Posts Tagged ‘restaurants in mumbai


Vegan Food in Mumbai: Pizza Roundup 2016

As if it isn’t shameful enough that Mumbai has zero exclusively vegan restaurants, its fancy eateries are embarrassing the city with mostly insipid fare that has been disappointing all the vegans. I’m a busy man who works six days a week, has cats to look after, bands that make music, and idiots to argue with on Facebook, so when I visit restaurants (that don’t even serve alcohol) three suburbs away for meals that aren’t cheap, it better be worth my time.


I ate my first vegan pizza at The Village Shop a year and a half after going vegan, and their Vegan Warmer (450/-) wasn’t too bad, but it didn’t make me want to eat it again. I had the best pizzas as a non-vegan at Alfredo’s, and The Village Shop‘s pizza didn’t do much for me.

However, I would go back for their Shiitake Falafel (a really good mushroom burger, 425/-) and The Nutwich (walnut pesto sandwich, 395/-).

veganpizzabirdsongThe Birdsong Cafe uses cashew cheese too, but is extremely stingy with it. Their Bird Song Marguerite (tomatoes and vegan cheese, 385/-) would have been really something had it been loaded with the cheese. Even those who’ve had the Farmer’s Pizza (it has a lot more toppings) have observed that The Birdsong Cafe is terribly miserly with the stuff that everybody wants more of on their pizzas. But the biggest disappointment was their Almond Pesto Pasta, a dish so bland that I had to leave it midway. When you’re paying five hundred rupees for a pasta, the restaurant should have some vegan cream or vegan butter or vegan whatever the fucking dish needs, yeah? I won’t be going back to The Birdsong Cafe even though their vegan cold coffee is the bomb.

rayspizzeriamenuWhen it comes to being lethargic, Ray’s Pizzeria and Cafe takes the fucking shit-cake. It is fucking understood by anyone who has ever eaten a slice of pizza that a pizza without cheese is like bhelpuri without chutney, but Ray’s Pizzeria has the fucking nerve to say things like “It is said that cheese is one of the 12,733,028 pizza toppings, so try our cheese-less pizzas.” And all their vegan pizzas are cheese-less, because these lazy pieces of shit want your money and want to seem cool by having “vegan options” on the menu but don’t want to make an effort to give you vegan cheese. Would Ray’s Pizzeria and Cafe have the shit in their ass to convince non-vegans that they don’t need cheese to enjoy a pizza? Because it’s easier and cheaper to steal milk from cows and buffaloes that have been tied to a spot, forcefully impregnated, injected with hormones, separated from their children, and will eventually become another topping on their fucked-up pizzas, right?

So now here’s what any restaurant that wants to offer the vegans a pizza should do:

  1. Make it cheesy. Have more than one vegan cheese on the menu. Buy local vegan cheese. Import vegan cheese. Make your own vegan cheese. Vegans don’t care how you do it – if you’re making them pay through their asses, you should be able to pull something out of your hat.
  2.  Veggie toppings are great, but have mock-meat toppings as well – most of us went vegan not because we stopped enjoying the taste or texture of meat but because we didn’t want to continue funding the meat and dairy industries. This will also make vegans drag their meat-loving friends to try your cruelty-free food and switch to healthier eating habits.
  3. Read the two points above carefully. Vegans want their pizzas and food in general to be exciting enough to make everybody else to know that they’re missing out on a lot of good food and a much better way to live. So make sure there’s enough cheese and proper toppings because the taste is not going to come from your ass.

Hit List: Indian Musicians You Didn’t Now Were Vegan

Vegan Food Review: Every Non-Vegan Restaurant

Vegan Food Review: The Calcutta Club

Vegan Recipe: Tameta Nu Shaak


Restaurant Review: Purepur Kolhapur

Purepur Kolhapur is a restaurant chain spreading across big cities in India, and a very good one restaurant chain it is! Serving only authentic Kolhapuri cuisine, albeit toned down because certain cities can’t handle hot spices, Purepur Kolhapur’s taats (thalis) are to die for.

The place is spic and span, and the service is terrific. Recommendations will come your way with a smile, and you’ll be spoken to in Marathi until you let them know you don’t understand the language. Then they’ll speak to you in Hindi or English, but not without a Marathi twang.


