Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kadhi Sadi Gali Bul Ke Vi Khaaya Karo Ji

Street Food I Love

I bite into my just out of the tandoor kalimiri chicken roll, the spicy marinated chicken painted with even spicier mint chutney hits me. And for a second I can’t make sense of my surroundings. When I come to my senses I give a look to the rollwaala, I want to ask him whether he used all his masala in one day or in one roll. He stares at me back. Somewhere behind me a cab screeches past. On the radio, Govinda sings “Tujhko mirchi lagi toh main kya karoon. Touche.

Am sure all of us have our favourite ‘khopchas’, where we indulge the glutton in us. We may dine at the finest of the finest, but will go back to these, even if it means an appointment with the doctor the next day or loads of digene or gelusal at night. Infact I think doctors should pay homage to these street food guys, after all they are the sole reason why the medical industry from pharma companies, chemists to doctors and hospitals are alive and kicking. I remember visiting the gastro specialist sometime back with my grandmom and there was line people waiting that stretched much outside his clinic, the guy had 3 assistants and didn’t have time to talk. He even has a gold plated stethoscope! Hail street food!

Eating at these places is a convivial experience in its self. Leaning against your car, listening to the blaring music playing of the cars of the ‘bhade baap ke bhigde huye bacche’, drinking from the Re 6 chotu thumsup bottle (yup thumsup! It tastes better than coke or pepsi specially with junk food), ordering for more and more until the waiter gets fed-up of you and paying not even quarter of what you would pay at a five star restaurant. Orgasmic.

So here is the first part of my series on ‘My Favorite Street Food’

1)      Idris and Ayubs – A favorite amongst the ‘party-goers’, who partied till 4 baj gaye and were kicked out Idris and Ayubs stay on till the wee hours and serve similar kind of food - mouth-watering tikkas & kathi rolls. At Idris my favorite is the Chicken Kalimiri roll – succulent pieces of chicken painted with green chutney rolled in roti. And as I mentioned earlier, piquant as hell yet appetizing. At Ayubs, the Chicken Tikka Roll its simply delicious. The vegetarian stuff is not far behind either. The Paneer Tikka is awesome both in the roll and just as is form. So after you have partied really hard and your stomach’s growling for some khaana head to either. An average meal for 2 here would be 200/- Timings for both are 6:30 pm onwards.
Location:  Ayub's - Shop No. 5, 43, Dr VB Gandhi Marg, Fort, Mumbai -400023 9821199147, Near Rhythm House. Idris – Outside World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai-5.

2)      Dhiraj & Anand Vada Pav – I just had this yesterday, and one bite into this melt in to this potent dish is like watch MJ dance – smooth, punjent and Electrifying. Yes the 2 stalls opp Mithibai college – Anand Vada Pav and Dheeraj serve just that electrifying vada pav coated with butter, green chutney and red masala that makes you ‘Beat It’ MJ style. The standard rate for vada pav here is Rs 10/-  
Location: Opposite Mithibai College, Vile Parle (W), Vile Parle West, Mumbai.

3)      F Road Bhel Puri – No I am not trying to abuse here. This Bhel Puri guy is really located on ‘F Road’ Marine Drive and serves up the most amazing Bhel Puri and Sev batata Puri. Am not quite a bhel person myself, but the one here is irresistible. The garlicky pungent red chutney combined with the dulcified imli chutney generously doled up in the bhel or sev batata puri make an toothsome evening snack especially after an evening walk at marine drive. I know wat your thinking – first the exercise and then eating, whats the point? Well my mantra is workout and eat, don’t starve. I take it from the gujjus of Marine Drive you see ;).
Location - Outside, Patan Jain Mandal Marg, F Road , Opp Kisco Cutlery Shop, Marine Drive, Nariman Point, Mumbai - 400002

4)      Modern Juice Centre - A small stall located right next to Mumbai’s Apollo Bunder, this place is popular amongst Arab and Middle eastern tourists who flock to this place for their homeland food and fresh juices. The Chicken Schwarma - a thick maida roti wrapped around voluptuously tender grilled chicken pieces and pickled cucumber and carrots coated with mayonnaise is just scrumptious and very filling. Topped it with a fresh Fruit Cocktail or a Kiwi Juice and you’l be sorted for a long time. A little on the expensive side the Chicken Schwarma costing Rs 60 while the juice anything between Rs 50 – Rs 80, Modern gurantees quality so you won’t be disappointed.
Location: Opp Near Radio Club Colaba, Mumbai-400005 +91-22-22812457
5)      Dadar Tibbs Frankie – When we are talking about street food how can we forget Frankie and when we are talking Frankie how can we not talk Tibbs? However not many know that Frankie is actually a variation of Schwarma. What happened was out very own Jat Yamla Pagla Deewana Mr. Amarjit Singh Tibb, on a stopover flight from England in Beirut, tasted a sumptuous roll of pita bread with stuffing. He altered it to please the Indian palette by using a soft, yet crisp naan as the pita and a spicy and juicy meat or vegetarian curry with chunks of tender meat or spiced vegetables as the stuffing, and thus the TIBBS FRANKIE was born!  I ate the Chicken Tikka Frankie at the Tibbs stall in dadar and thought it was brilliant. Chicken cooked in fiery red gravy tossed in a egg roti topped with onions and loads of ‘Amchur’ (dried mango powder) make this dish a mouth watering, saliva pooling in the mouth snack. The frankies cost between Rs 35 – 60.
Location: Near Bal Mohan High School, Shivaji Park, Dadar West

