InOnIt Guides: Secretly Awesome Food Joints
We are sure you love hanging out with ‘Jugheads’ over the weekend while you turn into ‘The Drunken Munkey’, binging on ‘The Big Nasty’ fries while the ‘Pop Tates’ like steward watches you in unbidden amusement. Well, what can we say? This is a sure shot way to turn up the heat on your weekend. But aren’t there times when you crave for the anonymity of a joint that you and your close ones can frequent and have a good time at, because of the great food and the much-desired-for peace and quiet that they offer? Luckily for us, Mumbai also offers a wide range in the hole-in-the-wall sorta places and that’s exactly what we decided to jot down this time.
Cafe Madras has always read as Filter Coffee to all and sundry. But now we know for a fact that their Upma too sells like hot pancakes. Or should we say hot coffee? Full of ghee and served with a perennial smile despite the heavy crowd that, by the way they do a great job of handling, Cafe Madras just earned themselves a couple of followers.
Address: 38 -B, Circle House, King’s Circle, Matunga, Mumbai
Contact Number: 022 24014419
One of the oldest stalls that represented road-side food as we know it, Swati Snacks has grown and how! Today they have an uber cool website to their name too! Best known for their Panki Chatni, with many claiming it to be the best in Mumbai, their Peru ki Sabzi and Methi Bajre ki Roti also has many devoted followers.
Address: Karai Estate, Opp Bhatia Hospital, Tardeo Road, Mumbai 400007
Contact Number: 022 65808405, 022 65808406
You weren’t expecting us to miss a joint that served brilliantly authentic Koli food while writing about secret restaurants in Mumbai, were you? One of the oldest communities in Mumbai will now make their presence felt with Rosy’s Kitchen too! While they cater to small-time events with a capacity of 100-200 people, they also have some mouth-watering specials on an everyday basis. Not a place where a lot of people can sit, relax and eat, their specialities such as Chicken on the Tandoor, Prawns Koliwada, Prawns Biryani and Bombil Pakoda more than make up for it.
Address: Shop No.2, Ismail Building, Probdhankar Thare Road, Next to Alwiya Masjid, Sewri (W)
Contact Number: 8108235333
Amruta is something of a landmark in Thane. Not because of its structure, because, let’s face it, it is easily miss-able, located in a nondescript corner of one of the busiest streets in Thane. But because of the Pav Bhaji aroma that comes wafting in, even when you are shopping about a block away. With a capability to reduce a man stuffed with food to hunger pangs, no wonder it is then that people completely ignore that it is in actuality a regular restaurant but focus on its main attraction, Pav Bhaji. (Ed tip: This is the first thing a friend put in her mouth when she was declared free of her post-Jaundice hassles)
Address: 7, Shiv Kripa Commercial Centre, Gokhale Road, Naupada, Thane Area, Mumbai
Contact Number: 022 25422676, 022 25393858
B. Merwan and Co
Mumbai City, for most of us, is an experience, a taste that you either enjoy from the get go or is acquired. Either ways, the joy that comes with it can be experienced best in two ways: just when daylight is streaking across the sky or extremely late at night. For those who love the almost baby-ish warmth of sunlight, the fresh crispiness of the air and the absence of folks on the street, B. Merwan and Co is the place to be. Offering divine delicacies such as Bread Pudding, Bun Maska Chai, Omelets, Mava Cake, Pattice early in the morning, this is the place where you can have a really cheap breakfast. Sometimes even under Rs. 100!
Address: Ali Bhai Remji Road, Grant Road, Mumbai, Opp. Grant Road Station (E)
Contact Number: 022 23093321
The location of this restaurant scores major pointers amongst the swishy IT professionals who frequent this place due to its close proximity to their campus. Located near R City mall, this place is known for the juicy Punjabi cuisine that they serve, with Kebabs being the main attraction. Their vegetarian and non-vegetarian platters for appetisers, Masala Khichdi and Prawns Biryani are what makes people go gaga.
Address: Next To Damodar Park, LBS Marg, Ghatkopar West, Mumbai,
Contact Number: 022 25006693, 022 25006877
With folks coming here from far and wide, in and across Thane, the wraps and rolls of this place is what the regulars swear by. A take-away place, they have an ample parking area along with a rocky katta that you can sit and chill on for hours together while munching on some of the crowd pullers such as Southern Fried Chicken Wrap, Paneer Makhani Wrap and Chicken Strips tossed in Barbeque Sauce.
