'I have never experienced that most subtle of senses - smell - captured so well in print. The aroma of fine cooking just floats off the pages. Don't read this book if you're hungry. You might eat it.' - Simon Beaufoy, Oscar-Award-winning screenwriter, Slumdog Millionaire
Abbas Haji is the proud owner of a modest family restaurant in Mumbai. But when tragedy strikes, Abbas propels his boisterous family into a picaresque journey across Europe, finally settling in the remote French village of Lumiere, where he establishes an Indian restaurant, Maison Mumbai.
Much to the horror of their neighbour, a famous chef named Madame Mallory, the Indian establishment opposite her own begins to garner a following. Little does she know that the young Hassan, son of Abbas, has discovered French cuisine and has vowed to become a great French chef. Hassan is a natural whose talents far outweigh Mme. Mallory, but the tough old Frenchwoman will not brook defeat.
Thus ensues an entertaining culinary war pitting Hassan's Mumbai-toughened father against the imperious Mme. Mallory, leading the young Hassan to greatness and his true destiny.
This vivid, hilarious and charming novel - about how just a small distance of a hundred feet can represent the gulf between different cultures, different people, their tastes and their destinies - is simply bursting with eccentric characters, delicious flavours and high emotion.
'Outstanding! I wished it went on for another three hundred pages.' - Anthony Bourdain