I have been quite bad. I start off with a ‘series’ and never really sit to pen its subsequent parts. So, let me rectify that immediately. Since eating out is more compulsion than choice, I guess it was easier to complete this.
So without much further ado, here is the second installment of this series:
Copper Chimney (Worli, Near Atria Mall) – I had tried Copper Chimney in Delhi, so I was very sure what to expect. Serves Indian cuisine. Am told it has good non-vegetarian fare (though I haven’t tried, since I visited only after converting to vegetarianism). Contrary to many other restaurants, CC in Bombay enjoys ample space, with lots of crevices and corners to enjoy a relaxed private meal. I had ordered pretty standard fare (Dal makhani, naan and paneer) and they were all good.
Vig (Chembur) – If you are in Chembur, and haven’t been to Vig‘s then you ain’t eaten anything. Like Crystal, Vig has small space, not very tidy and pretty ‘down-market’ look. But let it not fool you. The food is simply sumptuous and will have you literally licking your fingers. Serves veg and what we can call ‘snacks’. However, they are more than stomach-ful. The chholas are just amazing.
Guru Ka Dhaba (Lokhandwala) – Rush here for some delicious home-style vegetarian food. Don’t expect any fancy seating area; in fact, it is less than ordinary & you might have to share tables. But the culinary brilliance more than makes up for the lack of space. Or service, which is tad too slow. I loved Rajma and Paneer Bhurji here, though do try out various vegetables like Ladies Finger & Cauliflower too. They serve soft phulkas (instead of the usual tandoori roti).
Papa Pancho’s (Seven Bungalows, Andheri W) – Another awesome Indian food joint, more Punjabi. And pretty authentic. I liked its Baingan Ka Bartha, which is as rare in Bombay as winter chills. Also, talking of the season, do try out the sarson-ka-saag there. Nothing to beat mom’s taste, but quite there. They have another outlet at Pali Hill, Bandra. Yet to visit that one, though.
Falafels (Various outlets) – I have become a fan of this Lebanese delicacy, made of chick-peas. Order their Combo-2 and you get quite a meal: a huge portion of hummus, with two large pita breads, and topping of choice (I usually order falafels), combined with a dessert (chocolate mousse is my favorite) and a drink (lemonade or carbonated drink, choose your pick). I have tried hummus at various places (including Cafe Coffee Day at Juhu-Shopper’s Stop) but the way these people make it something else altogether. Their home-delivery service rivals Domino’s in speed and promptness.
Mondegar‘s & Leopold’s (Colaba) – Two joints which perhaps define Bombay’s spirits are Mondegar’s & Leopold’s – both situated near each other, on Colaba Causeway. Both are crowded in evenings, and is full of foreigners, hippies, back-packers and the young-at-heart. The beer flows freely. The snacks are great. And one has to ‘experience’ these joints to understand the absolute carefree and bindaas attitude available. A perfect place to head to for an evening of fun & frolic with friends.
Leopold has been a degree more famous – thanks to the incessant tourist over-flow, as also the book Shantaram, and (more recently) due to the shootout there, last November. Established in 1871, Leopold’s is as much a landmark as Gateway of India is.
Five Spices (Fort)- Located near RBI’s office, Five Spices is another ‘cool’ place; it serves Chinese cuisine. With some good amount of spices, as the name goes. The portions are more than sufficient, so be careful while you order. The service is impeccable. However, decor could have been more innovative. I am told there is another branch at Bandra or Andheri, yet to try that out.
Chetana (Kala Ghoda, Fort) – Situated next to Rhythm House, Chetana offers an array of thalis – Gujarati, Maharashtrian and Rajasthani. It’s tough to choose the best one. All three are outstanding. I have a soft corner for Rajasthani fare- including dal, baati and choorma, which the thali contains. The service is extremely prompt. And since food in unlimited, stuff yourself! Do also try the Gujarati thali, and it’s white kadhi, served alongwith khaman dhokla and multiple chatnis. This place leaves you more than full, and often a lavish lunch equates skipping dinner.
Panchvati Gaurav (Infiniti Mall, Link Road, Andheri West) – Another marvelous thali joint, similar in concept to Chetana: that is, unlimited thali starting off with snacks (dhokla, small samosas et al), jal-jeera, and then variety of sabzis, dal, rice, raita, and papad; rounding it off with some awesome sweets (moong dal halwa or any other sweet of the day). Thali joints thrive on quick service, and this one is no exception. It’s location (within a famous mall) helps it garner a good crowd. Again, a place guaranteed to give you ‘burps’!
That’s all for this episode. Will be back shortly, with a third installment, as I go discovering (and re-discovering) more Bombay joints.
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