What if your favourite South Indian food joint started serving delicious Paneer Tikka Masala. Would you be excited or worried?
In the heart of Chembur lies a restaurant from a different era — from a time when relationships were built over Filter Coffee and Medu Vadas. Geeta Bhavan, a favourite of legendary Raj Kapoor, in many ways symbolises Chembur — loud, diverse and bustling with energy.
The Mysore Masala justifies its hype
Ask anyone from Chembur about this landmark, and they will all swear by its mastery over South Indian delicacies. Especially their Rasam Vadas and Butter Adais. When you enter food joint, the men in grey uniform who swarm the hotel will ensure that they find you a seat somewhere inside a seemingly full restaurant and deliver the food with minimum fuss.
The delicious Chole Bhature
But things have been changing in the past few years for Geeta Bhavan regulars. The restaurant has diversified its menu to include North Indian and Chinese specialties. Vaibhav Raut, who has been a regular at Geeta Bhavan for the last 20 years shared, “I always come here with my family on Sunday evenings. While I am a huge fan of Dosas, my family prefers trying different things so the greater options help.”
We decided to test Geeta Bhavan’s food on our South Indian taste buds. The Mysore Masala Dosa (Rs 60) and Ghee Masala Dosa (Rs 60) were good and the Butter Adai (Rs 50) did almost enough to justify the hype. The filter coffee (Rs 25) though was below par, compared to what we get at Amba Bhavan Coffee Club or Cafe Madras at Kings Circle.
Curious as always we also tried the Chole Bhature (Rs 120), which was delicious. The best part of the entire meal was the truly delectable Mango Kulfi (Rs 37).
It is too early to come to a conclusion that the authenticity at Geeta Bhavan is on the decline in a bid to incorporate a more diversified menu for a larger audience. Though it might be a tad disappointing for the hardcore Udupi food lovers to watch paneer and naan being served on the table next to theirs. That said, should it really matter when the food on your plate is as good as it can get?
At: MDS Marg, Chembur.
Geeta Bhavan didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.