Head to Fort to get a flavour of Mumbai's Make In India restaurant heritage

                                         The Fort Food Walk video
 
It's the Make In India week in Mumbai right now and it's quite a coincidence that I am sharing my video from the Fort Food Walk on the The Finely Chopped on YouTube today.
 
I had gone to Fort in South Mumbai to shoot a video at the Khao Gulley last week only to find that the food street is temporarily shut there. Which is when I decided to recreate the trail of my food walks in Fort for the channel.
 
What I love about the food in Fort is the diversity there with great fare being dished by owners who have come to Mumbai from all parts of India and have made the city their home.
 
The food is honest, consistently tasty, never given me a stomach bug and is easy on the wallet.
 
Most of the places here are no frills places, most are non-airconditoned and you have to share a table with strangers. The joints are packed with regulars and yet are not often the most talked about of restaurants in Mumbai when it comes to the food media.
 
Fort, the former central business district of Mumbai, is where you should go to celebrate the spirit of 'make in India' when it comes to food in my opinion.
 
You have got food from all parts of India here. The restaurants here have fed homesick folks from all over India who have come to Mumbai to make their fortune.
 
You have Yazdani Bakery run by an Irani family who came to Mumbai from Yezd in Iran. Their story is an example of how India, over the centuries, has welcomed those who have come to her shores. A spirit Mumbai has emulated over the past few centuries. You can get Tirandaz Irani or his father Rashid Irani or his uncle Zend Irani to tell you their story over chai and bun maska.
 
You have Moti Halwai whose founder, a Punjabi Hindu, came to Mumbai from Karachi in the 1950s seeking to start life all over again after losing everything during the partition. You must have the lassi here. The current owner, Mr Sehgal, tells me that in the glory days of Fort, people would eat here 26 days a month. Now that Fort is not longer the CBD only lawyers come. Yet the unsung Moti Halwai is packed during lunch.
 
You have a host of Mangalorean restaurants and my favourite is the family run Apoorva. The current owner, Mr Chandra's ancestors had come to Mumbai from Mangalore. I love the prawn gassi with neer dosa here.
 
Or you can go to Deluxe for some Keralite Onam sadya food and karimeen fry. The owner, My Naseer's father had come to Mumbai from Calicut.
 
While Apoorva is famous for seafood, just as Mahesh is, they both serve Mangalorean fare. Go to Pradeep Goamantak for an inexpensive Malvani or Gomantak seafood thali. Incidentally the 'local' Malvani fare too has been imported to Mumbai from coastal Maharashtra.
 
Apoorva and Deluxe taught me that there is more to South Indian food than idli and dosa but for some lovely sada, rava and ulundu dosa head to Swagat near Strand book store for the Udipi versions of these.
 
When it comes to Parsi food, everyone talks of Britannia. My favourite Parsi food joints in Mumbai - Ideal Corner, Military and Jimmy Boy - are at Fort. Pervez Irani converted his motorcycle repair shop 30 years back to open Ideal Corner as a Parsi restaurant and now it is open at night too and on Sundays as well. Mondays are shut. And you get the top 10 classic Parsi dishes (his list) through the week now. Good to see the smiling Pervez change with the times and make his restaurant more user friendly.
 
Once you have had your fill, then head to Vidya Dairy for some freshly fried jalebi.
 
Hope you like the video and hope this inspires you to go to Fort to try out the food there.
 
I am sure you will smile there just as I always do. 
 
Having a ball during the shoot
 
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