In this concluding episode of our Mumbai Food Tour, we were joined by Bharat Gothosker, the founder of Khaki Tours, Mumbai who helped us to understand Mumbai’s innate cultural diversity through the wondrous lens of its eclectic street food offerings that has both the native and acquired influences. In the context of the latter, many popular dishes have made an influx along with the populace, who arrived at the city from different parts of the country in search of livelihood.
Bharat was keen enough to walk us through the vibrant culinary and cultural mosaic of some of the enclaves or pockets in the city that are primarily inhabited by people belonging to a particular region in the country. Hence in this gastronomical quest, we decide to cover Dhobitalo(Parsee and Christian dominated settlement), Girgaon(Marathi dominated), and Bhuleswar(Gujarati dominated). The whole experience of deciphering the cultural connection through food was truly exhilarating.
Our first stop was Kyani and Co. at Dhobitalao, one of the city’s oldest Irani restaurants. We had Irani tea with Khari biscuits and Brun Maska, delicious Keema pav, and the iconic Parsi beverage, Raspberry soda. The restaurant also had an amazing assortment of biscuits that excited the kid inside us. Their bestseller was the Shrewsberry biscuits.
The second destination was the Marathi-dominated locality known as Girgaon. After a brief amble through the Khotachi Vadi a quaint, old Portuguese settlement, we arrived at Panshikar Aahar to savour some of their authentic Marathi breakfast dishes. The pleasing Sabudana Vada was crisp on the outside and soft and chewy inside. The mashed Batata bhaji was yummy and soft too. Misal Pav was yummy and spicy. The nutritious Thalipeeth peppered with sesame seeds was nice and crisp. The Alu vadi made from Colocasia leaves was unique and comforting. All the food was washed down with a sweet and refreshing glass of Aam Panah that had a saffron punch to it.
While strolling down the bustling streets towards Buleshwar, the Gujarati-dominated area; we stopped by the roadside to taste an uncommon fruit called the Jamrul or Java Apple and some Kerala-style banana chips.
Thereon we headed to Khichdi Samrat that is popular for selling almost a dozen varieties of khichdi. The Veg Schezwan Khichdi, Vrindavan Special khichdi, and the Kathiyawadi khichdi were truly amazing.
Our next stop was the very popular farsan shop Hiralal Kashidas Bhajiawala whose Surti Undhiyo was uniquely flavourful. They are famous for Surat-style snacks.
Our penultimate stop was the K Bhagat Tarachand restaurant. Apart from the delectable North Indian spread, this place is very famous for their Kutchi beer which is basically refreshing and soothing, thick buttermilk that’s served in beer bottles.
The crowded Badshah Falooda was our last stop where the enthralling walk with our graceful host Bharat came to a sweet end. The rich and luscious falooda that we tried there was totally indulgent.
We are truly grateful to Bharat Gothosker and team Khaki Tours for their cooperation.