Saturday, November 12, 2011

TRENCHERMAN'S GOOD FOOD GUIDE - Eating Out in Mumbai and Pune

My Favourite Food and where I Ate it
My "incomplete"  "passé" Value For Money GOOD FOOD GUIDE 

A Trencherman's Good Food Guide 

I love good food.

And I love walking around searching for good food. So I set off on my frequent ‘food walks’ searching for good food.

Let me share with you, dear fellow foodie, some of my favourite eateries.

Most of them are in South Mumbai, near Churchgate, where I lived for six of the best years of my life, a few (where mentioned) are in Pune which is my home town and where I stay now.  
Read on.

It’s my very own Vikram Karve’s Value For Money Good Food Guide.

I’ve walked there and eaten there. 

It’s a totally random compilation. I write as I remember and I may have missed out some of my favourites but I’ll add them on, in subsequent parts, as and when memory jogs me and also keep adding new places I discover during my food walks and trails. Also it's quite outdated as I enjoyed these food walks in the early years of this decade during my stay in Mumbai from where I relocated to Pune more than six years ago.

Dear Mumbaikar Fellow Foodie, do let me know if these delightful places still exist and whether the food they serve is still as lip smacking delicious as it was then. 

And most importantly, Dear Friends, please comment and add your favourite eating joints to this list and also your experiences of the eateries mentioned.
Vada Pav - CTO Vada Pav (Ashok Satam’s Stall) alongside the Central Telegraph Office (CTO) at Flora Fountain ( Hutatma Chowk). Or at Sahaydri at Churchgate. In Pune, I like the fare at the ubiquitous Joshi or Rohit or Siddhivinayak Vadewale but their vadas are not as crisp or zesty as Mumbai’s CTO vada.  
Misal Pav – Vinay Health Home in Girgaum . Walk down Marine Drive, cross the road near Taraporewala Aquarium, take the lane between Kaivalyadhama Yoga Centre and Ladies Hostel ( it’s called Income Tax Lane), cross the railway overbridge, walk straight on Thakurdwar Road, cross Girgaum (JSS) Road, walk a bit and Vinay is to your right. In Pune try Ramnath on Tilak Road or Bedekar in Narayan Peth or Damodar in Bibwewadi or the place opposite Garware (MES) College called Katakir on Karve Road.  
Kheema Pav – Stadium. Next to Churchgate Station. Kyani at Dhobi Talao. Good Luck near Deccan Gymkhana Pune. 
Seekh Kebabs – Ayubs (Chotte Mian). Take the lane to the left of Rhythm House Music Store at Kalaghoda and let your nose guide you. Or else head for Bade Mian near Regal or Sarvi at Nagpada. Sadly there seems to be a dearth of authentic value-for-money kabab joints in Pune, unless you want to head for the high-falutin Barbeque Nation in Kalyani Nagar. I remember enjoying Seekh Kababs at a quaint old world eatery called Olympia on East Street located in an old style bungalow which seems to have disappeared and metamorphosed into a multistorey building. 
Jeera Butter – Ideal Bakery. Kandewadi, Girgaum. And try the sugarcane juice at Rasvanti next door.  
Chicken Stew ( Kerala Style), Malabar Paratha, Mutton Korma, Fish Curry and Appams – FountainPlaza. In the lane off Handloom House. Fort. [Brings back nostalgic memories of Ceylon Bake House in Ernakulam Kochi (Cochin)]  
Chicken Biryani – Olympia, on Mumbai's Colaba Causeway, is my all time favorite. Also the Tandoori Chicken Biryani at Baghdadi and the the exquisite delicately flavoured one at Delhi Darbar and the zesty one at Stadium Churchgate and the inimitable "tikka biryani" at Noorani near Haji Ali. In Pune it’s Dorabjee & Sons restaurant on Dastur Meher road off Sarbatwala Chowk in Pune Camp or Goodluck in Deccan where the Kheema and Tawa dishes are very good too. I like the Biryani at Blue Nile near GPO and George on East Street (for its Tikka Biryani). 
