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Mumbai food: 6 eateries around Santacruz domestic airport

Because the neighbourhood around the airport is fertile food and drink ground, we recced pitstops around Santacruz to bring you the first of a two-part eating around the terminals guide

A plate of Veg Karishma

The ATC tower serves as the backdrop for Balaji Pure Veg restaurant. Pics/Sameer MarkandeThe ATC tower serves as the backdrop for Balaji Pure Veg restaurant. Pics/Sameer Markande

Where: Balaji Pure Veg
Distance: 2 minutes from Arrivals/Departures gates
Erected in the middle of a parking lot, the two-decade old Balaji is a popular hangout for travellers seeking a budget vegetarian meal prior to check-in. "At least 400 travellers drop in every day," says a staffer. From Banana Uttapam (Rs 110) to a main course dish called Veg Karishma (Rs 190), the menu covers a variety of South Indian, North Indian and Chinese fare.
Time: Open 24 hours
At: Domestic Terminal 1B, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Santacruz (E).
Call: 26164798

Staffers haul trolleys outside the 24x7 Lounge at the Arrivals gate of Terminal 1B at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Pic/Sameer Markande

For Bappida on the rocks

Singer Krishn at a karaoke session

Where: Black Berry Fine Dining and Bar
Distance: 2 minutes from Arrivals/Departures gates

Step into Black Berry, adjacent to Balaji, and you’ll forget you’re at an airport. With the vibe of a neighbourhood watering hole, the air-conditioned 30-seater is for those who need their boozy fix any time of the day or night. It serves mainly North Indian fare. While options are similar to Balaji (since both are by the same owners), this one also offers non-vegetarian dishes and domestic liquor (Rs 200 for a beer pint). Plus, karaoke nights with Kaushal S Bajpai aka Krishn four times a week. The singer croons everything from Bappida’s Dil Mein Ho Tum to Kishore Kumar’s Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si. “I wanted to sing at a restaurant that sees different types of guests, so what better place than an airport,” shares the singer, who was a regular at the now-defunct The Golden Chariot, at the domestic airport.
Time: Open till wee hours (Karaoke Nights: 8 pm onwards from Wednesday to Saturday)
At: Domestic Terminal 1B, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Santacruz (E).

Coffee on-the-go

Where: Starbucks Coffee
Distance: At the Arrivals gate


Flavoured Macchiato

So you skipped your morning cuppa in a rush to catch an insanely early flight? Pick up your favourite flavour from the coffee shop, or try the hot or iced versions of their latest introduction, Butterscotch or Chocolate Hazelnut Macc-hiato (`205/short glass). The outpost is open to non-travellers too.
Time: 5 am to 1.30 am
At: Terminal 1B, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Santacruz (E).

Flavours of Malvan

Surmai Fry with SolkadiSurmai Fry with Solkadi

Where: Summer Harvest
Distance: 10 minutes from the airport, in Vile Parle (E)

Craving for that last bite of coastal fare before you head to the interiors of India? Make a detour at this fine dine restaurant, located in a lane opposite Bharat petrol pump. Tuck into Surmai Fry (Rs 425), Solkadi (Rs 115) or a meal of Paaplet Curry-Steamed Rice (Rs 1,075) with the sound from a faux waterfall adding a coastal vibe. It also offers Chinese and North Indian fare.
Time: 12 noon to midnight
At: Summer Harvest, Sharda Bhuvan, Nanda Patkar Road, Vile Parle (E).
Call: 26128990

Your beer-burger combo

The interiors of the loungeThe interiors of the lounge

Where: 24x7 Lounge
Distance: Next to the food court outside Arrivals gate

Sunlight streams in from the French glass windows and a Jim Beam guitar hung on a pillar at the centre of the cool, boxy lounge greets you as you step in. Operated by Travel Food Services (TFS), the lounge features a well-stocked bar and an eats menu that includes Masala Bhel (Rs 110), Chicken Burger (Rs 240), biryanis and pastas. The spot is convenient for fliers who need some quiet time, away from the cackle of food courts.
Time: Open 24 hours
At: Terminal 1B, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Santacruz (E).

For the freshest dosai

We liked the Pav Bhaji and Mysore Masala Dosa We liked the Pav Bhaji and Mysore Masala Dosa

Where: Adar Udipi Refreshments
Distance: 5 minutes from the airport, next to Jal Hotel

Do you need to travel from the domestic to the international terminal with a couple of hours to spare? Venture out of the airport, cross the Western Express Highway and you’ll spot a large signboard of the Udipi Joint, established in 1964. If the aroma of Pav Bhaji (Rs 110) sizzling on a tava at the entrance isn’t enticing enough, choose from the safe South Indian options at this no-frills eatery.
Time: 11 am to 10.30 pm
At: Adar Udipi Refreshments, Nehru Road, Vile Parle (E).

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