Ae dil hai mushkil jeena aaya…jara hatke, jara bachke yeh hai Bombay meri jaan! – this famous song from the movie C.I.D. (1956) virtually summarises the maximum city called Mumbai (then known as Bombay) in little more than 4 minutes. However, it still fails to capture the lifeline of this city named after Goddess Mumbadevi. No, I’m not hinting at the Indian Railways but I’m pointing at the other lifeline of Mumbai – THE FOOD! Mumbai, the melting pot of cultures houses many places (ranging from street stalls to 7 Star hotels) that serve breathtaking delicacies.
Here is a list of seven must visit foodie paradises in the city of seven islands.
Kyani & Co. Bakery
A grand old Irani resto-bakery near Metro Cinema – Marine Lines started in the year 1904 is an absolute paradise for the lovers of Parsi (Irani) food. The taste of mouthwatering Chicken Cutlet coupled with Mutton Samosa and Irani tea (or Masala Chai) is enough to put you on Cloud 9. And how can anyone complete his or her breakfast without the legendary Bun Maska of Mumbai (Burger bread with dollops of butter with a kiss of sugar)? Akuri or Spicy Scrambled egg is another must try Parsi variety in Kyani & Co. If your stomach permits then go for Spicy Chicken Kheema that this place offers. However, please do not step of this place without savouring Mawa Cake for dessert.
J. Hearsch & Co. Bakery
This bakery located on the Hill Road of Bandra (West) surprisingly finds its roots in the first world war. The founder of this bakery, a German Baker named J. Hearsch sold his bakery to a Catholic lady and rushed to Germany as the relationship between Germany and British India soured during the first world war. Later the same bakery went on to become a top bakery in suburbs. It serves flavorsome bakery items along with Chinese food and even Biryanis to the town. Chicken Roll: A bread roll stuffed with chicken (marinated in homemade mayonnaise) & crunchy lettuce is a must try for anyone and everyone. Next in the list comes Chicken Burger. Chicken & Potato mix patty with a simple stuffing of juicy tomatoes and onions covered in a rich creamy layer of homemade mayo is what this whole burger is about. Ginger-Lemon drink, which is very little on your stomach as well as your pocket is also worth trying.
Thakur Fast Food Corner
A perfect treat for eggetarians that is located in the suburbs of Goregaon (West) . This set up for started by a young North Indian in 1960s in a veg-dominated area of Goregaon (Suburban Mumbai). The constraint of the location did not prevent the flocking of foodies from savouring the taste of Omelettes offered by the set up. The omelette is a simple mix of Desi Egg, Salt, Pepper-powder, finely chopped onions & a masala (which is the secret ingredient that nobody till date knows). The best part is, the omelette-mix does not include tomato, which my opinion overpowers the taste of the egg. The omelette is served with Pav (type of a bread) sunken in butter and mint chutney. You may even add a half fried desi egg to your omelette. Infact, an Omelette topped with a half fried desi egg , which is famously called as Uppar-Nichey by the locals is a must try dish at the outlet.
India is a multilinguistic & multicultural country and food is not untouched from this facet our great nation. We, Indians have accepted the Chinese cuisine as an integral part of our food list and have even devised an Indian version of this cuisine – Desi Chinese. The best place serving this fusioned cuisine is located in Malad (West), the suburban area of Mumbai – Malad. It’s a restaurant specifically dealing in Chinese food and is named as Uncle’s Kitchen. Crispy Fried Chicken Wanton (Dumpling) served with Pumpkin sauce is the must try dish of the menu. The golden coloured crispy fried is sure to stuff you with some extra calories (but who really cares?). Chicken Lollipop is another must try dish here. It is not like the normal maroon stuffy lollipops that you get in restobars. The best part is that the batter used does not have a prominent taste, which allows the meat-fillings to render its taste to the eaters. Other must try recipes are Sweet Corn Soup, Chicken (Veg) Spring Rolls and Fried Rice with Noodle Mix.
Satkar Rice Plate House
Mumbai, as we know is an island and where there is an island there is water and where there is water there are fishes. Touring this city without tasting the seafood in Mumbai is an experience incomplete. Well, one of the best places offering seafood dominant Malwani Cuisine in Mumbai is Satkar Rice Plate. It is located in Goregaon (East) (near the railway station) in the suburban Mumbai. Spicy red Pomfret curry served by the restaurant tickles your taste buds and the prominent spices of the curry takes you to the land of red soil – the Konkan coast. Fried Prawns is another delicacy, one should not miss. The cripy red prawns, once free from the red coating of the batter almost dissolves in your mouth. Sol Kadhi, a drink made from coconut and dried kokum is perfect to sooth your taste buds covered with the hot spices of the Malwani cuisine. There is another outlet of this very place on Sinhgad road in Pune.
Its biryani time… rice is an inseparable food items in almost every Indian home and biryani is certainly considered as the best way to treat guests (who are rice lovers) in our homes. The best place serving biryanis in Mumbai is located in Byculla. Its another old time townie restaurant called Persian Darbar. A must try dish is the every foodie’s favorite Raan Biryani. The dish is a version of Mutton Biryani that has aromatic biryani spices along with boiled eggs and basmati rice. Another must try dish is Caramel Custard, which melts in your mouth as soon as it touches your tongue.
In the end, let’s talk about some yummylicious desserts. Falooda, a dessert made from mixing rose syrup, sabza and pieces of gelatin with milk or water. This dessert finds its origin in the land of Persia and it travelled to India along with the Persian merchants, who settled in India. An outlet in Mahim with name Baba Falooda serves amazing Faloodas. The must try list includes Royal Falooda, which is a traditional Falooda drink described above along and the next being Kesar Pista Falooda, which is a Falooda served with small pieces of Kesar-Pista Kulfi. There are fusion versions of Faloodas also available, which are nothing but ice creams mixed with traditional Falooda Mix.
Once a poet called Amir Khusro had described Kashmir as Paradise on earth. Well, it would only apt for us to describe Mumbai as the Food Paradise on earth!
———- Annadata Sukhibhava! ———-