'Scrambled eggs all over my face'. Restaurants in Mumbai's Bandra which feed our hunger for creamy scrambled eggs

Poetry at Salt Water Cafe, Bandra
Note: The headline is a tribute to the title track of one of our favourite TC shows, Frasier, which has some really witty observations on food too. Here's the full lyrics

The post is dedicated to the Brotherhood of Egg Lovers - Kunal, Kurush and Pradeep - who see red if served only egg whites

TV anchor, actor, writer, comic, food lover and overall nice guy, Kunal Vijayakar, and I have been exchanging a number of whatsapp messages s of late.

Our chain of eggy billet douxs were sparked off by a scrambled egg that I recently had which was rather stiff and tight and far from creamy. 

The dish reminded me of an article Kunal had recently written on eggs in his HT column. In the article Kunal wrote  that he has rarely come across good scrambled eggs at restaurants.

Kunal Vijayakar's scrambled egg woes

Kunal wrote in the article:

"Scrambled eggs are tougher. Barring maybe one or two instances, I have yet to eat scrambled eggs in any hotel, restaurant, café, home, or aircraft that met my approval. They are either too stiff or dry, and often over-coagulated into a mess that ‘weeps’ water. The secret is low heat and patience: mix the eggs, butter and milk in a pan and put it on a low flame. The eggs should be slowly disturbed to a creamy consistency. Also, one long, vertically slit green chilli will knock the eggs straight to heaven." The HT Article

The scrambled egg that I had was made at a hotel buffet eggs counter counter, It was probably put together in a hurry. Not the way Kunal said that scrambled eggs should be cooked with tender love and care.

The desi interpretation of scrambled eggs

The stiff texture of my scrambled eggs that morning was like that of a coarsely chopped well cooked omelette. It resembled what probably defined ‘scrambled eggs’ to many of us in India, and still does.

I used to make 'scrambled eggs' back home in Kolkata for my mother and brother in my B school days. I would break 3 eggs into a pan of hot oil. Add in condiments ranging from finely chopped tomatoes, chillies and onions to even bits of chicken liver from the previous night’s chicken curry and then beat the mixture till it formed a tight, spicy and filling dish, to be divided into three and eaten with soft bread.

This was in Bengal, where what many of us called ‘poached eggs’ were in reality fried eggs. And where the spicy savoury, egg soaked fried bread that we called 'French toast' too was rather different from the sweet, brioche based French toasts of the west. 

Mumbai runs on anda bhurjee

It was in Mumbai that I came across the dish called anda bhurjee. A form of masala scrambled eggs. These were similar to the 'scrambled eggs' I would make back home in Kolkata. The egg is scrambled into tiny but firm bits, spiced with red chilli and garam masala powders and bits of green chillies, tomato and onion. It is sually served with soft pav which you mopped  up the eggs with. The anda bhurjee is spicy and oily but rarely runny. The texture is usually firm and minced. 

Anda bhurjee pav is a popular street food dish in Mumbai and you get this at street carts open late into the night. There is one such cart near the Bade Miya kebab stall at Colaba. I used to go to a thelawala (cart) near Dadar station sometimes after dropping K home when we were dating before we got married.

The Parsis are the high priests of scrambled eggs in Mumbai

It’s thanks to K that I learnt that French toasts and poached eggs in reality are different from the versions of the dishes that I grew up on. As apparently are scrambled eggs!

K is Parsi you see. Parsis go by the western rendition of scrambled eggs and poached eggs unlike most of us Bengalis. I know of a similar eggy confusion, on the interpretation of these dishes, among another Parsi Bengali couple. Kurush and Rhea Dalal, where the Parsi Kurush was flummoxed by the version of French toasts and deemer poach (poached eggs) served to him by his in laws who are Bengali. Very different from what his mother, a Parsi, used to cook for him.

The Parsis have their repertoire of egg dishes such as the poro (spicy omelettes that my mom in law makes me), egg curries. salli par eedu, tomato per eedu, bheeda per eedu and so on but this post is not about the Parsi love for eggs.

Kunal Vijayakar has grown up around a lot of close Parsi friends who consider him a member of the family and I am sure that this has influenced his world view on scrambled eggs to some extent. He has fond memories of the eggs his grand-mom would serve with bread fried in butter. He loves the scrambled eggs made by his mother and by his cousin Rahul Velkar (who owns Mr Chow's) and Zenobia Irani, the wife of actor Boman Irani. 

"My (favourite) scrambled eggs are all liquidy," whatsapped Kunal to me, "like a custard."

