Bombay’s only Baba

22 June, 2015
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Proprietor: Ling’s Pavilion (1990)

Lansdowne Road, Colaba.

Fresh off the heels of International Yoga Day, we would to remind our readers that in Bombay there is only one baba- Baba Ling.

Wearing his signature safari suit, rings and bracelet, 66 year old Baba effortlessly conducts his restaurant, Ling’s Pavilion, from a podium near the entrance of the establishment. Baba greets and helps seat the legions of customers that visit the restaurant, ensures each table is well-attended to and even comes by the tables to explain the intricacies of the Chinese dishes being served.

Baba was born in Bombay to a family of Chinese migrants from Shantao city in the Canton province. Being the youngest sibling, he was called Baba, his proper name Sen Thanling, was seldom used. Similarly, his brother is popularly called Nini Ling (Sen Thonling). Nini also runs Ling’s Pavilion, though from a more discrete location – a room on the lower level of the restaurant.

Many thanks to Kunal Merchant and Indira Nuthakki for facilitating this post.

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