हायवे गोमांटक

No, that's not a mistake... the name actually is written in Marathi, and only Marathi. In fact, everything at this Gomantak restaurant in Mumbai is written in Marathi. They obviously cater to a very niche clientèle, but what they serve will satisfy any gourmand's palate.

The menu consists primarily of fish based dishes with everything from paplet and surmai to halwa and rawas. The main item is the fish thali, with your choice of fish - depending on availability of course, and the true connoisseur of fish can tell the difference between the different varieties.

The thali is served with one medium sized piece of curried fish, the type of curry depends on the fish, a bowl of rice, two chapatis, a katori of sol kadi, and a little pickle made of shell fish. The size of the thali is a tad small, but immensely tasty. A side dish of fried bombil is just about enough to push the experience to the next level, but throw in some baakri as well to bring it home.

The fish thali is priced at Rs.120/-, and although it's rather small in quantity, the crowd at this restaurant at lunch time proves that it's well worth it.

The sol kadi is a little light when compared with other konkani restaurants I've been to, but still has about the right flavour. I'd suggest getting an extra glass though.

Apart from fish dishes, they also serve mutton, chicken and fish kheema.

Blues rates it:
Food - Pretty darn good
Service - Okay
Price - A tad uppish, but worth it
Ambience - None whatsoever
Overall - great lunch place

Recommendation - definitely go there, go there often.

Getting there:
Highway Gomantak is a little hard to find if you haven't been there before. It's on the service road parallel to the Western Express Highway in Mumbai at the Kala Nagar Area. To get there, turn onto the service road from the Kala Nagar signal, and go down alongside the Kala Nagar flyover for about half its length. The restaurant should be on your right hand side, with a small Marathi-only name plate.

Labels: , , , , ,


Bachelor's Ice-cream

Bachelor's Ice-creamSweet dreams with chocolate and ice cream, and a little falooda on the side. At two a.m. On Marine Drive. That's Bachelor's. Nestled in a nook beside the railway tracks at Charni Road station in Mumbai, this ice cream joint, milkshake and sandwich is a regular hangout amongst the evening crowd, racing down Marine Drive for kicks, stopping at Bachelor's to cool down.

Bachelor's is an experience that every visitor to Mumbai must taste to believe. Their unique flavours cannot be found anywhere else.

Open from five pm to the early am, Bachelor's is a great place to stop whether you're looking for a falooda on your drive home from work, a late night dessert, or even a large snack. The full experience largely covers all three.

Start with a drive or a walk down Marine Drive to build up the apetite. Skip the beach to resist the lure of the bhelwalla. Cross the road towards the entrance to Charni Road station, and head north a bit, or if you're driving, just pull over and park where the guard leads you. A waiter will take your order at your car.

Begin with a club sandwich. You may want to split it between two people, because it's large, and we wouldn't want to go filling up those bellies so soon. Wash it down with a chickoo milkshake or a mosambi juice, and savour the blend of flavours... the best is yet to come.

Pick next from their fine selection of ice creams. Highly recommended are the green chilly, ginger and ginger orange flavours not found anywhere else. The green chilly in particular, is a Ice-cream Faloodasensation to be experienced rather than recounted, but we all try. Imagine something cold, and mildly sweet, mildly tangy filling up your taste buds as you draw from it. Then imagine a split second later a fire shooting up your throat and out your nose. Actually, just try it. If it's too strong for you, indulge in one of their chocolate flavours.

They also offer other standard flavours of ice cream for those with no adventure in their blood.

Ice cream done, we come to the last course of the meal. Falooda. A large chunk of vanilla ice cream with sago seeds, vermicelli and a host of syrups all immersed in sweetened milk, but nay. My words can't do justice to the presentation and sensation that is the Bachelor's falooda. Have a large one. Split it between friends if you've already had too much, but don't pass it for later.

Finish off the experience with a final drive around Marine Drive and head home with a smile on your lips.

Blues rates it:
Food - Excellent
Service - Excellent
Price - Easy on the pocket
Ambience - Open air, sea breeze, what more do you want?
Overall - Definite all thumbs up

Recommendation - Go there, go there very often

Getting there:

Bachelor's is about 20 metres north of Charni Road station on Marine Drive. If you're travelling by road, look out for the shop on the left as you pass the Café Coffee Day on Marine Drive (heading south). If you're taking the train, get out of the northernmost part (heading towards Grand Road) of the station on the Marine Drive side, and walk in the direction opposite to traffic for a few minutes.


Bobby Dhaba

Chaas at Bobby DhabaCharming, old world rustic, quaint little lakeside restaurant are not terms that would normall be used to describe Bobby Dhaba... except for the lakeside part that is. The food here is to die for, and if you're unlucky, you could come close. So why am I telling you about this place? Bobby Dhaba is, probably the only accessible place in the heart of Bangalore city, where one can get an authentic, no frills, dhaba experience.

The dhaba is someone's house, or used to be at least. You enter into what seems to be the ground floor. Place your order first, and then head half a flight of stairs down into the eating area. This has a bunch of tables along the walls. On one end one has a charpoy for diners to sit on, while other tables have simple benches. The dhaba dog makes his rounds every once in a while.

On the menu is a standard fare of North Indian vegetarian dishes. Rajma masala, Daal Tadka, Daal Makhani, Egg Burji (ok, it's not pure vegetarian), and Paratha. Mmmm, paratha.

Dog at Bobby DhabaIf you ask for paratha in Bangalore, most people would send you off to Lalitha's Paratha Point, but if you'd like it served pure, buttered side up, then Bobby Dhaba is the place. They have a small selection. Aloo, Gobi and Muli paratha. Each plate served hot with a huge blob of butter sitting on the top one. To partake of this feast, lift a paratha, swirl the butter around it a bit, and slide it onto the one below giving the next person a chance. Drop the paratha into your plate, and nurse your burnt finger tips. The large bowl of curd you've just received could help. You then stare dumbfounded as the boy brings in your next order of parathas cradled in the palms of his hands.

Parathas though, are not their only speciality. Probably tieing for top rank at this place is the Chaas. Served in a huge aluminium tumbler, many a diner has had a hard time finishing one of them. The chaas needs no seasoning. It has exactly the right consistency and taste, feeling slightly spiked and immensely refreshing.

Bobby Dhaba is not for the squeamish or for ye with weak stomachs. What passes for ambience is sufficient to turn away the faithless believer, but most who stay have lived to sing its praises. The dhaba dog, is friendly, but won't beg for food. If you don't like dogs, it may be a good idea to get one of the corner seats and not attract his attention. You'd also do well to be polite to the boys who serve you. You wouldn't want to be served parathas made of potato peel, after all.

So would you still want to visit Bobby Dhaba after all this? If you're an iron stomached Indian, with local food experiences on life's todo list, then this is one you can't miss. I'm glad I visited, several times at that, and I've lived to tell the tale.

Blues rates it:
Food - Yum
Service - Yes
Price - Affordable
Ambience - None whatsoever
Overall - Good place

Recommendation - Go there if you have an iron stomach

Getting there:

Bobby Dhaba is located next door to the Gurdwara at Ulsoor Lake in Bangalore. Head a little down the slope and look out on your right. They're closed on Mondays.