K tells me that Parsis would often make scrambled eggs with ghee. They call the dish charvalu eedu. 

In fact, this is the time of the year when the Parsi go all GOT over scrambled eggs and say "winter is coming", for come winter they often add green garlic to their scrambled eggs. Our Jamshed uncle is very fond of this.

There is a dish called the akoori which is the Parsi version of anda bhurjee. I've found it to be more moist than the average anda bhurjee.

Kurush, Kunal and Kainaz will tell you that akoori is different from the hallowed scrambled eggs. 

I have became a custardy scrambled egg aficionado too

The thing is that thanks to being married to a Bawi, and also thank to eating with Parsis, like Kurush, I too have become a slave to creamy, buttery, scrambled eggs.

I even tried to make ‘real scrambled eggs’ after seeing the recipe on a Masterchef Australia junior show on TV with some success. We didn't have cream at home though.

There are a few restaurants in Mumbai whose scrambled eggs I have really enjoyed, and have been approved by K too. I shared those with Kunal during our whatsapp exchnage and am sharing them here with you.

Sassy Spoon, Bandra

Scrambled eggs at Sassy Spoon, Bandra
The last time I had them, the salad had been replaced by fries

It's been a while since we have been to Sassy Spoon. We were regulars there till they shut for renovation. They have re-opened and we will go back soon I am sure.

We would often order scrambled eggs at Sassy Spoon. We found their scrambled eggs to be consistently buttery, creamy, moist and wet.

The Bandra Sassy Spoon is not a breakfast place usually apart from on Sundays I think but they serve scrambled eggs through the day. K and I have often shared a scrambled egg at Sassy Spoon in the evenings (when we are not having their scones) and I used to call in for a croissant on the side.  We have never had a disappointing scrambled egg there and we do hope that things haven't changed.

They used to serve a nice little salad with the eggs but had shifted to chunky and tasty potato chips the last time that I had the scrambled eggs at Sassy Spoon. 

They serve the eggs with garlic baguette but you can ask them for plain baguettes if you wish.

Indigo Deli, Bandra

A creamy scrambled egg at Indigo Deli, Bandra

We went to the Indigo Deli at Bandra recently for breakfast. They too were shut for renovation recently but have opened for business now. We were in a hurry that morning. K wanted scrambled eggs and so did I. For the sake of ‘research’ you see. Otherwise I order the egg Benedict here,

‘Two scrambled eggs, creamy and runny,” we specified, “and fast please as we are in hurry.”

It was a Sunday morning and the restaurant was half empty. A friend had joined us and ordered a bagel with salmon. There was no sign of food after 20 minutes and I got up and walked purposefully to the open kitchen. I am not a nice man to know before breakfast. I was assured that we would get our food soon when I enquired about it.

The food was brought to our table, all together like I had requested, soon after that.

One bite of the scrambled egg and I was willing to forgive the long wait. It was buttery, creamy, eggy, divine. "Custard-like" as Kunal would say. I don't know if the time taken was because, as Kunal said, it takes to deliver the perfect scrambled egg. If so, it was worth it. Just wish we were told about the time it would take when we placed the order. It's a place that levies a service charge after all.

The eggs were served with soft, slightly sweet brioche since we had wanted un-toasted bread. This was of very good quality too

I immediately clicked a pic and sent to Kunal and he replied with a thumbs up of approval.

Salt Water Café, Bandra

Brilliant scrambled eggs at Salt Water Cafe, Bandra

We went to Salt Water Café in Bandra couple of days later as my mom wanted to treat us for breakfast before she leaves Mumbai. She knows  that that K and I like our breakfast outings over all others.

I love the eggs Benedict here but, like K, ordered the scrambled eggs this time. Once again, 'for research'.

I’ve had the scrambled eggs at Salt Water Cafe in the past, as K orders it often, and don't remember being exceptionally impressed with them. 

Learning from our recent Indigo Deli experience time we once again specified, “runny and creamy.”

We got our eggs at Salt Water faster than at Indigo Deli and boy were they runny and creamy or what?! Buttery and moist too. Like at Sassy Spoon and Indigo Deli, the eggs here were perfectly seasoned. Way way better than the scrambled eggs I remember having eaten in the past here.

The making of this post

I immediately clicked and sent a picture of the scrambled eggs to Kunal. “This looks even better,” was his reply.

So the lesson learnt was that if you want live on the edge and have creamy and buttery scrambled eggs, then specify the same with the person taking your order, and you could be pleasantly surprised.

