My days of house arrest are coming to an end. Managed a breakfast at Candies, a cash withdrawal and a credit card payment this morning without any major mishap. Dutifully driven around of course by The Great Salami (with apologies to S Majumdar). Just the time to write a post about a walk. Don't worry. A fifty feet 'walk' which will leave you stuffed at the end.
I still remember my first visit to Carter Road in 1997. I saw off my batch mates at work who were returning to Calcutta after our training. I had to stay back for a longer training stint. I was despondent and didn't want to return to my P G at Bandra talao. I hopped into an auto and told the driver to take me to wherever one could find the sea at Bandra. He took me to Carter Road.
I was a bit puzzled when I got off. A dusty road. Craggy rocks. Filth. Parked cars with dark windows rolled up. Shaking at times. A wrecked ship stuck in the distance. A grey stretch of placid water. Shrubs. Plastic bags. Rags. Human waste.
Was this the famous Bandra seaside? Had the auto guy got me to the right place?
Carter Road and, its sister, Bandstand, have flowered since then. They have both been converted into pretty promenades. They are rocky shores and not 'beaches'. Both make for pleasant walks, outings and, of course, eats.
Carter Road has something popularly referred to as the 'Khao Gully' at the far end. 'Khao gullies' in India, literally 'food streets', are places for local fare, normally inexpensive, often situated at office areas.
The Carter Road K G is more typical of the intoxicating cocktail that is Bandra. It has got a fair mix of cuisines and price ranges. Always buzzing. The crowd reaches a crescendo in the evening. A lively and colourful hot spot.
The most famous food landmark there would be Cafe Coffee Day. The outlet has featured in films such as Salaam e Ishq and even in the Delhi based (!) courtship song in Qurban.
Adding to the glamour quotient is Crepe Station owned by the Moreo Brothers. It started as a concept restaurant serving crepes. It has grown since then and has moved into possibly its fourth location in the street. It is popular for its breakfasts and continental fare.
Kareems is a good bet for North Indian food. It is not related to the legendary Kareems of North Delhi but they make fairly ephemeral biriyanis, curries and kebabs. Their shikhampuri kebab and nalli nihari would make a Mughal Emperor gurgle in joy.
Maroosh is a Lebanese cum Indian joint. Close you eyes and order their Hummus and Pita bread and Chicken Shwarma. A creamy ride through the desserts of Arabia is guaranteed with each bite.
I have often ordered home from Asian Wok. It is a slightly 'new age' Oriental restaurant and has a sample of food from across the far east. Forget Manchurian chicken and say hello to Khou Suey over here. A good bet for those who want to boycott Chinese food till our neighbour stops its salami tactics in India.
Asian Wok has a sit down section too.
For the health conscious, Crepe Station has some diet options and then there is Subway. I have rarely seen anyone at the Subway here!
And for those who believe in hedonism a visit to Mad over Donuts is a must. Just for the most sinful donuts this side of Central Park.
There are two gelaterias. My vote goes to Amore over Gelato Italiano any day. Amore's gelatos are more expensive but have reached perfection.
And if these are not enough for you then you have Baskin Robins if you like ice creams the way they were meant to be. Open Affair, Sheesha and Carter's Blue for Indian. Global Village, for just about everything I believe.
Don't go by this list alone as restaurants at the Carter Road often shut while new ones come up in their place.
There are no pubs here. Yet.
Carter Road's Khao Gully is just the place to come to after you finish your evening walk by the sea.
Coffee Day picture from Burrp used under a Creative Common License
This post is dedicated to 'Uncle'. Our many evenings at FBI, later Tangy Tomato, 'CCD', the mute sandwich guy, breakfasts at Khar Gym. We would, as he put it, 'meet to eat'.