What's better than a ride in the rains? One that ends in a food coma. Bikers list eating joints around Mumbai that make the long drive worth it
Dr Aparna Bandodkar. Illustrations/Uday Mohite
Eedu lovers unite
At Parsi Da Dhaba, Mumbai-Gujarat Highway
Established in 2009, Parsi Da Dhaba is a popular stopover for travellers heading to Gujarat. The restaurant offers traditional eats, including Patra Ni Machhi, Mutton Dhansak and Parsi Poro, a Bawa version of the omelette - cooked on woodfire - along with the frothy and milky Doodh Na Puff, which help you cool down after a two-hour drive.
"Though heavy on the pocket [an omelette costs Rs 130], I like the dhaba for its rotational menu. So, there's something new to try every time," says 26-year-old Bhadresh Gohel, a biker with Flying Daggers Motorcycle Club. This Sunday, the team has organised an open motorcycle lunch ride to the eatery.
ON: NH8, Talasari. TO JOIN THE RIDE,
(June 25, 8.15 am onwards)
Vada pav on the go
At Shree Datta Snacks Corner, Old Mumbai-Pune Highway
Every time biker and entrepreneur Vishal Katoch, who runs a start-up in Manali, returns to his home in Mumbai, a trip to Shree Datta Snacks Corner is on his list for its piping hot and crunchy Vada Pav (Rs 30 per plate) served with garlic-peanut chutney and fried chillies.
"The taste is consistent, and the oil is never stale. Since it is at a junction that leads to Lonavala and Goa, it is always crowded. The shop also opens early in the morning," says Katoch. Hasan Kakal (in pic), who conducts bike trips under Bikester India, also swears by the snack corner's Maharashtrian eats, including Misal Pav, Sabudana Vada and Kharwas, a milk-based pudding.
"It's possibly the only joint on the old Mumbai-Pune Highway to tank up at before reaching Lonavala," says Kakal.
AT: Palaspe Phata, Panvel.
Surmai thali with a view
At Patil's Inn, Revdanda-Murud Road
Picture this: A row of coconut trees rustle up a cool breeze as you sit under their shade and tuck into a hearty meal of Surmai Thali with tangy Solkadi. Piqued? We suggest you skip the local seafood joints and set out on a three-hour drive to Murud-Janjira, along the scenic coastal route via Alibaug, to discover Patil's Inn, locally called Patil's Khanaval.
The menu includes Konkani-style curries and fries made with crab, prawns and fish. Their bestsellers are thalis. "I love their Surmai Fish Thali. You can pick from six varieties of fish," says Rohan Gokhale, who organises bike trips for Mumbai Travellers.
AT: Lokmanya Tilak Road, Bhandarwada, Murud.
At Hotel Radiant Resort, Mumbai-Nashik Expressway
Located two hours from Mumbai, the ride to Hotel Radiant Resort is as enchanting as its Malvani fare menu. "It's near Kasara Ghat, which is a beautiful spot. You can also take a detour to check out a 120-feet waterfall in Vihi, a village that is 20 minutes away," shares Dr Aparna Bandodkar, dentist and avid biker, who made her first trip to the restaurant a few years ago, when it was still a dhaba-like establishment called Hotel Mayur. Her recommendation: Gavthi Kombdi with Jowar or Rice Bhakri. "They have a poultry farm, and you can order the dish by the kilo. They cook the chicken in a spicy gravy, using khada masala (whole spices). My husband and I end up polishing off a kilo of the dish with the bhakris. The meal costs Rs 800," says Bandodkar.
AT: Mokhavane, Kasara.
Dos and don'ts
Dr Aparna Bandodkar
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