Guest post: A Delhi diner, Bambaiya food

There has always been some sort of comparison between Delhi and Mumbai for some reason or the other. But well as Knead with love is all about food so lets not think of anything else here. I’ve met a lot of Delhi-ites who seem to find Mumbai food highly average or just they purely detest it. But during my IHM course (the one I spoke about in my previous post) I met a Delhi girl, Tanya who truly loves food and was here in Mumbai not only to learn baking but also with an agenda. She was carrying around this long list of places jotted on a tissue and she did manage to eat at almost all of them. So I thought that why not get her views about what the culinary scene in Mumbai has to offer and here’s what she has to say…

As a foodie, I am always looking for new things to try. Imagine my excitement at getting a chance to stay in Mumbai for 12 weeks. My first reaction was a quick calculation, which would then mean I could at least try 84 new places.

Being a vegetarian in Delhi is okay right, there is never really lack of options, but just wait till you go to Mumbai. Thanks to all the gujjus, jainis and whoever else contributed in making Mumbai so veggie friendly, I had a foodful stay. The other thing I loved about Mumbai was its street food. Now I don’t know why I haven’t explored so much street food back home, is it the lack of options or the food snob in me that I didn’t know about.

To talk about Mumbai street food and not start with the 15 rupees Mumbai staple would be criminal. My favorite vada pao dig would have to be Kirti College. The game changer is the crispy fried bhajiya this vada pao is full of.

Wada Pav near Kirti College
Wada Pav near Kirti College

Next in kin is the chaat. I didn’t get a chance to miss our dilli waali steaming hot aalo tikki chaat even once! Four visits were paid to the 6th road chaat wala in Juhu in less than a month. The dahi puri he puts together is the best I tried in Mumbai. If you are good with the spice do try their pani puri.

Chaat at 6th Road Juhu
Chaat at 6th Road Juhu

If you don’t mind the inevitable wait, a trip to Matunga every week would do your taste buds and wallet good. I can narrow it down to the upma at Ram Asharay, the set dosa at Madras Café and the Neer dosa at Café Mysore if you ask me to cherry pick.

Set Dosa at Madras Cafe
Set Dosa at Madras Cafe
Upma from Ram Ashraya
Upma from Ram Ashraya

In the suburbs the safest bet is Tirupati in Versova. The cheese naram sada dosa is the perfect sangam of cheese and south Indian food. They are best known for their pav bhaji dosa too. In the evenings while you wait for a place to sit, try the pani puri from the vendor right outside Tirupati.

Pav Bhaji Dosa from Tirupati
Pav Bhaji Dosa from Tirupati

You even get good Chinese as street food here. Raju Chinese Wala in town and Sagar Chinese in Juhu for full on Bambaiya Chinese. It also offers Chinese bhel and triple schezwan in under 5 minutes.

The word parcel was given a whole new meaning when I witnessed fresh nariyal paani being parceled!  Separate bags for the malai of course! What’s not to love about this city? The cutting chai, coffee and Boost by the beach could make any trip to the promenade a happy one.

Thanks to the local train I did not mind traveling across the city for the obvious things to do. Kyani Café for bun maska and irani chai, Britannia for berry pulao, beer at Leopold Cafe and ice cream sandwich at K. Rustomji.

One could suffice with all the small and cosy eateries around, but for the fancier affair I loved Yauatcha for their cheung fun and the French macarons. Amongst the most expensive places in Mumbai, I still found it cheaper than most Delhi places.

Macarons from Yauatcha
Macarons from Yauatcha

With Pizzeria now losing its touch you could turn to Pizza Express for a margherita pizza or Indigo Deli for the wafer thin pizza.

Pizza Express's Margherita pizza
Pizza Express’s Margherita pizza

Mumbai has something to eat for everyone. It serves the best of seafood, delicious meats and the best of vegetarian. It has fancy expensive food by some of the best chefs to the plethora of super tasty and pocket friendly street eats. This city rightly known as the melting pot is full of beautiful contradictions.

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One thought on “Guest post: A Delhi diner, Bambaiya food

  1. Awwww..so beautifully put by Tanya…am a Delhiite in love with Mumbai food..and any comparison is unfair…while the vada paos and dahi puris steal my heart when am in Mumbai or Pune, the dilli street food is also one of its kind…and the only thing where I really would like to compare is consistent variety all over Maharashtra land..they beat us Delhiites hands down…
    cheers!

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