Mutton Biryani – Shalimar. Bhendi Bazaar. I like the Chicken Chilly and Raan - it’s exquisite, like Karim’s of Delhi. And I love the Tikka Biryani at Noorani. In Pune I am yet to relish a really good Mutton Biryani, though the one at Tiranga is okay though a bit too spicy for my linking.
Dabba Gosht – Delhi DarbarGrant Road or Colaba, and Noorani Tardeo. In Pune try Sadanand at Baner.  
Malvani Cuisine – Sachivalaya Gymkhana Canteen. Opposite Mantralaya. Nariman Point. Bombil Fry, Pomfret masala, Kombdi (Chicken) Vada and Lunch Thali.  
Gomantak Cuisine - Sandeep Gomantak. Bazargate Street. Fort.  
White ChickenDabba Gosht, Chicken Masala and Khaboosh Roti – Baghdadi . Near Regal. Off Colaba Causeway.  
Nihari – Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar. Near Metro.  
Nalli Nihari – Noor Mohammadi . Bhendi Bazaar.  
Berry Pulao – Brittania . Ballard Estate.  
Puri Bhaji – Pancham Puriwala. Bazargate street. Opposite CST Station (VT).  
Kolhapuri Cuisine – I go to ‘Purepur Kolhapur’ at Peru Gate Sadashiv Peth in Pune for authentic Kolhapuri Pandhra Rassa, Tambda Rassa and Kheema vati. In Kolhapur it’s Opal.  
Gulab Jamun – Kailash Parbat. 1st Pasta Lane. Colaba Causeway.  
Rasgulla – Bhaishankar Gaurishankar . CP Tank.  
Khichdi – Khichdi SamratVP Road . CP Tank.
Vegetarian Thali – Bhagat Tarachand. Mumbadevi. Zaveri Bazar. I like the Bhagat Tarachand on Laxmi road in Pune too. And of course, Samrat, Churchgate,Rajdhani and Golden Star. In Pune it’s the authentic Shreyas on Apte Road and Satara RoadPanchami on Satara Road and Durvankur on Tilak Road. Not to forget my favorite Mayur on East Street and Deccan on Jangli Maharaj Roadand Sukanta at Deccan.  
Navrattan Kurma – Vihar. JT Road . Shanker Jaikishan Chowk. Opp Samrat. Churchgate.
Veg Burger and Chicken Cafreal Croissant – Croissants. Churchgate. Or Burger King at the end of East Street in Pune.
Tea while browsing books – Cha-Bar. Oxford Bookstore. Churchgate.  
Just a refreshing cup of Tea, Irani style – Stadium. Churchgate. Goodluck, Pune.  
Ice Cream – Rustoms, Churchgate and Bachellor’s, Chowpatty (green chilli ice cream). In Pune Ganu Shinde and Kawre on Laxmi Road. Or Gujar Mastani House on Satara Road near City pride for the unique delicious thirst quenching Mastani.
Pav Bhaji – Lenin Pav Bhaji Stall. Khau Galli. New Marine Lines. Near SNDT.Sardar, Tardeo. Sukh Sagar , Opera House.  
Jalebi – Pancharatna Jalebi House . Near Roxy. Opera House.  
Milk Shakes, Juices and uniquely flavoured ice creams like Green Chilli Ice Cream – Bachellor’s. Opposite Chowpatty.
Stuffed Parathas – Samovar. JehangirArtGallery. Chaitanya, opp FergussonCollege, Pune  
Grilled Meat, Sizzlers and Steaks – Churchill. Colaba Causeway. Sundance, Churchgate. Sassanian Boulangerie, near Metro. Alps, behind Taj, Kobe and Sizzlers - The Place on Moledina Road next to Manney’s in Pune.  
Sea Food – Anant Ashram Khotachiwadi Girgaum. 
And so many places around Fort – Mahesh, Apoorva, Trishna, Fountain Inn, Bharat, Ankur. In Pune Srishti and Nisarg.
Non Veg Multi Cuisine – Jimmy Boy near Horniman Circle  
Apple Pie and Ginger Biscuits – Yazdani Bakery. Cawasji Patel Street. Between PM Road and Veer Nariman Road. Fort.
Cakes – Sassanian Boulangerie. 1stMarine Street. Near Metro.  
Buns, Breads and PastriesGaylord Bake Shop. Churchgate.  
Falooda – Badshah. Crawford Market. Shalimar, Bhendi Bazar and their branch in Pune East Street
Curds – Parsi Dairy. Princess Street.  
Sandwiches and Rolls– Marz-o-rin. Main StreetMG Road. Pune.  
Chole Bhature – Monafood. Main Street. Pune. Darshan, Prabhat Road Pune.
Shrewsbury Biscuits , Cheese Papri and Choco-Walnut cake– Kayani Bakery. East Street . Pune.
Mutton Cutlet Curry, Kheema Pav, Biryani, Tawa Ghosht – Good Luck Pune 

Veg Cutlet – Swagat Dadar TT Mumbai and Vaishali Fergusson College RoadPune
Macaroons – Pasteur Bakery Main Street MG Road Pune

