This nondescript eatery in Vashi has variety and generous portions to offer the neighbourhood bachelor. He might have to skip the idlis, though
Battling with furious winds and lashing rains on our way to review a new idli joint on the outskirts of the city made us feel like the swashbuckling heroines of an action film. Sadly however, we did need rescuing by a man armed with an umbrella and knowledge of where Mr Idli lived, along the way.
Once there, we gratefully plonked our rain-soaked selves on the plastic chairs inside this functional 28-seater eatery.
The interiors are basic with each table seating four, much like a simple canteen
Variety is the spice of life and a large part of which Mr Idli's business hinges, given that the menu lists more than seven variations on the idli. Idli aficionados, though, will find enough and more reason to be offended. Take the Idli Manchurian (Rs 40) for instance, it's everything that the idli is not meant to be: batter-fried, spicy and tossed in soya sauce, but still deserves mention for its sheer irreverence. But it's the Idli Pakoda (Rs 40) that is the real bawdy showgirl: Idli crumbs, onions, spices, rice powder and besan (chickpea flour) go into the dish that is more onion-pakoda than idli.
Chinese on the menu Mr Idli, being the enterprising gentleman that he is, does more than his name might imply.
He offers over a dozen dosas, including a Schezwan one, different kinds of uttapas, vadas and a variety of rice dishes.
The menu also includes a section devoted to Chinese food that boasts of soups, snacks, rice and noodle dishes, and lists 'Chinese Special Items', which boasts of the Hara Bhara Kabab!
We tried the Soft Set Dosa (Rs 30), which is similar to the Uttapa, only slimmer and served as a set of three. The plump, soft dosas are a filling option. The chutney, however, bordered on saltless and the sambhar was not as fiery as we might have liked.
The Lemon Rice (Rs 30) is a generous portion of yellow rice that didn't have the clean, lemony flavours of the dish it's named after. Pieces of tomato poked out from a bed of over masala-fied rice that would have done so much better with a gentler hand.
Mr Idli might be a good option for bachelors living in the area, which we were informed already comprise a large part of their clientele since the Mysore-based franchise opened over three months ago. Our suggestion? Opt for the dishes that don't carry the burden of an assumed centuries-old culinary heritage like the Veg Fried Rice and the crispy Chatpat Roll Dosa. They won't mind it.