In my experience, ordering scrambled eggs though room service in most hotel is risky as the egg loses its form from by the time it reaches the room from the kitchen. 

Candies, where wrote this post at, does scrambled eggs too. However, quite a bit of time passes by the time it is made in the kitchen on the upper floor and then reaches downstairs and served to you after the bread is toasted. The logistical challenges affect the end result and the scrambled egg here can't match up with the top 3 in terms of quality. The Candies scrambled eggs is way cheaper though than the other scrambled eggs in the post though. 

Interestingly, scrambled eggs are among the lower priced egg dishes on offer in each of these restaurants.

Grilled egg sandwiches at Candies, bandra

My recommendation at Candies, if you are a fan of creamy eggy dishes, is the egg sandwich. It is made with soft white bread filled with a buttery finely chopped boiled egg mix. He filling is so creamy that K thought they were scrambled eggs. K and I prefer to have the sandwich slightly grilled. The crisp bread outside and the soft egg filling inside is a delightful combination. It is not served grilled by default but you can request them to do so at Candies. At times we have ordered it home and grilled it in the oven in our kitchen. Still works

To get into the mood of the post today, I ordered the egg sandwich at Candies. Made me happy as always.

And what of the anda bhurjee?

Well, Lucky Restaurant in Bandra does a great one. Spicy, hot, firm textured, seasoned perfectly, tongue-tingling and one that combines beautifully with soft pav. 

I had the Lucky anda bhurjee at the restaurant recently and posted a picture on Facebook and Instagram. A friend of mine in Bandra saw this and ordered it through the Swiggy app. Taking her lead, so did I a few days back from home. The eggs were still warm when delivered home and I didn't have to re-heat it. Since the bhurjee pav comes to Rs 120, you have to pay a 30 Rs delivery charge if through Swiggy but it’s worth it for this is THE Bandra Breakfast of Champions.

Anda bhurjee pav from Lucky Restaurant
delivered home

Getting one's akoori fix

If you ask Kainaz, Kunal or Cyrus Broacha, then the akoori at Parvez Patel’s Ideal Corner at Fort, my favourite Parsi restaurant in town, is a strong contender for one of the best restaurant akooris that you can get and I would recommend them as well.

So there you go, my favourite scrambled egg places in Bandra and anda bhurjee joint too. I have tried some others but didn't find them to meet our tastes. We have given them our feedback. 

Now tell me, are you a scrambled egg fan too? I am talking of the no holds barred scrambled eggs and not the egg white, made in olive or oil and butter free ones. 

If so, I would love to know which is your favourite scrambled eggs place. 

In Mumbai. Or anywhere in the world.

Also read: Post on my attempt to make 'real' scrambled eggs


Kurush F Dalal said…
Creamy buttery and soft ... Almost runny ... With a hint of green chillies or a light sprinkling of green garlic ... Some pau on the side and happiness is achieved. You can ramp it up a notch with a little cheddar cheese but not too much. Must say all three contenders pictured above looked good the last probably was the best one (?) ... My favourite version though was made by my Mamaiji ( mum's mum) and was called a ghee-gor nu eedu. She'd use eggs, clotted cream, ghee and a little bit of grated jaggery. She would serve it with wheat Rotis warm of the tava ... That was just so absolutely amazing that I haven't had the guts to make it. My mum made a pretty fair one but not as good. Its what I want for my last brekkerand if I can't have that I'll settle for the soft fluffy creamy scrambled eggs R makes for me. :)
Preeti Sanjeev said…
That indeed was an egg-citing article on the humble scramble. I shall egg-xactly follow the tips for a creamy runny scramble, probably on the weekend! Thank you for widening my horizon on this topic. Eggs are so versatile and a good soft n creamy scramble could easily give a gourmet dish the run for its money!
On this topic....have you tried the gujju version or rather the Surti take on this dish.... its called the Surti ghotala. Its a mish-mash (read scramble) of a spicy anda bhurji and boiled eggs with copius amounts of our ever-loved Amul butter. That butter just takes it to a whole new level of spicy-creamy eggs!! Not sure whether we get this in Bombay ...I had it almost 15 years ago in Surat.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Mamaiij's eggs sounds really good. The first time I met K's mamaiji, she had made lot of boiled eggs for me. The equivalent of a Bengali granny giving the entire fish head to the naat jamai
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Preeti, thanks for the wonderful story. makes me more convinced that I need to go to Surat.. My wife's mom's side of the family is from Surat
Gastronomist said…
I like mine runny, creamy, buttery, custardy and with a pile of shaved truffles. Heaven! Mangia, mangia, mangia.