Cheap Eats 1.0 — MAHIM
Mahim, which was one of the original 7 islands that made Bombay is known for its St. Michael Church – thus a good Christian population, known for its Makhdoom Ali Mahimi dargah and a vast majority of Muslims from Gujurat – thus a great deal of Mughlai based restaurants and Sindhis – thus a great place for an early morning breakfast. But who knew Mahim nestled some of the best places for South Indian/Sea food/ Goan food in Mumbai. This is our cheap eats edition 1.0 — MAHIM
The Chef: Ever since the Foodie got a new job in Parel, she’s been telling me to come here and try the food in all the small joints that her colleagues have suggested. Being close friends with a lot of South Indian people, the Foodie found out about places to eat in Mahim which serve the cuisine we love the most – Kerela Food!!!! The places visited were – Sneha (Kerela), Madina Cafe (Muslim Kerela) and Sushegad (Goan). The best way to find out where these places are, is to get off at Mahim station and tell the cabbie, Paradise Cinema. The above three are bang opposite the cinema, and the best f*****g part is that they are all in one line, one after the other!!!!!!!!!!! We walked by all the three restaurants, seeing how full or empty they were, and this is at 6.30 in the evening. Sushegad opens post 7.30, Sneha shuts by 9.30 only Madina remains open all throughout the day!! So we decided to go to Sneha first, then Madina and end at Sushegad (also known as Gomantak)
Sneha: Simple looking restaurant, with its kitchen right opposite the entrance, and a bunch of bananas just hanging in the middle of the restaurant (Which we later realized is very common. F***!!!) The restaurant has 2 sections, the other is operational only when it gets fuller. Seeing the menu, we just knew what had to ordered — Beef Chili Fry, Prawn Masala, Chicken Sukka, Kerela Parota and what according to m e was the best fillet of Surmai fry (Trust me I’ve eaten a lot of fish)
THE BEEEEF FRYYY!!!!!! Oh my god!!!!!! it was divineeeeee, went really well with the Parota and frankly speaking that at times the parota was not even needed. Bite sized chunks of meat tossed in beautiful spices, MUST TRY AND MUST HAVE!!!!! The Chicken sukka, very different from other sukkas I’ve eaten, seemed fried with very simple and subtle spices and yes chicken on the bone!!!! Now coming to the Surmaiiiiiiiii !!! well you can see what the beef did to me, wait till you hear about the surmai.
IT WAS THE FRESHEST, CRIPSIEST (Crispy), FIRMEST piece of fish I have ever had. I could do naughty things with this piece of fish, but had to control because the f*****g bunch of bananas that were hanging of the ceiling were just staring at me. The prawn masala had noooo chance in front of that fish, its flavours were lost, became unnoticed of sorts (no hard feeling prawnie, you died a good death!!) Great start to the evening must say, but this was just the beginning of our food filled evening.
P.S. all of the above with a Pepsi and a water bottle costed us only 550 rupees!!!!!!
Value for money: 5
Decor: 3 (just for the hanging bananas)
Madina Cafe: Just a few shops ahead of Sneha is this bright restaurant, bustling with customers at all times of the day, this is Madina Cafe, the world of Muslim style Kerala food.
The Chef: My uncle used to stay in Mahim and I have seen this place a lot of times, it was even recommended by my Fajheree (Austin Power style a.k.a Father, pop, daddy, deddy.) Finally after our massive meal at Sneha, which was wiped clean,we walked a little before heading to Madina, to digest all that food we ate 😀 !!! Madina Cafe has its menu all over the place, at the entrance, the walls, the ceiling and yes the bananas were hanging here too!!! Not to overeat and put our stomachs through any pain, we read the menu fast and called for – Mutton Masala, Chicken Biryani (Kerala style) Parota (Because what Kerala meal is complete without this) and filter coffee.
The Chicken Biryani, with its heaped rice and masala chicken under it was very different (as it was kerela style but looked more like irani biryani according to The Foodie) had a very unique flavor with hints of mint in the masala. There was no need for any raita or gravy to eat this biryani. The mutton masala, a very Konkani/ Malwani prep of the mutton. The mutton did have its MiM (Melt in Mouth) quality, was spicy as hell and good amount of grated coconut was in the gravy. The Parota did help to recude its spiciness, but did not help that much. The parota also was not as flaky and soft as the ones served at Sneha.
The winner for us was the filter coffee. Never had a filter coffee before but if this is how it is supposed to taste then I’m a sucker for this coffee. Good amount of milk and sugar (just like how I like me coffee) and was served piping hot. It helped all the food go down really well. We did not try any of the seafood here, but will definitely go back to taste that as well. Madina Cafe is good, fast and cheap on the pocket, but will prefer Sneha over it any day.
The above items just costed us 180 rupees!
Value for Money: 5
Decor : 3 (Again, them bananas)
Sushegad: This is placed between the above two, it is opened during the afternoon and post 7.30 pm. Run by a cute elderly couple Sushegad or Gomantak as it is also called serves home- style Goan food without the fancy decor or air conditioned seating. Feeling stuffed as F**K, we just decided to pack the following- Chicken Xacuti, Prawns Vindaloo and Mutton Rechado. To our’s and our readers’ disappointment, we could not taste any of the above dishes as I gave it away to my sister and her Director (Fancy schmancy ) who were starving after a long day’s shoot. From what I hear, they wiped clean all the dishes in less than 10 mins. Food quality was good, nice home style food nothing too fancy. All this just costed us 550 rupees!!!!
Food – 3.5
Value for money – 4