Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chaat chats...and more food things! :P

I've been having massive cravings for chaat in the last few days. You can get almost ANYTHING Indian here, where I live. This city is full of south Asians, mind you, FULL of them! But, chaat a la Mumbai?? Uh huh. No luck there! :( There are some places, where they sell these ready-made packed chaat things. These can go, compete for the World's Worst Chaat Award. 

Anyway, what's the point of eating CHAAT from BOXES?!! Chaat can only be savoured, like REALLY savoured, when you stand in front of the street vendor holding out your small pani-puri bowl and he keeps serving you until you are finally tired of eating and also astonished to find out that you just ate 4 (yes, FOUR) plates i.e. 24 puris!!! Chaat tastes the best when you are sitting on the sand on Chowpatty (no matter how dirty it is supposed to be) and watching the activity around you - innumerable little children playing and screaming around, people selling little toys, light thingamajiks and balloons, the butta-walah, the chana chor garam walah, the small girl force-selling flowers to young couples whispering sweet-nothings into each others' ears, expensive cars zooming past on the adjoining Marine Drive. And chaat tastes the best when you know it is going to be followed by absolutely delicious Malai Falooda Kulfi, right there on Chowpatty! *drool drool* 

Mumbai is the Food Heaven of India. [Even though my sweet ex-flatmate, Ruhi would immediately knock me down on that one and insist that NOTHING can compare to Calcutta when it comes to food. As would my other friends, Sharmila and Misty.] I still maintain that Mumbai is the Food Heaven of India. Come to Mama Star (that's me, you silly billies!! :P) for planning your food night around Mumbai! ;)

So, lets see, Chowpatty is obviously a hot favourite with me. Other favourite (late night) street food place I DIG is this pav-bhaji guy in Haji Ali. He starts his buisness at around 9 pm and stays there late into the night. He generally stands close enough to the Haji Ali juice centre. So, pav bhaji at his thela followed by a Ganga Jamuna (For all those who don't know, Ganga Jamuna is that typically Indian thing, which includes orange and sweet lime freshly squeezed juice) or a Sitaphal smoothie at the Haji Ali juice centre and you feel like you have died and gone to Heaven!! Third on the list of favourites would be cheese schezwan frankie from this small place called Krishna Dairy near King's Circle. Ask all the Ruia, Poddar and Khalsa college people and they'll tell you where to find it. That frankie, really, is to die for! Everytime I went to my cousin, Udu's place, I'd eat it. And I went to Udu's place a whole lot more than courtsey calls for! :P Next in line would be the place that I used to frequent with CPV. You know, it was like, "our place" for food whenever we were in Bandra. It was this south Indian food thela outside Elco market in Bandra. And, they make the world's BEST Cheese Dosa. You all lucky people who are in Mumbai ought to try it out!! Another great and cheap place is Canon pav bhaji place right outside the CST railway station. But, the food here is relatively spicier than other places. I and Moon often ate here during our second year of college and then drank a glass of buttermilk to top off the pav bhaji. Ah, what bliss! :) 

And then, there are other times, when you have some money in your pocket, baby!! ;) For those special occasions, my absolute favourite is 5 Spice, opposite the Reserve Bank building in Fort. Best bloody chinese in the world!!! And what's more, you get an awesome ambience to go with your food too!! Advice from the expert: try the teriyaki noodles. If you don't make a single orgasmic noise after eating that, clearly something is wrong with your tastebuds! :P Another great place (and this is the place you'd have to eat chaat if you can't stomach street food) is Kailash Parbat, also in Fort. I have gone here so many times with my Alliance Francaise friends, I've lost count of it! In fact, if I remember clearly, CPV and my first "official" date started here with all the AF friends and then, culminated at our favourite place, Marine Drive (two of us alone, if you are wondering! :P) 

For the dessert-y type things, you MUST try malai gola at a couple of gola walahs near Five Gardens. Gola with cream and falooda on a sultry summer evening and dude, you're all ready to groove!! Then, there is a very small ice-cream shop bang opposite Ambassador in Churchgate called Rustom's Ice-cream. Ice-cream sandwiches - all of their flavours are *SO* good!! And their lychee slushie is *VERY* recommended as well! ;) And then, when you have some good moolah, Theobroma in Colaba is the way to go! Sigh, Mumbai! You pretty, pretty, lovely thing! I'll be back hugging your air and gorging on your delightful food in just 3 more months!! ::goes, does a little jig and comes back::

I'm hungry now! And I want chaat so badly! :( Time for some strawberry smoothie, baby! The only thing that can make any pangs go away. At least momentarily! :P 

PS: You all are welcome to add your favourite food places, favourite dishes and favourite food experiences! :) Do tell me more!

*Pictures courtesy: Google images


  1. IF you happen to visit Pune, there's a pani puri walla who stands bang opposite Lifestyle. The crispiest puris filled with the most tastiest 'pani'. Top that with a glass of Cad-B and heaven would have exploded in your mouth :)

    Enjoyed this post. Thanks for following :)

  2. Thanks! :)

    And oooh, more pani-puri places! :D Awesome! What's Cad-B, but?

  3. Cad-b! Oh sweet sweet Cad-b is a potent mixture of Cadbury's chocolate and fresh cream/milkmaid, served in a really tall glass with chocolate shavings on top, unique to Pune.

    After the tangy-spicy rush of the pani puri, the Cad-B is simbly divine, i say!

  4. Oh! That does sound divine!! Must try when next in Pune! :D

  5. Dosa wallah at the "khau galli" in Ghatkopar. Kirti just took me there and they serve the wackiest (yet the tastiest) paneer schezwan and manchurian and american choupsey dosa. You remember the dosas we had had at a place near my house? He was an offshoot of him.

  6. Oh, the khau gallis!! :D I wanted to name that Dosa place near your house but a) I could only remember that it starts with a J (if that! :P) and b) I know it has shut down! :(

  7. I'm feeling MUCH better about going home now, YAY. Thanks. :D

  8. But you going so fast fast!! :( When we supposed to catching up?? But, where will you be in the next year? If in India, we at least have a chance at meeting up again at some point of time when you visit Mumbai or when I visit wherever you will be at that time (please say Kerala, plz plz plz!!! :P)

  9. Oh, and I forgot to add, since this is a food post and everything - you'll have to take me to gorjusssss eating joints wherever you will be, ok?!! :P

  10. Then I hope to goodness I'm in Cal at that time. If you are not compelled to admit that Mumbai is not as much of a Food Heaven as Cal is, I will eat my hat (only figuratively). =D

  11. Hey! CD: You don't need to go tot Pune for Cad-B.. there is this place at Ghatkopar Khau Galli that serves it! It is heaven!!! :-D

  12. @ Kyra: I only just saw your comment, when I recieved an email for Disha's. Wonder why I didn't for yours!! Everyone's been going on so much about Cal food, I really want to go try!! :P It's a good thing you added the "figuratively" though! :P I would have totally taken you up on that! :P

    @ Dish: Ok, less than 50 days left now. So, don't talk about it until I get there, ok?!!