Lamingtons, carrot cake, patties, samosas, cakes, soy milk – Spicer Bakery shop, Spicer CollegeAundh Road and their outlet off Main Street in Camp

Veg Patties Hindustan Bakery Pune
The mere thought of Shrewsbury biscuits and Lamingtons evokes in me a sensation I cannot describe. I am feeling nostalgic and am off to Pune - for Shrewsbury at Kayani, wafers at Budhani, Sev Barfi at Bhavnagri, Amba Barfi and Bakarwadi at Chitale, Mutton Biryani and Dhansak at Dorabjee, Misal at Ramnath, Kachori at Apsara, Sizzlers at The Place, Pandhra Rassa at Purepur Kolhapur, Batata Wada at Joshi Wade Wale, Mango Ice Cream atGanu Shinde, Mastani at Sujata, Burgers at Burger King, Gujar and Kavare, Bhel at Saras Baug, Canal, Kalyan and Kalpana Bhel,  and on the banks of Khadakvasla lake, Pithla Bhakri, Kanda Bhaji and tak on top of Sinhagarh Fort, Chinese at Kamling. [Oh, No, sadly Kamling has closed down so I’ll go across to the end of East Street to the East End Chinese takeaway next to Burger King. And Latif too has metamorphosed into a takeaway].  
And guess what?

The moment I reach Pune, I’ll walk across the station and enjoy a refreshing Lassi at Shiv Kailas. And then walk down in the hot sun to Main Street. One thing I’ll miss is the non-veg samosas at erstwhile Naaz on the West End corner at the entrance to Main Street. The good old Naaz and Kamling are two places I really miss. Good Luck in Deccan and Blue Nile and George in Camp still go strong and their Biryani is as good as ever. But what’s happened to Sunrise, I wonder? The place is demolished; has the café been relocated? Of course there is Nisarg for Seafood, Mainland China for authentic Chinese, Soul to stir your culinary soul and many lovely places springing up all over Pune.
Now I am busy discovering [and rediscovering] interesting eating places in Pune.

When I lived near Aundh, I liked the multi-cuisine Polka Dots at Parihar Chowk for it’s Roasts and Shepherd’s Pie, Chicken Teriyaki, and Puddings, Season’s andSarjaa for family dining, a few down-to-earth takeaways and Maharashtra Café near Bremen Chowk look promising, Diwadkar for Misal and vada pav, Spicers for Lamingtons and cakes et alBabumoshai for roshogullas and lavang lata, Shiv Sagar for Pav Bhaji, and the usual Udipi fare, a place called Thomson in Navi Sangvi which serves non veg Kerala cuisine, Delhi Kitchen which I’m planning to try but did not venture into as it was deserted (crowded ambience and busy rapid turnover are the leitmotif of a good eatery), Diwadkars for Bhel, Vada Pav, Misal and Mann Dairy for a delicious lassi. The Wraps at Faaso's Hinjewadi are quite good and remind me of the Frankies I relished on Colaba Causeway and Churchgate in Mumbai.
I food walked in Aundh and was thoroughly disappointed. Of course, there are so many upscale posh places in KP and Kalyani Nagar, and swank all day multi-cuisine cafes like MoMo in the Marriot near the IT Park in Hinjewadi, but then here we are talking about those unique down-to-earth popular eateries which define the place and are frequented by the earthy hungry trencherman rather than the sophisticated connoisseur.

In Aundh I noticed that there are all the usual fast food pizza and burger joints, some high-falutin restaurants and a few nondescript commonplace characterless eateries serving run of the mill stuff; but sadly there are very few authentic value for money down-to-earth no nonsense Spartan eateries around here where I can relish genuine cuisine to my heart’s delight. But that was more than two years ago and things may have changed, hopefully for the better.
Now, far far away, in the back of beyond, amidst green hills, lakes and forests, I can only nostalgically reminisce about my "good old foodie days" and relish those sumptuous delicacies in my mind's eye; and once in a while head for Pune to satisfy my gastronomical cravings.

Dear fellow foodies, please do send in your comments and let us know of your foodie adventures and discoveries so I can keep updating.

Meanwhile I keep exploring Pune for good food and shall soon come out with my very own authentic food guide to eating out in Pune.

After all, the proof of the pudding is in the eating! 
I eagerly await your comments and recommendations and details of all your favourite eating places and your favourite food and where you eat it and I will certainly explore those foodie joints and include them in my updated revised food guide. 

Happy Foodwalking…!

Happy Eating…!

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2011
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 14 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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