Bhojori Manna: The Soulful Bengali joint.
Bhojori Manna : Another Bengali restaurant in the ever full Oshiwara area of Andheri, this place is nestled in the by lane of the popular Uduppi restaurant Shreeji’s and getting there is quite a b**ch, because by the time the lane ends, there is absolutely no space to take your rickshaw. We recommend you stop outside the lane and walk instead, it is just a 100 mt walk.
The Chef: This Foodie na, has some love for regional food, be it Parsi, Bengali or even Goan!! She wants to try all of it even though to me, it all tastes the same. She took me to Bhojori Manna on the pretext that she was craving “Bengali” food. It was a hot summer afternoon, and luckily when we went there, there was a table available in the A/C section, and trust me, in this weather we thanked the Lord !!!! In 20 minutes, this place was packed with Bongs, White people, office goers and everyone else. Seemed like quite a famous place for fast, not so cheap Bengali food.
Like the Kolkatta Club, this place also had nice soft music in the background, there were old pictures of Calcutta, during the British Raj and what not, beautiful paintings of Gods and Goddesses, so overall the decor was pretty good. The menus were presented to us very fast (Yeah I used the term FAST for a BENGALI joint!!!!!) and holy sh*t what the f**k was mentioned on it, we still don’t know!!!! It was written in English, but the sh*t was just not pronounceable, you need a bong to help you out with this menu!!! There were so many items, so many ” / ” (separations) I just handed the menu over to the Foodie and here is what she ordered — The Bekti Rongpuri fry, The Dhakai Chicken Biryani, The Kosha Mangsho, Steamed rice, Dhonepata Chicken, Bekti Paturi and Chingri Malai curry. Yea at first glance it seems like this is toooo much, but the portion sizes are just right for the amount one pays for them.
The fish fry came to the table fast, with what has to be the best mustard dip (had to be the Kasundi!!) ever. The fish itself was covered in a batter of the mustard dip, bread crumbs and deep fried. Single piece, single bone that’s what made this dish impressive. Generally too many bones just ruins the whole dish (contrary to the fact that bony fish taste like the bomb and the bongs love it!!) What followed was a table buffet service, SOO MUCH FOOOOD!!!!!!!! The biryani came with the Kosha Mangsho (mutton curry) and dhonepata chicken. Two very contrasting gravies in taste, color and textures. While the Kosha was in a sweet and mildly spiced onion gravy, the chicken was in a smooth nut based and coriander sauce. Both were on the bone (as they should be) and were perfect in portion sizes for the two of us. The Bekti paturi which was just one small steak of fish smothered in strong mustard marination and hidden somewhere in the marination was nice piece of green chili. All of this was wrapped in a banana leaf and served to us hot from the steamer. Good dish, really small portion though.
Like every other Bengali joint, the Biryani, did not have a lot of masala (like the Biryani from Hyderabad) but the rice itself was flavorful with kevda water. There was one piece of boiled potato, one boiled egg and one piece of chicken. This seems somewhat of a standard portion in all bong joints (Saw what I did here??) The above rice went well with all the gravies we called for. In the middle of eating this massive meal, our Malai Chingri comes, and OH MY GOD did it have a crazy presentation. A massive piece of prawn (chingri) which sat comfortably in a whole coconut, which had one of the most delicate coconut based sauce ever. Really mild in flavor. We had to call for steamed rice just so that we could enjoy the sauce. This entire meal was described to you’ll as if it was a big buffet spread, but we realized that we weren’t THAT full also!!! Although we both thought a good nap would do us good, instead we both went our way to work.
Bhojori Manna, it’s a place where you can eat authentic bong food, without paying a hefty bill. The portion sizes are just right and the fried fish was the best part of my meal.
The Foodie: Don’t know how many know this, but the place is named after an old bengali song by Manna De from the 70’s. I have been wanting to explore Bengali food since the time someone invited my family over for dinner and we were made to taste some delicious Bengali mustard steam fish along with prawn curry and rice. The Chef usually finds my obsession with regional food quite amusing, but then they call me a foodie for a reason. MUST TRY EVERYTHING!
The reason why I picked Bhojori Manna is because my news feed is quite flooded with check ins, status updates about this place and because it has been awarded as the best Bengali restaurant by names like Radio City, Times City and many more. This place has branches all over the country along with some fake ones which they have specifically mentioned on their website, have nothing to do with. So our loyalties must lie with this place, I guess.
Bhojori Manna has a large menu and all of it is written in Bengali. So its best to ask the staff for assistance. They are mainly known for their non vegetarian food but the vegetarians should not feel bad and should look out for their Baigan Bhaja, Panch Meshali Chorchori (mixed vegetables), Jackfruit and Potato, and chholar dal that goes well with Luchis. Visitors also recommend the date and tomato chutney to go with your food, from the large variety of chutneys the place has to offer! Bhojori also serves Machor Ghonto which is a unique dish prepared from banana flower!
I have to add though that their steam fish was a lot saltier than the home made one I had tried for the first time. I thought about it a lot and realized that the fish here didn’t have coconut in their paste and I definitely prefer the homemade one to this. More than the food Bhojori is known for their desserts. Their Noren Gurer Ice cream (jaggery ice cream) is very popular with the regulars although subject to availability.
From the starters their Nargisi Chop is a popular one. A preparation that includes a boiled egg royally coated with mince. What I love about Bhojori is their love for chillies! I absolutely love how they present it with their food.
Bhojori is into catering and takes pride in their Dekchi Supply system where they can serve Biryani from 30 to 99 heads at a reasonable price
Quite a convenient option for people who want to organise a party where the food is taken care and the price doesn’t pinch. So if you’re a Bengali and missing that mutton curry from back home and the prawns that make your heart hurt, don’t worry Bhojori manna is here to your rescue!