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Mani's Lunch Home, Matunga-400019, Mumbai

022-24021112

When all roads led to Mani’s

When all roads led to Mani’s

This Onam, we decided to head to Mani’s Lunch Home for sadya. The legendary Matunga restaurant, which opened in 1937, served 22 dishes as part of its Onam feast between 11 am and 3 pm.Onam-1

We expected  heading to a hall somewhere close to the restaurant Mani’s always hires one to serve sadya to the patrons who come here from all across Mumbai. What we didn’t expect was a serpentine queue, even at 2 pm, which would take two-and-a-half hours to clear (where were those hour-long queues?).

Onam-2

Meanwhile,  people waited. They sat on the stone benches in the hall’s garden. They clicked selfies. We walked up to the counter, and asked the gentleman whether we would be sent away if we didn’t make it to the hall by 3 pm.

Onam-3

“I do not want to send you away,” he smiled hesitantly, “and we will continue serving food till evening if we don’t run out of the dishes.” So we waited, too, and had a mini-lunch at Ayyapa’s, the streetside stall near Mani’s which did roaring business that day as everyone in the queue took turns to eat there as they waited for sadya.

Onam-4

It was at 4.30 pm by the time we finally sat down at one of the four long tables inside the hall. We devoured the sadya and swore to never eat another morsel for the rest of our lives that’s how satisfying the meal was. We exited the hall with another family in tow and the queue had just five people then. The woman beside us looked solemn (read too full to speak), but the man glanced at the queue, pointed at the hall, and told his wife, “Do you want another round of that? This queue is nothing!”

[News Courtesy mid-day.com]

 

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