Had a nasty break-up recently? Girlfriend cheated on you with your best friend? Looking for revenge? Don’t. Instead, eat your way back into a good mood. After all, if food be the music of the soul, it should put that cadenza back into your heart.
Here’s where I go seeking succour for my bruised heart:
This railway-compartment-style café ensconced nicely in the uber artistic environs of the Jehangir Art Gallery, is the place to go when you want to mull over the unfairness of life. What you should do just prior to eating at Samovar is to walk into any of the art exhibitions that are always on at the gallery (it’s booked till 2010 or something, fyi), nod sagely at the works of art and smile at any cute tie-dyed, artsy-type women that you may find standing next to you.
Once you’re done with nodding and smiling, pop into Samovar, order a beer, aloo parathas, dahi (curd) and pickle. If aloo parathas are not your thing, then feel free to plunder the menu. It’s full of terrific, unpretentious home-style food that you can wolf while your tired eyes are soothed by the sights of above-mentioned artsy cuties and the lovely lawn view. And, oh, it’s very, very easy on your wallet, so much so that it embarrasses me to mention prices.
Again at Kala Ghoda, Trishna hasn’t been called India’s best seafood restaurant for nothing. The eclectic décor can be described as Udipi Modern with incredibly small sofas. But who cares? Order a drink first, while you contemplate deep questions such as, “If pink is the new black, is single the new married?” Then order yourself a tandoori pomfret (medium size, always) and that insanely sinful, artery clogger, the butter garlic crab. If you’re the show-offy type, ask for a whole crab and break open with your bare teeth. If you’re not a typical shellfish man, then ask for it deshelled. Either way, you’ll have a food experience that’s better than sex. Unless, of course, you plan on having sex while eating butter garlic crab.
This one tops the list. The place you take that hottie model you’re dating on the rebound. Trust me, all women have to say, “I loooooove South Indian food, especially spicy rasam, I love drinking it”. You, of course, know that true blue South Indians never drink rasam, it’s meant to be eaten with rice. So while you snigger at said hottie’s charming naiveté, take her to the redoubtable Rama Nayak’s restaurant. It’s right next to Matunga Station, plus there’s paid parking outside. It’s 65 bucks for an unlimited meal and best of all, you don’t have to bother with menus, ordering or indecisiveness.
Simply sit alongside on the school-bench-style tables and wait for the banana leaf to be spread before you. Then watch as they deposit an array of excellent veggies and curries on your leaf. Roll up sleeves and dig in. And please don’t be super uncool and ask for a spoon. South Indian food is to be eaten with naked digital extremities.
Suresh Venkat is an executive producer at CNBC-TV18 in Mumbai. Email your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org