You can get their vegetarian/mutton/chicken/fish taat at any time of the week, but on Wednesday-Friday-Sunday they’ll suggest you go for the special fish thali, and you can opt for either pomfret or surmai. The fish comes to you swimming in the curry next to a fried fish and zavla (fish/prawns sukka), and you’ll get delicious sol kadi (one of the best non-alcoholic drinks in the world) and onions dipped in dahi, accompanied by teekhla (inferior fish in thick red gravy). Always go for chappatis with fish curries; bhakris are meant to be had with the chicken and mutton taats. The pulao which comes later is good enough to have without the curry, and it is topped with cooked masaledaar onions. How’s taat!


Kharda is smashed green chilly and chopped garlic fried very lightly. Even this is toned down; it seems Mumbai cannot take kharda the way it’s meant to be. The mutton pickle at Purepur Kolhapur is another thing people come for; they buy it by the kilo and sip on the creamy tak (buttermilk) while they wait.

On Sundays and only on Sundays, Purepur Kolhapur serves their Gavran Kombdi taat. Sure, their mutton taat is the most popular thali there, but this country chicken meal is what you must have if you find yourself at Purepur Kolhapur on a Sunday. With a rather fancy looking egg on one side, and the vatis of the tame pandhra rassa and wild tambda rassa being refilled as soon as you drink them, the desi murgha is doomed to be munched on by you. Offensive fowl, I say!

I say you should go to Purepur Kolhapur, and taat is taat.


Restaurant Review: KongPoush

An antique jug appears so that you can wash your hands in the traditional way before you read the menu as you would a most interesting book. Whether you choose to sit in a shikara or at a table, views of the Dal Lake stare at you from the walls, along with other pieces of cloth and wood, all unmistakably Kashmiri. You are left alone to browse through the menu; it is understood that you will take time to decide what you want as you learn that lamb is the most popular meat in Kashmir, and the difference in the eating preferences between Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims.

That the famous potato preparation is dum oluv, and not dum aloo as it has been conveniently bastardized, is another revelation as you understand how each dish is cooked and the ingredients that are used and not used in authentic Kashmiri food. KongPoush (‘Saffron Flower’) also has thaals, if you are too curious and want to try many things all at once, and there is a thaal for the pandit and a thaal for the wazwaan (the muslim), and a thaal that is served when the bridegroom visits his in-laws’ home the first time after the wedding, and a thaal for…

The gravies are thin and aromatic, as is the rice – but the flavours this cuisine offers is but one part of this experience, for the senses are being treated to the sound of the water from the fountain and the instrumental music, and words are exchanged very softly, if at all, and the tash-t-nari reappears, this time before you ask for kahwa, and you wish the elaborate meals here would last even longer because there can never be enough time spent in a place of tranquility.


Restaurant Review: Papa Pancho Da Dhaba

You may be forgiven for thinking you’re in for a good time when you walk into Papa Pancho Da Dhaba, for the décor is fantastic. We walk into the original one at Pali Naka, Bandra because we’re tired of waiting for a table at Jai Hind Lunch Home and one of the chicks wants to pee. Too much information. The ‘dhaba’ setting at Papa Pancho Da Dhaba is perfect, it looks like a very colourful dhaba. A glass of buttermilk at Papa Pancho Da Dhaba costs 80 bucks. The other lady asks for Lassi (85/-) which comes in a huge glass and tastes exactly like Aarey Lassi, which is a good thing, except Aarey’s Lassi is ten times cheaper.

I have a glass of water and decide on Bhuna Gosht and Mutton Biryani. The Bhuna Gosht comes in a brass thali (I’m a sucker for such things) with dahi, two parathas and kali dal. The mutton is succulent and the dahi is perfect, but it isn’t worth 250 rupees. The black dal isn’t very good, either.

The Mutton Biryani comes with kachoombar and papad, but isn’t worth 225 bucks. I’d be happy if the biryani was bursting with flavour, but it’s not. I’m not even going to bother with any vegetarian food here; the prices are making me laugh. Everything here is overpriced, and if Papa Pancho Da Dhaba can’t impress me with a dal, a mutton gravy, or a rice dish, I don’t have any reason to waste more money trying other stuff here. Next!

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