Thursday, 11 September 2008

Best of the South in Central Mumbai

Café Madras is a tricky destination if you don’t know your way around Kings Circle, Sion. Everytime we end up doing atleast 2 chakkars before we zero in on its location. This time around, I found a landmark – an eatery which has its name on a bright blue neon board with Reliance Communication written on it is where one takes the left.

Waiting before you get a table seems to be an accepted norm here. The young man at the door smiles sweetly & confirms that we should be seated in the next twenty minutes, which you so want to believe. Breakfast is easier to catch I guess, with less of a wait, depending on when you arrive.

Etched on the stone walls at the entrance are the words, Café Madras, open since 1940. Timings: 7am – 2:30 pm, 4pm – 11pm. It also says the establishment is shut on Mondays.

Fifty minutes later, out of which about forty eight were spent with my sister & I staring at the young man, came our table. Thoughts on ambience etc. etc. should all be discarded before you enter.
The staff is extremely friendly, including the gentleman at the door. I liked the fact that they recommend stuff, rather than routinely take one’s order down.

Move over all you Udipi-style restaurants. The food is out of the world, and since I was brought up in Chennai, you can definitely take my word for it. This is probably the only place in Mumbai which serves authentic mulagapodi (commonly referred to as gun powder by most North Indians). We had a Raagi Rava Dosa, which makes it a tad healthier than the regular version made out of maida. The servings are not big, but enough to fill a normal appetite as most of the items are made with ghee.

We skipped desert, but ended the meal with lovely filter coffee, excessively sweet, but heavenly. Aaah!

The bill for four of us was Rs. 255/- and the following was what we had:

· 1 plate upma
· 1 plate rasam vada
· 3 rava dosas (one of them ragi)
· 2 ghee dosas
· 1 ginger lemon cooler & soft drink
· 2 filter coffees.

Only drawbacks:
· You guessed it, the waaaaait…
· The parking, our vehicle was at the other end of the world. If in a group, its best that atleast one gets off to get their name on the list, while the rest look for parking.

Overall the experience, as a true Chennai’ite would say, voray soopera!

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