Travel

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.

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Travel

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!

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On Books & Reviews

The read book feel

Today in eight hours I travelled eight years and back.

My first tryst with College Street began way back in 2000 when I was sent there hunting for some chemistry book not available in the then popular Park Street bookstores. I caught a cab with my benchmate and left for this forbidden, unexplored territory. My benchmate, a regular there, ensured we got the book out of our way in ten minutes and then devoted the next few hours poring through every small bookstall, browsing through their wares at display. Finicky about wanting books in mint condition I didn’t quite understand the love for a yellow-paged book with a weird smell. A closer look at these and you would find the first-editions of your favourite classics – a rare Bernard Shaw book or a Maugham novel. The entire obsession with new books was shattered in a matter of hours from walking down College Square to India Coffee House.

It’s been a while now. I moved on from hunting for books to a quick-browse-and-pick-up option at a modern format bookstore or worse still online. But today it was different. Today I walked down from College Square once again, not to buy books, though, but to inspect the Pujo sho-sha. With time in hand I couldn’t help but stop at every open bookstall and look at what they have on offer. Not that I was in the mood to hunt but I wanted to know. I was clicking pictures for a dream project, but more and more I began to remember what’s so special in a read book.

A read book makes you wonder what kind of person the previous reader would be. Why did he give the book away? What did he feel while reading the book? Did he want more people to feel the same or was it a burden just seeing it lie on his table day in and out? Did it become a part of who he is? Did he begin to identify with one character so much that he needed to move the book away in order to forget the character? Would I feel the similar urge?

At the end of this philosophical and high-held debate it just boiled down to the familiar touch of yellow pages and the old book smell. The warmth of the read book, the comfort that knowing someone before you has been here and you are safe. You are not alone.

Fresh-off-the-press is a delight to receive and the old book smell is a delight to indulge in.

Didn’t realise how badly I missed it till now – the read book feel, the library book wali feeling.

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