10 Meals You Must Have in Mumbai -Food.NDTV
This week, as I thought of what is Mumbaiah cuisine to me and asked friends to make their pick, I drilled down to this. What’s most exciting about Mumbai’s food is not the ‘authentic’ fare from other states. It’s the native, borrowed, interpreted, re-interpreted, refurbished versions that collectively create the landscape of Mumbaiah cuisine.
Here are 10 meals that will make you understand what food means to Mumbaikars.
A South Indian Meal
The saga of Udupi cuisine began in this city when Rama Nayak arrived from Karnataka, in the 1940s. In Matunga, the area where a lot of South Indians lived, he set up his establishment near the King Circle railway station, and started cooking and serving authentic Udupi food on plantain leaves. This was Mumbai’s humble initiation into the idli-dosai menu.
Soon Rama Nayak quadrupled his outlets into restaurants that are still known for great, uncompromising South Indian food in the city. Meanwhile, many other similar stories resulted in Udupi and Udupi-esque restaurants that cropped up all over the city, to be the primary dining room for the hungry working class of Mumbai.
A surge of North Indians flooded the city with the chaat and sandwich culture at the heels of which followed tandoori roti lunches and Indo-Chinese of the Chicken Chilly Fry ilk. Most of the city’s Udupi restaurants assimilated each of these layers that got added to the working class and today many of these restaurants serve a mind boggling mix of Maharashtrian, Punjabi, Chinese and South Indian food.
Where: Most Udupi style restaurants have gotten Mumbaified in their offerings but there still are a few in Matunga like Ramanayaks Udupi (the thaali is what this place is most famous for), Udupi Idli House (absolutely fantastic range of idlis, chutneys and unlimitedsambhar), Café Madras (recommend almost everything here but the Podi Upma and Ragi Dosa are favourites), Ramashray (great idlis and dosas) and Manis Lunch Home (known for the thaalis).
Venturing into most Udupi style restaurants of the city will guarantee a fix of South Indian ‘fast food’ fare ranging from the staple Masala Dosa to the mind boggling ilk of Chinese ‘Schezuan Dosas’, but you will also be spoilt for choice with the typical Bombay mix of street foods. What you have may not be authentic, but it will definitely be tasty, affordable and absolutely Mumbai.
You must also know that today a lot of the streetside stalls make some really innovativedosas. For example, the Pizza Dosa at the stall opposite Narsimonjee college seems rather popular with the youth. If you’re somewhere near the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) you must try the scrumptious dosas at Jay Snacks next to BSE in Fort.
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