Jai Hind Lunch Home, Lower Parel
This is a special place for me because my partners Sameer, Yash and I have to order from here at least once each time I visit. We always order the same dishes – tisrya, bombil, mutton sukka, neer dosa (plate of three pieces) and fish curry. For the entire experience though, I would suggest eating at the restaurant. It’s not fancy but the food is outstanding, affordable and consistent – which is very hard to come by. The service is not great, but they make up for it with the food.
Ayaz s The Kabab Place, Hill Road, Bandra
I was working late one night and hadn’t had dinner, and my brother took me to this place opposite St Andrew’s Church on Hill Road. It has the most amazing mutton rolls, the succulent meat cooked to perfection, extremely spicy but perfect for the night. The fact that it is freshly cooked and the only waiting you do is for it to be cooked makes it all the more worth it.
Candies, Pali Hill, Bandra
When I was young, Candies was known as McRonnels. And it made these patties – chicken or beef pieces and cream in soft, golden pastry. I keep coming back for these two items on the menu because they take me back to my childhood. And, every time I do return, I notice that the space gets larger and larger. My only grievance with the place is that they don’t accept cards, so make sure you carry cash for those delicious patties.
Hotel Deluxe, Fort
The food at Hotel Deluxe is flavourful and delicious and you are served generously. Try the chicken Chettinad and crispy fish fry – the menu hasn’t changed for years and you should enjoy the sadya (ceremonial meal) on a banana leaf eaten with your fingers. You can also enjoy breakfast with rice preparations like puttu (steamed cakes with coconut) or appams and katti pathiri – a griddled rice bread made from cooked rice. My favourites are the kadale curry, a chickpeas gravy with toasted spices and coconut, and the motta (egg) roast. Some advice too: do not eat the Chinese food here.
Mahima Mangalore Stores, Bandra
This is a store where you can find absolutely anything from South India – a real treasure if you know your regional food. From the channa jor garam and fish tamarind to pickles and snacks, this place explodes with treats. The entrance is small and the store is packed with products, so be sure to take your time and look slowly. The store assistants are also very helpful and kind, and go out of their way to help you look for an item. I find this place very inspirational – it gives me new ideas on what to cook at The Bombay Canteen or even Paowalla. Remember to eat or use whatever you buy from here quickly because there are no preservatives since it is being made by small producers and not large manufacturing houses.