6)      The Right Place – Even our very own hoity toity Breach Candy has its share of posh yet street food. The Right Place located next to Amarsons Malls has been serving the just the right kind of sandwhiches and other snacks since decades. Be it their over sized veggie and cheese stuffed grilled sandwiches, vegetarian pizza’s or their famous and my favourite Khala Katta or Watermelon Slush, The Right Place is the just the right place after your done with a swim at Breach Candy Gymkhaana or visiting an ailing yet super rich relative at Breach Candy Hospital or simply your shopping spree at Amarsons, Premsons and the rest of the sons. Also another must try at this place is the Chic Choc Ice cream Sunday. Don’t blame me if you get hooked. Open from 9:00 AM to 12:30 AM
Location: Opp Breach Candy Hospital, Warden Road, Breach Candy, Cumballa Hill.

7)      Jai Jawan Bandra – What happens when Sea Food meets Street Food. Ambrosia I guess if I can put a word on it. Jai Jawan is the only place in Mumbai that can give you the taste of this ambrosia. Their Fish & Prawn Koliwada’s are just mind blowing and can be bought by the kilograms. Great if you are having a house party. Serve it with your valeyti or desi daru and your guests will be super happy or just hop in to this place when in Bandra. Timings 6:00 AM to Midnight

Location: Opposite National College, Next to Chappal Market, Bandra (W), Linking Road, Bandra West, Mumbai, Near Baskin Robbins Phone: 65592112, 9820503355.

8)      Sukh Sagar – If you have eaten the Idli Chutney here you definitely have missed something. The soft South India delicacy comes two in a plate steaming hot and the waiter pours in the cold delicious coconut chutney on it. The combination of the hot idli meshing with cool chutney in your mouth just makes you want to have more and more! Evenly the Pav Bhaji is brilliant. Steeply priced with idli’s costing at Rs 35 this place does maintain quality.

Location: Marina Mansion, S.V.P.Road, Chowpatty, Mumbai  022 23636856, 022 23679614

9)      Walkeshwar Dosa – Am sure everyone has tasted the dosas at Babulnath Dosawalla. But frankly I think it’s pretty over rated. This dosawalla is located at Walkeshwar and literally occupies a bus stop. The Mysore Sada Dosa over you is just mind blowing. Delicately spiced with South Indian Masala on the inside the dosa retains just right amount of softness and crunchiness. Come here for a Sunday evening round of Dosa and Thumsup with your friends. Opens 6 pm ownwards

Location: Opposite Vandana Saree Shop & Kamdhenu Mall 99, Videocon House, Napean Sea Road, Mumbai 400 006.

10)  K. Rustoms – Afterall this spice and food, your stomach needs to cool down and what better than K Rustomes famous Sandwhich ice cream. This quaint hole in the wall may just go unnoticed. But their old school flavours are beautiful, balmy and saporous. Have the Kesar or the Walnut Crunch. You may find a Baskin Robbins and a Gelato in every nook and corner of Mumbai but there is only and only one K Rustom. And it’s the best, I say.

Location:  87 Stadium House, Veer Nariman Rd., Opposite Lladro Showroom, Opposite Ambassador Hotel, Churchgate, next to Titan Tanishq Showroom 22821768. Timings 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM

You know the best thing about these places is that they usually reminisces of amazing times spent with your friends. No harm reliving them once in a while. Just buy you gelusal at store it ;)

Quicktip: Take a trip down memory lane with college buddies you haven’t spoken to due to your busy routine. Go have some Chicken Kathi Roll and Thums-up and talk about ‘those good old days’ where you were fatter, cuter and you wanted to change the world.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Empire State of Mind

11 Places you must eat at while in USA

I am walking through the crowded streets of New York, swarms of people passing by like sardine. Empire State of Mind playing in my head...

