HRH the Queen of Kutch is, naturally, a member of Mumbai’s most prestigious club - the MCA Recreation Centre - at Bandra Kurla Complex. This is a spanking new club, and, its development is staggering. I, a commoner, am a member of the ironically named Royal Bombay Yacht Club, one of Mumbai’s oldest. If a school teacher wishes to explain to her students by bringing to life the meaning of words such as decrepit, run down, worn out, dusty and so on she should take them to the Royal Bombay Yacht Club. But, I meander.
The MCA Recreation Centre sent out a flyer, by email naturally, announcing the start of a Maharashtrian buffet for lunch and dinner. We thought why not give it a shot and went there for lunch. This was a moment of serendipity.
The dining room was rather oddly done up, empty, and a buffet was laid out. Before taking the plunge we thought, like all good Indians, that we should walk up to the buffet table, rudely open every chafing dish, look inside, pass comments and shut it before moving to do exactly the same to the next chafing dish. Once we had peered inside every dish we had a small discussion on whether the `spread’ was good enough, and deeming it so, walked to sit at a table.
Let me cut to the chase; it was excellent, top class and superb value.
On offer was:
Rawas Curry [Coconut based gravy]
Chicken Masala [Coconut based gravy]
Chowli Bhaji – String beans
Suran Channa Masala [Coconut based gravy with Elephant Yam]
Channa Masala [Coconut based gravy with brown Channa]
Palak Paneer [I don't know how this was Maharashtrian]
You got Vade, Chapatti and Rice Bhakri served at your table to accompany the food.
You also had a Soup, a selection of salads and a multitude of deserts generally made with gelatin/china grass, kheer, rabdi et al. One unusual desert on offer was `Kharvas’. This is the first milk of a cow that has just given birth. The milk is enriched with Nutmeg and other spices and served as a sort of cheesecake. Except for the Kharvas all the other desserts on offer are a complete waste of time, stomach space and calories. Don’t bother.
This was priced at Rs 350/- (yes, your read right, Rupees there hundred and fifty) plus taxes which came to a grand total of Rs. 405/-.
There were 4 Coconut based gravy dishes, I am happy to tell you all tasted different and the coconut was very finely ground which takes some effort. The Prawns were absolutely delicious in a thick onion, tomato mixture/sauce with bits of Kokum. The Halwa was coated in a crisp batter and fried.
The food compared very well with what we eat at Saayba, may be not as robust but very good all the same. We were absolutely thrilled to bits. Getting Maharashtrian food, so unabashedly non vegetarian, is such a pleasure. I am not saying this because of any jingoistic or chauvinistic feelings, but simply that Maharashtrian food is just so rare in Mumbai. The wait staff is very friendly and were so happy that we liked the food that they beamed beatifically all thru.
You really should go for a meal. I suggest you first go to the bar, have a few beers or whatever else you fancy and then saunter across to the restaurant. It’s really well worth it.
Al last something new that is not only up to the mark but surpasses it.
Sorry no photos. I did not carry the camera.