BOMBAY – 2
<<You forgot to mention the paya at Irani restaurant on Warli Naka was quite famous, I would also like to mention Purohits on Churchgate for vegeterians, and what about the sizzler, I forget the name of the restuarant, it was in this cinema complex. In DAR the famous Kachori at Dar-es-salaam hotel, and mishkaki, the name of the restuarnt escapes me but it was adjecent to Azania cinema.>>
Purohit was the cynosure of Churchgate on those Sunday evenings. The Gujarati socialites patronized it and flocked there. It was a sort of fashion parade as you could see the socialites in their latest mode. The waiters dressed in red served in silver utensils, a 'shahi' treatment indeed.
Churchgate abounded in colleges, hostels, cafes, bistros, posh restaurants and five star hotels. It was exotic with its Berrys, Bombaylis, Gourdon, Gaylord, Talk of the Town, Venice, Napoli, Kamling and of course Purohit. There were the Irani restaurants too like Stadium and Asiatic where we would read those evening papers, munch khara biscuits and sip tea. Also at midnight the students through their nightly studying spree would gather there for a cup of tea. During weekends Napoli with its espresso and juke box became the popular joint for students.
On Sundays after receiving feelers we would select one particular restaurant and rush there. Bombay had innumerable restaurants and some of the names are bound to elude. Besides the list that i'd provided, there was also Khayber at Kala Goda and Kitkat near Metro Cinema. Certain restaurants at Dadar and Matunga were very good and had a taste of their own.
You'd mentioned 'paubhaji' at Andheri. That reminds me of going all the way to 'Hanjar' for the last show of the newly released 'Jewel Thief'. It was past midnight when we returned but not before a taste of 'paubhaji' at Jogeshvari station.
The distinctive aspect of Bombay was its Chinese restaurants. Colaba was renowned for it. It boasted of Alibaba, Mandarin, Golden Dragon etc. Once you'd tried and acquired its taste, you felt eating it every now and then. A colleague who later used to frequent South East Asia opined that amongst the lot Bombay's was the best Chinese food.
By the way, are you from Daressalaam? 'Azania' remains no more. Its name was changed to 'Cameo' and later demolished. Today in its place stands an eight storied building. The adjacent restaurant that you are talking about must be 'Royal' which is still there but run by some Arabs (now even Royal is demolished and in its place a new structure being developed). In fact along there on Jamhuri Street a number of barbecue restaurants have sprung up. Daressalaam Hotel was closed long back. Indeed kachori formed its specialty and in particular its 'sambharo', it was exceptionally good.
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