In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
Theres nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
these streets will make you feel brand new,
Big lights will inspire you,
lets hear it for New York, New York, New York

I look up ahead & I see gargantuan amounts of people coming towards me, their movements full of hurry and their eyes filled with hope. I look up and I can hardly see the sky, cyclopean buildings stand undermining my presence. Yes Alicia Keys you got it right, New York, the concrete jungle where dreams are made of! I look around me & I see an emporium of brands from high end one’s like Louis Vuitton & Versace to the not so high end but not so low end either like Armani Exchange & Zara. Yes am at 5th Ave and this does make me feel brand new, Alicia.

Lets hear it for New York!

I have been to USA twice over and it still doesn’t fail to baffle me. The hustle & bustle of New York v/s the calm and serene New Jersey make a great combination. But one thing remains common – the infiltration of Indians. Both New York & New Jersey have dedicated localities to Indians, more precisely Gujarati’s – Oak Tree Road in NJ & Jackson Heights in the latter. So I don’t feel that intimidated by this land of hotdogs, Disney, Liberty, opportunities, loners and now Patels & Shahs. Avjo  Avjo! Jaishri Krishna !
Exploring the food around NJ & NY was delight. I got a taste the traditional America junk to Egyptian & Japanese food making the USA one of my top picks for culinary haven. So getting down to this blog, I have decided to encapsulate my culinary journey in the US through this ‘To Eat’ list, giving you a what one must eat when in the US specifically NJ & NY.

Here goes ‘My list of 11 places to eat at while in New York/New Jersey’

1)      Applebees - Serves up traditional American Meals of Burgers, Pizza, Pastas & Steaks. Applebees gives you this Ruby Tuesday & TGIF kind of feel with bright red booths (yes not tables) and American memorabilia like baseball bats and balls hanging all of the places in a chaotic yet fun manner. At Applebees a must have is their steak. I tasted the Bourbon Steak – Medium Rare. Not that I have had steak before, my mom would freak if she read this but I thought when am there might as well experiment. The juicy steak comes with creamy and tasty mash potato on the side & green veggies and is jazzed with Cajun spices and really is quite a mouthful! Another thing that you must and I mean it must try is the Chocolate Melt Down for the desert. A mudcake sort of dessert, which when sliced into spills open with molten chocolate, this is for chocolate junkies who love the whole melt in the mouth deal. The cost of per dish here are $7-$15 which is pretty decent. Applebees has have outlets all over the United States.
Bourbon Steak
Mozrella Sticks
Chocolate Meltdown

2)      Deli Plus – Located on 42nd street, inside the Port Authority of New York, a critical body in New York as it  conceives, builds, operates and maintains infrastructure critical to the New York/New Jersey region’s trade and transportation network. A café style restaurant that serves up almost everything under the sun albeit American Style. From salads to panini’s, from soups  to traditional meals of roast chicken & rice. A must have at this are the Soups – the Chicken & Rice Soup & The Chilli Chicken one are scrumptious and quite filling. Another must have is their Paninis specially the Chicken Fajita -with chunky pieces of chicken filled into European flatbread topped with homemade style tomato salsa and bell peppers. They have these amazing smoothies – the Berry Blast a mixture of blueberry, raspberry, strawberry and nonfat yogurt is beautiful with the both tanginess and sweetness of the berries served chilled. On average a dish here would cost anywhere between  $4 - $7. They also have an extensive breakfast menu with assorted bagels and cream cheese, eggs, oats to choose from. 625 8th Ave # 106, New York, NY 10018-3986, United States# (212) 244-5678

Chicken & Rice Soup

3)      U - Yee Sushi – I went to this place on the last day of trip and till today the taste of the meal still lingers in my mouth. We had the hibachi meal, a traditional Japanese meal cooked live on a hot plate. Even if Japanese is not one of your favourite cuisines, I suggest coming here because hibachi is an experience altogether. For a sneak peak watch  the video below.

So one has a choice of different meats – Chicken, Shrimp, Lobster, Squid, Steak & Veg. Every Hibachi meal consists of a clear miso soup, salad, shrimp appetizer and stir fried rice/lo mein (noodles) and chicken with green vegetables on the side. Brilliant flavours come together, making it a palate searing dish. As I devoured through the massive shrimps and the small grain rice, putting morsels in my mouth, saliva pooled in at every anticipatory bite And this place is even economically priced at the hibachi meal costing between $11 - $20. U-Yee Sushi 675 Us-1, #12, Iselin, NJ 08830, # (732) 283-7888

4)      Bagel House – Next on my list is the stereotype American breakfast – The Bagel. Looks like a doughnut but isn’t sweet. The shape is for convenience in baking. Have just the bagel with Veggie Cream Cheese. Warning this is an overdose of cream so people with high cholesterol and stuff should not have this cause actually the amount of cream cheese in between is like putting another slice of bagel in between. I couldn’t finish an entire one so ate half and the rest in the evening. But the bagel was brilliant. Bagel house has outlets all over the United States.