Address: G 18, Flora Building, Hiranandani Estate, GB road, Thane
Contact Number: 022 25307938, 022 25307939
How unheard of is Tibetan food in Mumbai? Very right? Chinese? Yes. Thai? Yes. Even Japanese, yes! But Tibetan cuisine remains a mystery to many! Kudos to the folks at Sernya then that they were founded on a USP, which they then built into what it is today. Though still a hole-in-the-wall for many as not a lot of folks would be comfortable with the general ambience, the regulars keep coming back for their Momos, Bamboo rice, Shaptha De (rice) and Tibetan style Chicken Lollipop, which they claim is legendary.
Address: 185 Adarsh Nagar, Oshiwara Link Rd, Nr Jainparty Hall, Andheri West, Mumbai
Contact Number: 022 65741005, 022 66784645
Subhash Sandwich is the star attraction for students enrolled in R.A. Podar and Ramnarain Ruia Colleges. Despite a growing demand on his sandwiches and time, Suhash serves them with a quick flourish, ready calculation of money to be exchanged and a broad smile. The best bet to find your latest crush in the entourage that Subhash seems to carry with him, don’t forget to ask for cut potatoes sprinkled with some of his magic masala at the end of your snack. Also, his Chocolate Sandwiches are simply to lay-down-your-life-for awesome!
Address: Lakhamshi Napoo Rd (Opp R. A. Podar College of Commerce & Economics), Matunga (CR), Maharashtra 400019
Take your sweet-talking, Bengali friend here, let him reminisce about his childhood days back home in Kolkata while he enjoys some Jhinge Aalu Posto and you will have gained a friend, an admirer, a well-wisher and good karma for life. Or you can introduce some of your unsuspecting friends to a cuisine that they might not have encountered before and turn them into a fan! Especially if you treat them to Mutton Kobiraji Cutlet and Pora Bhetki, Bheti Paturi with Rice and Kosha Mangsho (Mutton) with Luchi.
Address: 3 & 4, Reliable Business Centre, Near Om Heera Panna Mall, Oshiwara, Mumbai
Contact Number: 022 65993385, 9223173135
So named for the mamledar-tehsildar’s office that it is close by to, Mamledar is an old legend amongst those who know of it. Oftentimes called as the best Missal Pav eating experience even when compared to Pune and Kolhapur, the potent potion of farsaan, missal, onion and tari (gravy) will have you asking for more. From those who have a faint heart to those who are daring and raring to go, the missal here has three versions to it, light missal, medium missal and tikhat (spicy) missal. It isn’t unusual for eaters to have a runny nose and feel like their lips and ears are on fire, but if it bothers you too much, you can always gulp it down with a glass of chhaas!
Address: Next to Tehsildar’s Office, Thane Station Road, Thane West, Thane
There is absolutely nothing, and yes we do mean nothing that can come close to the joy of having Curd Rice at Ramashray. With bits and pieces of cucumber and tasty green chillies, some crispies and a lemon pickle served as accompaniments, the curd rice here will leave you with a feeling that all is perfectly right with the world. An eat-n’-leave kind of a place, do not expect star treatment or great ambience. You might even have to share your table with others if you are 1-2 in number. Their Chutney, Sambhars, Dosas, Uttapams and other South Indian delights have turned several staunchly loyal towards them. But what is special is their sheera, which almost always has a variety of flavours, sometimes featuring with the fruit of the season.
Address: Bhandarkar Road, Matunga East (CR), Mumbai
You might see more students from St. Andrew College loitering in and around this cafe, than you might see inside the classrooms itself. Their Chilli Chicken Croissant, served in two sizes of mini and regular are quite a hit with the regulars because of the perfect blend of chilli, garlic and bread. Their Chicken Lollypops, Chicken Rolls and Vegetable Spring Rolls too come a close second!
Quiches, Puffs, Rolls, Sorpatel, Discount after 8 pm
Address: St. Andrew College, St. Dominic Road, Bandra West, Mumbai
Contact Number: 022 26433625, 022 65153693