Mumbai: Calcutta-style chinese haunt to shut down after 51 years in Worli
Make a beeline for the last bite of roast pork with the bamboo shoot as Flora Chinese Restaurant is set to fold up at its age-old Worli home
August 31 will be your last chance to visit one of Mumbai's oldest Chinese restaurants, Flora, in Worli. A landmark that is not easy to miss with its green tiled roof, Flora has been a favourite with locals and celebrities since it opened in 1967. The property will now have to move out of its original location as BMC has declared Khanna Apartment, where it's housed, unsafe.
In August 2017, mid-day reported the issue of the first notice issued by the BMC's G South Ward, which ordered all tenants, including a functioning pre-school to vacate the building.
Flora, which was started by Anthony Leo, fondly known as Tony, is currently being operated by Rahul Limaye, owner of Dadar's famous Gypsy Chinese. Limaye's daughter, Aditi Limaye Kamat, says, "My dad was a regular at Flora and eventually opened Gypsy in 1983. Uncle Tony was very fond of my father, a Maharashtrian who opened the Chinese eatery in Dadar.
When uncle was around 85 years old, one of his old associates left the restaurant. He requested my dad to continue running the business even after him. Uncle passed away three years ago. We do not have any legal agreement with the Leo family to run the place. His wife, Doretta, has been supportive, and my father has fulfilled a promise to a friend. The building is now with the court receiver. We aren't shutting, just moving out," she says of the eatery that was once popular with the likes of actor Om Puri and restaurateur Vithal Kamat.
'It would be a big treat for us to go to Flora on a Sunday. Occasionally, I still call for their food to go down memory lane. I like their pork chilly garlic, mixed fried rice, sweet corn chicken soup, and chilly chicken with lots of chillies and green pepper'
Atul Kasbekar, photographer
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