Mumbai gets a taste of Saoji
With the rains traipsing on our office windows, the mood has been to discover those culinary cubbyholes that let you indulge in comfort food uninhibitedly. After all, the rains are all about home and the hearth. Like forlorn puppies, scrounging for a late night dinner, we found a neat nugget from the hinterland.
Oshiwara’s new addition Nagpurian Saoji, will leave you salivating while reading and reminiscing about this wonderful cuisine.
We heard a fellow colleague from the region comment that it is meant to burn the lining of your stomach with its cracker of intense spiciness. Another proclaimed that its true sign is the steam through your ears and watering eyes because of the heat in the food. Hardly deterred, the Saoji still had us gung-ho for its love for the red meat and its nearly perfect relation with booze. Keeping in tandem with the spirit of Nagpur’s bhojanalayas, the place is cosy, humble and small. Sauntering after an exhausting weekday, the simple and clean white-tiled interiors, unassuming kitchen with its window open to hungry eyes and ordering mouths, made us sigh with relief. Let loose in the jungle, we called for protein with the delectable sounding Mutton Saoji (`200) and Gavran Chicken Saoji Biryani (`210), both half servings.
While at it, we called out for Patodi Saoji (`150) and Chapatis which were also, modestly priced at `10. From the cooks to our attendant, the gentle service of the staff seriously had us glowing with the care showered. First to arrive was Patodi Saoji, a novelty for vegetarians with its chickpea flour’s indigenous curry that was as rich and flavour-infused as the non-vegetarian curries. Second in line albeit ahead of all, Mutton Saoji arrived on the table. It was our dish of the evening. We noticed the floating oil in this rich dish, often said to increase the pleasures of the eye.
From palette to the snivels, the silken tender muscle coated our tongues a mouthful. Regarding the siren that is supposed to flare up with the first bite, well, wasn’t quite there, perhaps adjusted for less-than-robust urban palate. By the time the Biryani arrived, the unrestrained quantity of meat more than the rice, put a smile on our faces. Yet, the last dish couldn’t live up to the contentedness its precedents had bestowed on us. The menu is restricted but we are still yearning for Paaya dishes. Our verdict: if food can go beyond buts and ifs and burning your mouth while you are looking forward to another gulp, don’t wait!
At Shop no 3, Yamuna Building, near Heera Panna Mall, Oshiwara MHADA, Andheri (W).
Call 9833391811 / 9594385435
Nagpurian Saoji didn’t know we were there.
The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.