is because 1. they take forever to eat and require lots of digging and scraping and fiddling-with, which I adore and 2. they are incredibly delicious. I will take crab over lobster any day. Crab is delicious in almost any format, but I believe it reaches its absolute apogee in chili crab form, stir-fried in a spicy, tomatoey sauce and served as hot as it gets, allowing you to make a completely heinous mess all over the nice white table cloth.
One entirely excellent vegetable jalifrezi.
I ended up returning to Trishna three times in about 10 days, which is pretty impressive since 1. I am poor and 2. It is not cheap. I went twice with my friend Aneesa, where we happily ate until we felt kinda sick and regretted not a moment of it.
I made the last visit the day before I left. I was under the impression I was leaving India for good. (This proved not to be the case, but that's a story for another time.) I decided that a last meal at Trishna was the way to go, and ambled down there all by my lonesome for a leisurely lunch. I ended up ordering my two favoritest things: an entire tandoori crab and a plate of bhindi masala, costing over 1000 rupees, or about 30 bucks. This was the most I had spent in my life on a meal for myself, and it made me feel curiously independent and awesome: here I was in an absolutely foreign city, all by myself, ordering fancy and delicious meals. I had perhaps arrived, or at least come within spitting distance of the door.
I ate the entire crab (and all the bhindi), impressing the waiters who were under the impression I could not hork down that entire delicious spread. Hah! It is now a very happy memory.
Trishna is pretty well known in Mumbai, and seems to come up with regularity on every tourist guide and dining manual put out. It's an old school, rather fancy place: the waiters wear jackets and are delightfully snobby, and elderly couples come out in fancy outfits to eat lots of seafood and gossip about each other. The speciality is crab, but you can get tasty rawas (Indian salmon), fish, prawn, and other dishes as well, including meat for you non fish eating pussies. The place is located down a tiny and rather hard to find alley: make damn certain your cabbie knows what you are talking about.