The South Mumbai breakfast hop #GoGustoRides

Go Gusto ride in HT 17/3/15
Click here for a video on what happened in the ride.

After doing food walks for a while I tried something completely different last Sunday.

This was a breakfast hop where we crisscrossed across South Mumbai on scooters stopping for bites on the way.

I was quite tickled when I was approached to host this activity for Mahindra Scooters. Mahindra was one of my main clients during my market research days. I quite enjoyed working with them then as they encouraged you to do some pretty innovative work. It seemed that life had come to a full circle with my now coming on board as a brand ambassador for a brand I had once researched.

The only hitch was that having been raised by an over-protective Bengali mother (is there any other kind?) , I don’t know how to ride a cycle,  let alone a scooter or a bike! Mom deemed two wheelers too unsafe for me and even frowns on my driving a car!

The problem was sorted as my co-host for the breakfast hop was Amrita Rana, a Punjaban, who is an adept scooterist apart from being an enthusiastic food blogger (here’s her blog), bacon jam maker, YouTube video host and cooking class instructor. This bundle of energy was to be my ride and she made sure to drive me at a pace safe enough for even my mother to approve.

With Amrita Rana at the start of the ride


We spent a couple of planning sessions at Candies along with the team from Flying Cursor, the agency who was working with Mahindra on the event, where we planned the route map.

Planning and eating meets at Candies


A contest followed to select the walk participants and the event trended on twitter.

Finally Sunday arrived and I woke up at an ungodly hour to make it to Marine Drive near the Mahindra Dealership by 7.30 am.

As I saw the beautiful sea opposite us and met the enthusiastic participants for the ride my sleepiness disappeared and I was primed up for the ride.

A cheerful start to the ride


Thankfully it wasn’t too sunny as we had an early start. The Mahindra Gusto scooter was quite stable and Amrita drove very smoothly. The seat is pretty long and we sat very comfortably as our posse of 5 scooters took off.

I really enjoyed taking in the beauty of South Mumbai from the majestic Queen’s Necklace sea-face to the sunny art deco architecture of Churchgate and the more august and Victorian buildings of Colaba s we rode down the roads on our Mahindra Gustos. 

Mumbai never looked so pretty.

The Go Gusto cavalcade


Now to the million dollar question, what did we have for breakfast?

The menu that we chose was reflective of the diverse heritage of Mumbai and we stopped at some classic South Mumbai breakfast places in the ride.

Our first stop was Olympia café at Colaba where we had kheema pao (spicy minced meat curry with bread) and Irani chai. There was a mixed vegetable dish for vegetarians. Olympia is representative of the many Muslim owned eateries dishing out Mughlai fare in old Mumbai and popular among Colaba old timers. It opend early and is packed for breakfast.

The first breakfast stop at Olympia

Kheema pao at Olympia


We then went to the Tea Centre in Churchgate to get a feel of the lost world of the clubs of the British Raj. Here we had dense scones with clotted cream and jam and muffins and relived our Enid Blyton memories. We tried out a variety of hot teas and iced teas too.

Scones and muffins at the Tea Centre


We then drove down Marine Drive, taking in the sea breeze, and reached Café Ideal. You cannot come to South Mumbai to eat and not go to a Parsi place. In keeping with the vegetarian code followed by restaurants in Marine Drive, Café Ideal is a rare vegetarian Parsi joint. They serve eggs though and open early enough for breakfast. So we finished our breakfast ride with spicy and creamy Parsi scrambled eggs, akoori, and sali par eedu (eggs fried with matchstick potatoes).

Akoori and sali per eedu at Ideal Cafe


It was time to say goodbye and I realized that riding on the Gusto turned out to be a wonderful new way of seeing the city which I really enjoyed.

Life after all is all about new experiences and this was a pretty good one.

Heading to South Mumbai on a Sunday morning with its empty roads is a sure-shot way of falling in love with the city again.

At the end of a great morning


This is a sponsored post.


You can click here to see Amrita’s post on the ride
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