Matunga is a bustling neighbourhood located in the heart of Mumbai city. Because of the predominant South Indian population, especially that of the Tamil Brahmins, it is formerly referred to as 'The Mylapore of Mumbai 'because of the strong South Indian influence in its culinary scene. In today's episode we are bringing you a short and delish food tour from this bustling old locality that we had undertaken with our host Dnyanada Kulkarni.
Our first stop was Arya Bhawan on Lakhamsi Napoo Road. Being one of the most popular Udipi restaurants in the neighborhood, the place was bustling with customers when we reached there. Our order included Rawa Biscuit, Brahmim Idli and filter coffee. Contrary to the name, the rawa biscuit was actually a semolina crepe smeared with podi and cheese. Brahmin idli were a distinctively shaped idli served with podi.
While heading to our second stop we enjoyed some ice apple, jackfruit and guava on the streets. Soon we landed up at Cafe Madras, another institution on Bhaudaji Road. The aroma of filter coffee could be felt even outside the eatery. Inside it was full brimming mostly with enthusiastic locals who have come down to devour their favourite dish. At our host's recommendation we tried the kadi vada and paan poli. First one was a tangy kadi with urad dal vada in it while the second one that came enwrapped in a banana leaf was a sweet made of rice, banana and jaggery.
The third stop was Amba Bhavan Coffee club. This pocket friendly snack point had an old world ambience. Here we tried some neyyappam (deep fried rice flour cake), rasam vada (urad dal fritters dunked in rasam) and kokum plus ginger lemon drink to wash it down.
The last stop was the iconic Ram Ashraya. This restaurant has a simple setting and is always abuzz with diners. Their simple traditional menu attracts a huge crowd. We settled for a luscious guava-semolina sheera and bun poori which is a fluffy deep fried bread flavoured with banana.
Finally we wrapped up the tour with a meetha paan. There are more places in Matunga which can be found in Part 2 episode.