Bagel with Veggie Cream Cheese

5)      Nanking – Chinese maybe a popular cuisine but Indian Chinese has its own set of fans and is cuisine devoured around the world. My next pick is the Mecca of India Chinese and one must go there while visiting the US.  The chef here is worked at Chopsticks at Churchgate and really stirs some delightful meals. A must here is the Chinese style Calamari. Usually am not too much a fan of this chewy meat and find it quite rubbery for my palate. But the Calamari I had her was brilliant and melt in the mouth kind dolled up with spicy peppers and garlic. Another dish that is the chefs speciality and quite acclaimed is the Drums of Heaven, a sort of Chicken Lollipop with spicy tangy sauce of garlic and hot chillies and onions. All it needs is a glass of beer. In the deserts their the Toffee Banana With Ice Cream is also delectable. Nanking has outlets in a number of places for more information

6)      Thai Kitchen – I am a huge fan of Thai Food, so getting an opportunity to Thai food while not in Thailand was a blessing. Beautifully adorned with Thai motifs, this place served up a pretty authentic spread. A must have here is obviously the Thai Curry both red & Green were brilliant – spicy, tangy with loads of flavor of ginger, shallots and coconut milk. Another dish on the menu that impressed me was Khao Phat a sort of Thai fried rice. This dish differs from Chinese fried rice is that it is prepared with Thai Jasmine rice instead of regular long-grain rice. It normally contains a meat (chicken, shrimp, and crab are all common), egg, onions, and tomatoes and unlike its Chinese cousin can be had as a meal itself. This place is a bit on the expensive side with dishes costing between $14 - $25. Thai Kitchen 320 US Highway 206 S, Chester, NJ 07930-2492, United States, # (908) 879-9800

7)      Auntie Anne's – This a sort of chain that serves up fresh pretzels and other snacks. You must have the Cinnamon Sticks – soft break sticks dipped sugar and cinnamon. This could be a sugar overload but nevertheless a brilliant combo to be had once in a while. Aunt Annies has outlets almost in every mall. 
Cinnamon Sticks

8)      Delizia Pizza Kitchen, Ledgewood Mall – A traditional Italian restaurant that gives you the feel of  the Godfather, Marlon Brando and the spooky sound track Speak Softly Love.  Decorated with Jars of pickled spices, the colour red seems to dominate the place. We ordered for an Alfredo Pasta, which came with a soup , a garlic portion of garlic bread and the pasta. Huge portions and all of it for $11. Talk about being economical. There was a choice of soups and we opted for a Clear Chicken And Noodle Soup which was mellow and heavenly. The Alfredo though was bland it had a different flavor and after lots of chilly flakes and Oregano it made a delicious meal with the buttery garlic bread.  Delizia Pizza Kitchen, 461 Rte 10, Ledgewood, NJ 07852, # (973) 584-3512

9)      Burger King – Now I now we have an overload of McDonalds in India and you definitely wouldn’t want to waste time having burgers there when it’s so readily available here but trust me you have to have the burger specially the Tender Grill Chicken Sandwich at Burger King. It is not chewy and rubbery as the ones you get in India and is different in a nice sort of way. Burger King has outlets all over the United States

10)   Platters – This is literally a cart in New York and is supposed to be super famous for it’s Egyptian Meals. So an Egyptian platter is basically meal of rice pita bread, hummus like dip on the side, topped of with a choice of meat. It pretty filling and the hummus like sauce by the side adds a sort of zing to the dish.

11)   Olive Garden – An Italian restaurant with the ambiance of home kitchen in the bylanes of Rome, although it can get pretty crowded during the weekends. A must have at this place  is the Stuffed Chicken Marsala - Oven-roasted chicken breast stuffed with Italian cheeses and sun-dried tomatoes, topped with mushrooms and a creamy marsala sauce. Served with garlic parmesan mashed potatoes. Delectable. Another one of their signature dishes is the Ravioli di Portobello – Portobbelo mushrooms filled in ravioli pockets and cooked in a creamy cheese sauce. Heaven. Olive Garden has outlets all over the United States.

Stuffed Chicken Marsala
Raviolli Di Portobello

There are a few things I learnt about eating in the US - 1)While ordering never look at the prices, I mean you tend to convert and compare and that is crazy cause an average dish there is for $7 -10. .. That’s like close to Rs 450 only on 1 dish, drinks appetizers etc alag. So don’t look just order 2) their portions are HUGE and I mean it so if you’re a small eater u need to have a dining partner!

Hope you enjoyed reading this. Do leave some feedback below. 
Other places you must go and I didn’t have time for are –

Grease Trucks, Rudgers for their sandwiches

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...