Lolita Sarkar is among the first from the army of home chef entrepreneurs in Mumbai to set up her own hot dog and burger place on a hip little spot opposite the big-name chain Salt Water Café in Bandra West. Her well-priced menu is complemented by friendly service, some of the best meat sausages and patties in the city and a wide range of condiments, made fresh from scratch.

The good stuff

Former advertising film director Sarkar and her husband Amitabh Sinha shut down their production house Bob & Lola Entertainment Pvt. Ltd to set up Desi Deli in just under four months after trial runs at popular food events like The Bombay Local and The Lil Flea.

We arrived at Desi Deli for a late Monday night dinner and our table was serviced by Sarkar herself. Upon her insistence, we first sampled the melt-in-the-mouth Lush Lamb Burg ( 325). The medium-sized burger (the same size as a McDonald’s burger) comes with a juicy patty, which goes well with the slice of fresh cheddar, grilled green apples and a spicy Laal mayo. The Lush Lamb didn’t require any extra condiments because the kitchen was careful and precise with its assembly and balance of the sweet, sour, salty and spicy elements.

The Venetian Desi Dog ( 275), accidentally served with a bacon-wrapped pork sausage to a vegetarian diner, is Italian inspired. It was decorated with tomatoes, fried onions and freshly made mostarda di frutta, a mustard-flavoured syrup made with candied fruit. Next came The Texan Desi Dog ( 325) with the same juicy sausage, topped with a Chili Con Keema, chilli salt, sour cream and two soft-boiled quail eggs. In between the two hot dogs, we also sampled the vegetarian version of the Ghugni Souk ( 250)—fiery ragda-like white pea curry on a bed of warm couscous topped with chopped red onions and a lime wedge.

The Trucker Tycoon ( 200) is a perfectly toasted and buttered tawa toast with an oozy chocolate and mascarpone filling. The other desserts include Modak Redux ( 225), the Jello Payasam ( 190) and Begum in Crepe ( 225) with an apricot compote stuffing.

The not-so-good

Like most other eateries in the neighbourhood, Desi Deli sits in a cramped spot on an extremely busy road parallel to Mumbai’s Bandra Reclamation. The seating isn’t comfortable. Since the restaurant is just over a week old, the kitchen runs out of essentials like dublaa-patlaa fries and hot dog bread rolls. It might be a good idea to call ahead and make sure the hot dog or burger of your desire is in stock.

Talk plastic

Desi Deli possibly offers the most value for money in the same category of cafés and casual eateries in the locality. We paid 1,274 for two hot dogs, a lamb burger, an entrée, a dessert and two cool drinks.

Desi Deli, Pearl Haven Building, opposite Salt Water Café, Chapel Road Junction, Bandra (West). For details, call 022-26408333 or 86555-55576.

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