Hugely popular Babulnath-based eatery opens a small shop alongside that stocks ready-to-eat fare, condiments and mithai. We suggest you drop by
Green garlic and green chilli papads with Soam chutney. Pics/Sukanya Datta
The meat-lover in us takes a backseat when we hike down to the Girgaum Chowpatty-Grant Road area. A plate of butter-slathered pav and tangy bhaji relished by the beach, a quick adda at Crystal over comforting north Indian fare, a fair amount of hustling to grab steaming Mysore dosas at Babulnath Dosa’s, and of course, a stop at the iconic Soam for jowar pita pockets, vaghareli khichdi, shrikhand-puri, panki — we could go on. It was the latter’s Instagram posts of Holi-special dahi vadas and pav bhaji canapes that had been enticing us for a while. And when we heard that a small outlet, next door to the homely restaurant, was stocking ready-to-eat fare, we had to drop by. Turns out, Soam at Home is where snack dreams come true.
Orange rasgulla with vanilla ice-cream
The tiny take-away and delivery outpost can be easy to miss, if not for its light green facade. A long queue of diners spills onto the road when we reach on a Sunday evening. It’s a good idea to head in, write down your name, and pop by the shop beside to idle away the waiting time. A friendly manager informs us that the store will complete a year in June, and that the goodies arrive fresh from their kitchen in Ghatkopar. Every corner is packed, and each item neatly labelled on the shelves. We eye at least two kinds of chakalis (multigrain and butter), a dozen different chips including beetroot, karela and nachni for the calorie-conscious, bhel, sev, chivda, bhakris, toasts and biscuits — multi-grain, and oats and honey for those watching their diet, mithais, pickles and chutneys, mukhwas, hummus, chocolate crisps, khakhras (moringa and peri peri called out to us), and lots more. While we find ourselves in a kid-in-a-candy-shop situation, thankfully, the manager guides us to the healthier varieties.
With Holi in mind, we load up a paper bag with gulab pak (Rs 225), green garlic and green chilli papads (Rs 220), diet soya flax bhakarwadi (Rs 150), butter chakali (Rs 90), diet tasty kachori (Rs 160), coffee crackers (Rs 240), chatpata hummus (Rs 190), and Soam chutney (Rs 200). The quantity yields VFM — almost all the snacks on our list were in the 200-to-250-gm range — and the packaging is sturdy plastic; though we fervently hope to see an environmentally conscious packaging option soon. Before we leave, we’re informed that they deliver (directly and via aggregators) up to Mumbai Central, but if there’s a sizable order, they’ll deliver beyond.
Diet tasty kachori and diet soya flax bhakarwadi
Hungry after our haul, we called for stuffed dahi vada (Rs 238) from the Soam x Saee Holi menu, which is curated by culinary consultant Saee Koranne-Khandekar. The soft vadas are loaded with spiced chana dal. Chunky and flavourful, the fritters are drenched in dahi and an assortment of sweet-spicy chutneys; we would have preferred a little more tartness and a sprinkling of sev. From the same menu, the orange rasgulla with vanilla ice-cream (Rs 270) wins our heart with an arrangement of tiny rasgullas doused in a mild orange syrup, and wedges of the fruit lending a citrus-y kick.
The store is beside the restaurant
The chatpata hummus is a handy, achaari condiment that will make for a tasty accompaniment with papads, lavash and crisps, while our stash of buttery chakalis are light and non-oily. The thin coffee wafers come sprinkled with sugar and have a heady aroma that makes it hard to stop at one; try it with your evening chai or coffee. Surprisingly, it’s the sweet and spicy diet soya flax bhakarwadi that we warm up to. The label assures us it comprises grains, pulses, flax seeds, sesame seeds and soy milk, and hence binge-friendly. The diet tasty kachori is chatpata but heavy, and pairs well with Soam chutney — a pulpy, sweetish tomato and mixed dry fruit condiment. The green garlic papad fails to deliver, but the green chilli papad has a strong, fiery kick. To soothe our palate, we indulge in the rose petals, almonds and pistachio-laden gulab pak that serves as a sweet, cake-y sign-off. But there is no end to snacking, is there?
At: Soam at Home, beside Soam, Sadguru Sadan Building, near Babulnath Mandir; 10 am to 8.30 pm
**** Exceptional, ***Excellent, **Very Good, *Good, Average.
Soam at Home didn’t know we were there.
The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals