All good things come to an end! Like Cafe Samovar, Rhythm House, the iconic Mani's Lunch Home at Matunga served its last meal on Friday.
Mani's Lunch Home
Mani's as it is popularly called had to be shut down as the owner of the hotel refused to give two months extension till August end and the building is to be demolished by September.
Famous for its Kerala type vegetarian food, this eatery in Matunga was famous for serving people with good vegetarian lunch and dinner at very affordable rates. ( Rs.110/ for unlimited meals). During Onam, Kerala's harvest festival, they provided with traditional dishes. On weekends, people used to flock to the place to savour dishes like pongal (rice pudding) and avial (mixed vegetable) and with unlimited sambars and chutneys, it made a special place for all south Indian food lovers.
K.S. Narayanaswami, owner of the lunch home said that his father late V.S. Mani started 'Onam feast' called 'Thiruvona Sadya' more than 50 years ago when they were operating from Sion. The Onam feast, he said in the year 1976 was a meagre Rs.2/- while the normal meal was 65 paise. After opening a branch at Matunga, they continue this practice even here. On an average more than 1000 people from all over Mumbai come to have lunch on the 'sadya' day.
"The meal is served in on a tender banana leaf with delicious Kerala specialities like pachadi, kichadi, erissery, kalan, thoran, olan and avial on the platter. All types of vegetables are used in making these items and there are clear direction as to what will be served on which part of the banana leaves in a traditional way," said Narayanaswami .
In a choked voice, Narayanaswamy said, "Many senior citizens in the nearby Matunga and Wadala areas depend upon them for lunch but now it is time for the place to shut down."