Tuesday, 17 June 2014

A Foodie's favorites in Matunga

So, I had a revelation. You see, exploring Matunga, there was an aspect (of the exploration) that I instantly knew deserved a blogpost of its own. And if you are a foodie like me, you will completely understand....

Because, dear reader, those south Indian flavors...oooooh yum!

We started our morning at Cafe Mysore - or as the sign outside says: The oldest restaurant in Mumbai for South Indian delicacies. The coffee here is served like this:
... and then you have to mix the coffee, milk and sugar yourself by pouring from one tin cup to the other - a few times. Or have a skilled waiter do it for you in a very elegant way. Our attempt ended ... well on the table in a not so elegant way - but fun and very tasty. We were told that coffee is more of a south Indian drink than India's national drink tea. Our tour guide from Travel-logs told us that a popular story goes that a Muslim saint on a pilgrimage to Mecca, smuggled 7 coffee beans from Yemen into India, and planted them in the hills of Chandragiri in Mysore. But think again if you think this is a place for coming and hanging out over your coffee while chatting with friends for hours. The message is clear:

I have to admit we might have bended the rule a bit because we did a lot of chatting over those coffee cups... However, we did try the local specialty: 
At Cafe Mysore we had toast omlet - because as being (the first ) udipi restaurant in Mumbai .. for the south Indians coming to Mumbai to work and settle down these restaurants were set up to provide quick, simple and cheap meals. And the omlet had no eggs in it  ---- a very tasty vegetarian version.

And the foodies moved on, and I tell you now: if you love idlis, like I do, you will be in paradise at The Idli House. Also a small come-order-eat-and-leave place, and with a "waiting room " on the pavement outside - because this is a popular place!

...and if you do not finish your pudi, you will have to pay 8 rs penalty.. Ha ha - how great is that?!

.....aahhhh - in idli heaven... before:

..and during.. My favorite was the coconut idli - with a sprinkle of chili powder on top, but all so yum!!

After the idlis we were strolling on, and passed this cute little book store - can you imagine going treasure hunting in there? - and what could be more perfect than having a coffee bean outlet next door:

Ayappan Idli Stall was a very busy place - perfect for dosas and vadas - a quick bite on the sidewalk - a very popular place.  Centred on a busy street corner you could also drive up, jump out and get your fast food - but so not for a minute think it is a drive-in-restaurant- . You have to get out of your car/bike/rickshaw and yourself go up and order...


And if you have eaten south Indian food, you have probably, like us, had some kind of banana - or maybe had it beautifully served in banana leaves. Well, the banana market said it all:  


In my quest to explore my adopted city Mumbai, I have, in addition to heading around (sometimes like a headless chicken) on my own, also tried out different tour guides and companies. Walking tours are my favorite, and this time I for the first time went with Travel-logs. According to their site they are: a bunch of intrepid travellers, who love travelling … seeing new places, experiencing different cultures, trying to de-mystify history, and of course eating different foods! We are a team of loosely connected but tightly bonded individuals. And what binds us together is our deep passion for India and discovering her, everyday.

I have to say I felt that passion:-) I enjoyed their enthusiasm and level of knowledge, so Chief Explorer Dhiresh and co: you will see me again for sure. Your tour was interesting, varied and fun:-)  

NB: This tour was not sponsored. And as always: my opinion is mine and mine alone:-)

Ta ta from Mumbai! 

36 comments:

  1. wow this post made me drooling..coffee variety idlis.. dosas etc.. Matunga is a peice of south india indeed...
    between you must visit mysore once.. may be during oct ( dussera ) .. the place is worth a visit then...

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    1. Oh, so happy for you kind words dear Smitha. Would love to visit Mysore:-) Big hugs to you

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  2. Dearest Eli,
    You are able to write with such enthusiasm that your love for the city and all its hidden gems shines through... Oh, how I would love to taste some South Indian food again.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. My dear Mariette:-) Your ind words make me so happy - thank you so much:-) Big hugs your way

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  3. I did their Matunga walk and enjoyed it just as much :)

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  4. Yummy food shots Eli! Though more than food, it was the filter coffee that enticed me...I could actually get a whiff of its aroma :)

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    1. Thank you sweet Vinodini - yes that coffee was something:-) Hugs

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  5. Wow! now this is one place I never visited when I was in Mumbai. Looks like a paradise for south indian food...lovely!

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    1. Thank you so much dear Kajal:-)

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  6. Matunga is famous for coffee , S.Indian food , fruits , flowers and temples. It is mini-Chennai.

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    1. Yes, it was so great - surely made me wanna go to south India:-)

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  7. Hey foodie, you love your food and you click it well :)

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  8. I'm not even sure what all of those foods are, but the pictures are making me hungry! Thanks for sharing your experiences!

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    1. Thank you so much Laurel , so happy to see you here:-)

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  9. What a great bunch of food joints you have been exploring, Eli :) I am sure you are having your heart-full and tummy-full of all those idlis, dosas and vadas, and of course the great south Indian filter 'kaapi' (as they call coffee here in south). I admire your love for the city and its rich cuisine offerings :) Keep sharing more of Mumbai through your eyes and taste-buds :)

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    1. Aaaww, thank you so much Beloo, always appreciate your kind words and what you share so much. Big hugs dear:-)

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  10. I have tried the Mysore Bonda which was delicious... Loved your food photos. Delighful post.

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    1. Thank you so much dear Rajlakshmi:-) So happy you enjoyed:-)

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  11. This post is making me hungry and I so want to have those idlis and toast omelette now! Rs 8 penalty for not eating... that's an interesting one! Never heard of that before!

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    1. Thank you Shilpa - no me neither - an interesting one:-) Hugs your way

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  12. This post has made me SO HUNGRY -- what a wonderful collection of appetizing words and photos!

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    1. Thank you so much dear Cindi:-) Big hugs

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  13. I love that message, Not just for meeting. How true!

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  14. Food figures in a good number of posts, you must be a foodie :-) and by this time have gotten your internals to digest food from India...All colorful dishes would attract anyone, one does not need to be foodie, towards Matunga. Thanks for sharing...

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    1. Yeeess, guilty ... very foodie:-) Thanks for following Jayanta, I always appreciate your kind comments:-) Best to you

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  15. :) Matunga is certainly the hot-spot for authentic South Indian idlis/ dosas. A fun post, Eli.

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  16. Oh wow! That's a lot of food, dear Eli. :) And out tour makes me super hungry right now! What a fabulous review of the various joints, will act as a wonderful guide to a lot of people I am sure. And that also reminds me I have yet to try any of these joints! Hope I can do that soon, till then let me drool over your pictures. :) Warm Hugs.

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    1. Thank you dear Arti - always so happy to see you here:-) Big hugs to you

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  17. Wow! I am from Mysore and my native is Udupi so I love this post of urs!

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    1. Oh, thats so great Megha - so happy you loved it:-)

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    1. Thank you so much dear Jyotsna:-)

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