Khushnuma Jabulee takes the readers on a mouth-watering journey to get some of the best vegetarian food Mumbai can offer
Food, is nothing short of being the universal truth – the Holy Grail that you read of in the pages of your history books. If food could be a human being, it would probably be Mother Teresa, who only gives and gives and expects nothing in return.
Since I am a lover of animals, I stopped eating non-vegetarian since I was four years old. The withdrawal symptoms and cravings that took place for a few months after that were surprisingly not plenty. Being a picky and fussy eater does not help, but it makes sure that these restaurants and eateries that I recommend are nothing short of value-for-money and drool worthy!
In no particular order, here are a few veg eateries and restaurants that will definitely make you want to go back for more.
Sardar Refreshments, Tardeo
Sardar has been present since I can remember and yet, day-by-day, the crowds seem to get larger and larger. Present right opposite the Tardeo bus depot, this hot-spot attracts people of all ages, sizes and walks of life. They are mainly known for their delicious, buttery pav bhaji… and rightfully so. It feels like an explosion of flavours in your mouth as the mashed potatoes, tomatoes, capsicum and all the other vegetables and spices dance to a delicious rhythm that your palate will definitely welcome.
Must Try: Pav Bhaji.
Under The Banyan Tree, Peddar Road
Though on the costlier side of the spectrum when it comes to food, this place is definitely worth going to, not just for the tantalizing taste of their dishes, but also for the beautiful ambiance. Under The Banyan Tree, or as the ‘cool-kids’ and regular patrons call it, UTBT, is a multi-cuisine restaurant that serves up one dish after another that will all have you munching away. From their soups, to starters, to main course, to dessert – everything just feels right.
Must Try: Cheez me-please me (fries in cheese sauce), UTBT special Garlic Bread and their pizzas.
New Yorker, Chowpatty
I remember being in the fourth standard, going to a friend’s birthday party to New Yorker and thinking, “wow, the food here is yummy!” That’s where my love for this restaurant was born, and I am proud to say, that so many years down the line, they have maintained the quality. Again, this is another place that has prices steeper than Mount Everest, but to go once in a while to try out their ridiculously good food is worth it. It is another multi-cuisine restaurant that does justice to every single dish.
Must Try: American Cheese Corn Balls, NY Onion Rings, Original New Yorker Nachos and New Yorker Special Mexican Fajita Sizzler and NY Sizzling Brownie Sundae.
Food For Thought, Fountain
Located within the most beautiful bookstore called Kitab Khana, Food For Thought serves up some of the best veg food Mumbai has to offer. From humongous sandwiches to piping hot soups to freshly tossed salads to delightful sweet treats, it has it all. You can go there to enjoy with a group of your friends, just like I did during my college days and make fond memories over food. Though you have got to keep down the loud chatter, it being a bookstore and all.
Must Try: Waffles with Chocolate or Hazelnut sauce, Cupcakes and Bhel Puri Sandwich.
Central Bhojanalay, Mumbai Central
Right opposite Reliance Super that can be spotted from the moon, lies this small eatery that serves up just one thing, thali. Central gives the saying ‘when you do something, do it right’ a whole new meaning. Since it is a tiny, family-run restaurant, it opens up at 11am and works till 3pm and re-opens at 7pm for dinner. The unlimited thali that they serve up comprises of chhas, farsan or a sweet, three vegetables (new everyday), dal, kadhi and rice – all just for Rs. 100. If you have been craving delicious home-like food, this place is it.
Must Try: Safe to say, it’s the Thali.
Babulnath Dosa Center, Babulnath Road
If you are not good at standing and eating, like me… then I suggest you learn how to do so, as you definitely don’t want to miss out on their delicious food. It is a tiny eatery that serves up amazing dosas with two chutneys, chaats, pizzas and sandwiches at reasonable prices. If you want to know what Jai Hind College canteen food used to taste like, head over to this tiny eatery… take it from the alumni writing this!
Must Try: Paneer Chilly Dosa, Mysore Masala Dosa, Onion Sada Dosa and Dahi Puri.
Vanakkam Vihar, Opera House
There once was a small restaurant that residents of the Opera House area frequented, called Café Vihar. After going through a drastic makeover, it turned into this huge restaurant, with higher prices and a variety of food that will get your mind in a scramble over what to order. Offering up multiple cuisines, this restaurant is best known for its authentic South Indian food. Just a heads up – they serve up North Indian cuisine on the first floor and South Indian, as well as International cuisine on the ground floor. So if you go there with not-so-pleasant company, you know what to do. If it’s with friends or family, sadly, one party has to compromise.
Must Try: Chole Bhature, most of their dosas, Appam with Veg Stew, Madras Filter Coffee and Mexican Sizzler.