Food is the ultimate paradise for most of us. We have many who crave for food all the time. As work took me to the city of dreams- Mumbai, I had prepared my own check list to visit some favorite eateries in Mumbai. Mumbai is a city that does not let you down. You will not have a single dull moment here. The city that never sleeps has a lot to offer. From food to entertainment to Bollywood, there is a lot that this city has in its kitty. The most exiting thing about the foods in Mumbai is that it no where carries the ‘authenticity’ tag. It is proud to openly say that it is borrowed, interpreted, re-interpreted, refurbished versions that collectively create the landscape of the Mumbai cuisines.
After a lot of fanfare and playing the food detective, here are some 10 type of meals that will take you into the streets, the lanes and the bylanes, through the hearts of the people, culture and the past of this island city.
The Street Food
The Mumbai street food has its own distinctive flavour in comparison with the street foods of the rest of India. The chaat of Uttar Pradesh improvised to a whole new kind of food. We have the addition of onion and garlic and cannot forget the heaps of red chilli powder being used, giving the dishes an earthy quality. Here one can find scores of dishes from the Paav Bhaji, Vada Paav, potato to Chinese Bhel Indian-style pizzas. This is paradise for someone who wants flavours and textures that pop in the mouth without denting the pocket much.
And where do you find it? Well, a lot of versions of the street food are available all around the city and everybody has their own favourite destinations. If you are in the suburbs, go straight to Juhu and seek the Chowpatty, Amar Juice Center. Those hawkers outside Mithibhai college in Parle also are a great choice.
For those venturing into South Mumbai, the snack shops at Girgao Chowpatty, the Indianstyle pizzas and sandwiches, and Homji Street Khao Galli located in Fort are some places that should not be missed. Other places that should be on the bucket list of a foodie are- Cannon at CST and Sardar at Tardeo. Both are famous for the Pav Bhaji. People flock at both these locations and relish the spicy dish.
The samosa lovers can be seen at Sion’s famous Gurukrupa, feasting on Samosa Ragda,while fruit lovers take shelter at the Haj Ali Juice Centre. Relishing fresh fruits with the sea splattering its waves in the background is a great sight. Do not miss it!
Konkani Costal in Mumbai
Konkan, the costal belt starts from Mumbai and goes on till Goa. Malvani cuisine is marked by the use of garam masala and red chilli. On the other hand, Gomantak cuisine is the coastal cuisine of areas in and around Goa and is marked by the generous use of fresh coconut and kokum. When in Mumbai, one can find a mix of Malvani and Gomatak cuisines. The curries here are tangy, coconut-y, fiery with spice and red chilli and accompanied by rice.
The Bombil, prawn and Surmai fries, fresh and tangy fish curries and Sol Kadi are a must. Meat lovers can dig in the Mutton Masala and Tisriya (mussels) Suke, rice Bhakris and fried, deep-golden wade to mop it all up. You can catch all this at Satkar in Goregao, Gomantak at Dadar or Highway Gomantak on the Western Expressway.
The Maharashtrian Meal
For those who are on the constant search of the native cuisine of Maharashtra, the destination is Dadar. You’ll get a meal at lunch time from the very smallest yet unassuming restaurants.
They offer meals of Varan Bhat (dal rice) with vegetarian sides that usually include aKoshimbir (salad), Usal (sprouted pulse) and Pale Bhaji (green leafy vegetable). Though there are many who relish the meals, the major crowd pullers are snacks varying from Thaali Peeth (a sort of a multigrain pancake or flatbread), Kandha Pohe (flattened rice snack), Sabudana Vada (sago and potato fritter flecked with roasted peanuts), Misal Paav (a fiery curry made of pulses and fried nothings served with bun), Kothimbir Vadi (coriander leaf and gram flour fritters) etc.