A round up of Finely Chopped Mumbai Food walks this summer, the sociological walk, the birthday walk, the Dadar Maharashtrian Walk
So lots been happening in the Finely Chopped Walks over the last month or so and some interesting stuff at that and with an international flavour.
The Finely Chopped South Mumbai Sociological Walk
The first was something I call a ‘sociological’ walk. Well, have to put all those years spent studying sociology in college to use after all.
This walk was with the global creative head of a design agency who is based in London. He had come to visit his India office in Mumbai. The folks in his office here felt that he didn’t get to have a chance to get a flavour of the city as most of his trips were spend between the airport, their office and his hotel. So they commissioned me take him around South Mumbai in between his meetings so that he gets some feel of the city.
We set off in a car from his hotel at Colaba and drove around South Mumbai. We got off Churchgate and CST stations and went inside to get a feel of how Mumbai travels. From a design point of views the stations gave a before and after independence point of view. We walked into Sarvodaya, an old school departmental store to take a look at design formats and pack displays. We also stepped into a local restaurant to get a design feel of Mumbai’s eateries. During our ride we chatted about the changing social dynamics of Mumbai, its migratory politics, the evolution of suburban Mumbai and the changing nerve centre of the city.
A good Bengali adda some would say involving a Londoner and a Mumbaikar.
The Finely Chopped Birthday Walk for Dipti
That’s Dipti in the black top
This is a walk whose planning started in the US and was taken forward in Borivili and culminated at Fort.
This was a walk for Dipti whose birthday it was last month. A friend of her in the US got in touch with me on mail saying that she would like to organise a walk as a gift for Dipti. We planned the walk over mail…which part of town, how many people, veg non veg break up, date and time and so on.
When the decided Sunday came up, the day before her birthday, I walked into the Starbucks at Fort where her friends had got Dipti and had kept her distracted. I was supposed to be the surprise element and it felt a bit like a reality show as I walked in and wished the very surprised Dipti.
Dipti, her mom, her sister and her friends and I set off on our walk at Fort. Parts of it were shut as it was Sunday but that’s a call we took. We went to Deluxe for veg Onam Sadiya, Apoorva for gassis…veg and chicken and then to Jimmy Boy where we had veg and non veg laganu bhonus with mava cakes and fruit logs from there in the goodie bag.
It felt great to be a part of Dipti’s birthday celebration and I am so glad that the surprise her friends thought off turned out to be quite a success.
The Finely Chopped Dadar Maharashtrian Walk
A year after I did the first one, it was time to do another Dadar Maharashtrian Finely Chopped Walk. We were a group of 13 with 9 foreigners, a mix of expats and tourists, and 3 locals including a Maharashtrian father and son. Some had come to many other Finely Chopped Walks before and for some it was a new experience.
Our first stop was Aaswad at Shivaji Park where, like last year, we were welcomed with great warmth. Despite the busy hour they reserved a place for us and made us feel comfortable enough to not want to get up. They plied us with panna, vada pao, sabudana vada, thali peeth, amba daal, kothimbir vadi and, when, we could eat no more, some kharvas. They also put together some lovely goody bags of puran poli and shakar puris for us. I can’t thank Mr Suryakant Sarjoshi, the owner of Aaswad, his manager Mr Sandip and their team enough.
The other stops were different from last year.
We went to Rahul Limaye’s Gypsy Corner and again were received with the same overwhelming warmth. Here we were looking for mains and the manager Mr Apparao took over and fed us missal, rice and bajra bhakris, pitla, bharli vangi, bhareli bhindi and aamras. Again the same great hospitality that we received at Aaswad.
We then crossed the road. Stopped at Santosh Masala where some on the walk bought chaklis and shared them.
Our last stop was Mr Prabhakar Desai’s Sindhudurg. Here we had lip-smacking surmai thalis and prawn fries.
I had a great time helping others discover what I had about my own city.
One of the participants of the walk, Eli, a Norwegian married to a Greek and who lives in Mumbai now, blogged about the walk in her blog, Expatliv. You can read about it here.
Another participant, Jean Spraker, blogged about the walk too and gave a very different perspective on the food scene here. You can read her post at the link here
There have been some recent online press mentions about the Finely Chopped Walks.
One is at the Big Red Bag and you can read the feature here
And here’s the feature on Wonobo.
And this is me talking about some hidden food gems of Mumbai along with bloggers from across the country in the Indian Express’s Southern edition
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