Wishing all readers a Very Happy & Prosperous Diwali. As the Bisleri advt went…please play safe (and I mean in all respects).
With the sheer number of restaurants that Bombay has, buy one can devote an entire blog. If I go by the count, order it seems people in Bombay hardly cook at home. Comparatively, Delhi has fewer joints. But quantity does not equate quality. So the law of averages catches up here too.
Here I present a small list of restaurants I have enjoyed visiting (and re-visiting) over the past two years:
Pop Tate’s (Seven Bungalows, Andheri West) – “You will love this place” my friend had remarked, when she agreed to meet me here, more out of compulsion than choice. I had just entered this bustling metropolis, and the only familiar areas were Four & Seven Bungalows (don’t ask why the area is called so; no one has been able to provide a satisfactory answer). She was spot-on. I fell in love with the casual ambiance, the cool menu card (jugglery of the famous Archies comics characters) and the awesome sizzler’s. Though I wish it had bigger space (but then, in Bombay, any space is expensive -and as a corollary, good – space). For quite sometime, I spent several lavish & lazy Sundays, sipping a chilled beer, trying out its various sizzler’s and pastas and counting the number of TV/Small time actors that visit regularly. My favorite was the simple Chicken Steak Sizzler (till I turned Veg) and currently, I love the Paneer Sizzler. Also, its simple Margharita Pizza is sumptuous. Anyone who visits me in Bombay is sure to find himself/herself ensconced here for a nice dinner.
Urban Tadka (Seven Bungalows, Andheri West) – From the same chain as Pop Tate’s , Urban Tadka (and its counterpart Masala Mantar at Four Bungalows) is a marvelous Indian joint. The place is set up in ethnic style, with old film posters lining the walls. The food is delicious – not too spicy, not too oily. But amazingly perfect. The ‘dahi chutney’ that they serve alongside tickles the palette. From Masala Mantra, do try their ‘Rajma Biryani’, served exquisitely in an earthen ‘handi’. It will get you clamoring for more, for sure! Usually, I use Masala Mantra for home-orders and Urban Tadka for on-site visit.
Soam (Babulnath Marg, Near Chowpatty) – Gujarati/Rajasthani cuisine never felt so gracious and grand. Situated near Mumbai’s famous Chowpatty Beach (remember that zany song Chowpatty jaayenge bhel puri khaayenge from Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan), Soam is a an elegant joint, very up-market, very neat, very decent and very sober. It’s aam-ras is the sweetest.
Crystal Restaurant (Chowpatty) – Who would have thought that this non-descript, almost run-down place (near Wilson College) would serve the tastiest Indian food…almost home-made in taste. And it serves phulkas (chapattis), instead of the standard tandoori rotis. Crystal’s rajma, paneer bhurji and daal are yummy (even as I type this, my mouth waters!) Top off your lunch/dinner with a luxuriously rich kheer. The prices are reasonable. And the best part? They still play old songs – and by old, I mean really old – Mohd Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh from fifties and sixties era.
Bachelor’s (Chowpatty) – Well, if you have been to South Bombay and haven’t had Bachelor’s cream-and-strawberry, then you have missed something. Bachelor’s is not really a joint. It’s a kiosk. And it serves juice and sandwiches. But people throng this tiny outlet for its cream-and-strawberry, which is so hard to describe. It’s an experience! It is open till late in the night.
Stomach II (Seven Bungalows) – “So where’s the first part” my cousin had jokingly quizzed. I had no clue then. But it’s first part is apparently at Bandra. If you want Chinese cuisine, without fuss, at average rates, and neatly presented, head towards Stomach II. It’s USP are those variety of sauces they serve – from Sweet Garlic to Dynamite to Schezwan… it becomes difficult to decide which one to choose!
Relish (Churchgate, Opp KC College) – Introduced by a colleague, it’s a fabulous joint for ‘world’ food. Once again, very unpretentious but extremely neat (just the way I like restaurants to be). I fell in love with its Cheese Tortillas. Do also try their Mexican Lasagna and variety of Pastas.
(To Be Continued Later)
(Please click here to read the Second Part of this Series)
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