Short on cash for daily lunch? Dipanjan Sinha found a few value-for-money haunts in the heart of Mumbai to tuck into delicious fare for under Rs 100 or Rs 200
There are incredible stories of people who have come to Mumbai chasing a dream with little or no money with them and how they survived on vada pav and other cheap options. So, with a little more than that, we went around Parel and Dadar to find out how hospitable the city is to a person with a hundred bucks or a little more. Turns out, if you look around a bit, you don’t just get a meal that is sumptuous but tasty enough to make you rethink the value of hundred bucks.
Light of Bharat near Shivaji Park. Pic/Atul Kamble
For non-vegetarians (Under Rs 200)
Light of Bharat: This Irani café near Shivaji Park retains every charm of the city’s nostalgia. The Hyderabadi Dum Biryani for Rs 160 is nearly impossible to finish for a person despite its taste and incredible aroma. The special omelettes would make you keep going back.
The Surmai Thali at Mast Malwani. Pic/Hassan M Kamal
Sachin Coastal food: This nondescript eatery near Shivaji Park lets its name do the alluring and lives up to it. A meal of bombil or surmai and rice (Rs 180) for lunch will make every man crave for a bed and a pillow after it.
At: Shop No 8A, Corner View, Gokhale Road, Dadar (W).
Mast Malwani: Their Surmai Thali (Malwani style) and rice for Rs 160 is worth a try. The fish might be a bit too spicy for the uninitiated but it gets easier in the palate with time. The Vegetarian Thali is a huge spread for Rs 85.
At: Jai Mahal Building, Jeejeebhoy Lane, opposite Income Tax Building, Lal Baug, Parel.
For vegetarians (Under Rs 100)
Aashray: According to a popular online food review site, this is the kind of place to go to when there is no food at home. We agree and add a possibility — when there is little cash in the pocket. Their Masala Dosa for R55 is crunchily perfect. The sambar is a little thicker than in Chennai but there is no taste lost. To make things better, we add Lime Juice for R30.
At: Parekh Mahal, LJ Road, Hari Niwas, Shivaji Park, Dadar (W).
The Vegetarian Thali at Mast Malwani. Pic/Hassan M Kamal
Gobb’et: A cosy six-seater eatery in one of the back alleys of Lalbaug, Gobb’et serves a variety of snacks that can make up for meals. These include Pav Bhaji, Ragda Patties, Sabudana Vada and interesting farsan. The Pav Bhaji is not too spicy with a dollop of butter and is always served hot with pav. The special Pav Bhaji is for Rs 60.
At: Dr SS Rao Road, Wadia Baug, Lalbaug, Parel.
Aaswad is a popular haunt in Dadar. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
Aaswad: At Rs 58 their Misal Pav lives up to its reputation with the spicy curry and bland pav, complementing each other as and when desired. This works as a snack option or for dinner depending on your mood. With its worldwide fame, there’s always a queue at the eatery.
At: LJ Road, Shivaji Park, Gadkari Chowk, Shivaji Park, Dadar (W).