From food haven to ah! well…

So, we recently made the final move to Bombay. And ever since I’ve been craving for good food. After trying various places, we finally hit on some lovely spots.

The first trip for good veg food took us to Matunga, to the age old South Indian restaurant out there called Ram Asharya. True to its name, it’s really a shelter for vegetarians. Lovely coconut chutney, rightly flavoured and warm sambhar, not too overpowering, made every accompaniment a delight. We had some sweet Manglorean breakfast buns, a plate of idly (not comparable to Calcutta’s Jyoti Vihar) (nothing gets even close) and dosas. The best part about the meal were the sweet buns and the butter milk. The butter milk was just so refreshing! Fresh, not creamy, light and flavoured just right.

Another evening took us to a casual dining place at Cadel Road in Dadar called Terttulia. Apparently, an outlet of a famous Pune restaurant, the food was just what I was craving for! I ordered a herbed garlic bread and a homemade ravioli with caramelised onions & gorgonzola cheese in sage brown butter. Both were just delicious.

The herbed garlic bread had a layer soaked in olive oil to hold the herbs on top. The garlic wasn’t too overpowering and nor did the bread go soggy with the oil.

The ravioli was recommended by the waitstaff over a sandwich and I wasn’t too sad about that. The caramelised onions oozed out with every bite, mixing with the base of the dish. The textures, the flavours, the quantity everything was just right and right at that moment I decided I would stop cribbing about Bombay food and just experiment some more. 

The place itself is soothing. It has a Mediterranean look with odd pieces in the corner making you want to appreciate the detailing that went into creating it. A casio was placed on an old singer table near the spot were we were seated. The backdrop old turkish mosaic tiles and hand painted crockery provided a backdrop to our table… All in all it was a lovely experience.

Hoping to find some more such experiences while I make Bombay home once again. If you have any suggestions for me, do write in the comments below.


Where to eat pizza #WheninCal

  • The Salad Pizza at The Spaghetti Kitchen
  • The Funghi at Fire and Ice
  • The Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Pizza at Fire and Ice
  • The Four Cheese Pizza at the Hub
  • The Pesto Pizza at Chai Break
  • The Wild Mushroom, Sundried Tomato, Wilted Spinach and Goat Cheese pizza at Cafe Mezzuna
  • The double mushroom pizza at Bon Appetit for a glocal taste
  • The cheese pizza at Fillers for a very local pizza
  • The cheese crust pizza at Don Giovannis

Had difficulty finding a tenth one to match the rest. So foodies who love pizza please add your choice here!


From the local to the glocal

Pizza has always been my blue food. In all shapes and sizes. In every form.

As a child we relished the local style pizza. A thick 8” base with pizza sauce and salty Amul cheese. I remember crying every time my older siblings were quicker than me in taking a bite. Once we grew older and I was old enough to be taken to fine dining restaurants everything changed.

My first experience of a pizza as I know it today was at Trats, Tarttoria. Thin crust pizzas and mozzarella. It tasted nothing like I used to have before and a whole new world opened up. I remember getting the pizza treat after a dentist appointment and  I guess I never stopped craving for that taste after a bad day.

As we grew older we were introduced to still more varieties – the wood burn pizza, the chicago style pizza, the home delivery style pizza and yes, the local style pizza. During school, pizza was the cheapest option for a birthday treat and we frequented this place called Hot Breads. It had a medium, crisp base cheese pizza.

The phase of going to Fillers was a reward for a good swim instead of idling around in the pool. And then came the Dominos deep dish cheese pizza with extra cheese for every bad day. For exams, when you had a fight with your best friend or a minor breakup.

Then came the every Saturday catching up with a friend at my all-time favourite pizzeria, Fire and Ice with a Fungi and a lemon iced tea and a long, long conversation.

30 years of age I can literally list my favourite kinds of pizza all across the city. Some local, some Tuscan but all very, very good at beating the blues 🙂


Cafe Pranah :: An experience

I’m getting married in the next two weeks and all I can think of is food at Cafe Pranah. A year back, my dear friend and amazing chef, Rahul mentioned he’s opening a health food cafe. He went on to describe what it would be like and I patiently waited for it to open. As luck would have it, it’s walking distance from my new house and located conveniently on the main road of Ballygunj next to the Dhaba.

I’ve had the salads, the burgers, the juices, smoothies, teas and the papadi chat there and of course the oh so yum yogurt parfait! I’ve been lucky to have someone create the salad and burger for me as the exotic choices leave me wondering on what to take and what not. Pairing the dressings is as important, if not more, as choosing your ingredients. I’ve had the mixed veg patty (mind you, it does not contain potatoes!) with some lettuce and beans. For the dressings, I was suggested Thai curry and milk and pepper yogurt dressing. I still remember the first bite. The crunch of the lettuce, the softness of the multigrain bread and the delicious flavour with every bite. That’s what I’m longing for now.

Rahul knows his flavour pairings and makes the most tasteless food be longed for. Each of dressings is unique, unadulterated and memorable. I’ve also tried the olive jalapeño and the sweet chilli and mango dressing in its raw form.

For people who just want to relax with a book and a cup of tea it happens to be a lovely space. Reminiscent of a waiting area of a meditation centre, slow Buddhist chants float in the background.

Aesthetically done interiors and lovely selection of books helps you get the much required me time. A plus point is the outdoor seating area. In a crowded space, he’s managed to build an oasis of calm. A cute addition is a space at the entrance with dream catchers and tonnes of messages from visitors. If you happen to drop by,  do write your love.

All in all its a pocket friendly place with great food and a calming ambience which makes you wake up in the middle of the night craving for it.


Bombay Mist

Every city has its unique characteristic. Some you remember, some you care to forget. But not the smell of this city. You land at the airport and before you get to feel the pulse of the city, its fragrance envelopes you.

Since the time I’ve opened my eyes, the only city I’ve relentlessly travelled to, on every holiday, was Bombay. There was something about the air of the city.  The salty, misty sea air.  

Over the years, the magical power to enthuse has disappeared. Its been replaced with the stuffy odd smelling air, probably induced by the rising pollution levels.

In obscure pockets, in lonely hours one can dig up that smell from memory or just walking down Nariman Point at dawn. It just hits you then. That salty, misty sea air.

Just wish someone could recreate that delicate smell, the salty, misty sea air, the Bombay mist.

Hope you are listening #GodrejAer.