|Guru Kripa, Sion, Mumbai|
If you belong to the pre-multiplex movie theatre era in Mumbai, then chances are that you would have fond memories of buying lip-smacking samosas at the interval while watching the potboiler of the day. These would be sold in greasy white butter paper bags. Two samosas to a bag. 'A1 Samosa' written on them.
The potato in the samosa would usually be nondescript but the crust of the samosa was the stuff of legends. It would leave an indelible impression in your mind, even when had at room temperature and well after it was fried. It had all the crunch and sizzle that you would associate with a 70mm Cinemascope blockbuster that would own the 'HOUSE FULL' board for weeks.
You will rarely find these samosas in the modern multiplexes of Mumbai today, but would do well to head to Sion for them. That is where Kishandchand Nevandram Wadhwa, who had moved to Mumbai from Karachi during the Partition, started the A1 Samosa brand which at its heydays supplied samosas to the leading movie theatres of Mumbai. The business is now run by his son and grandson.
Guru Kripa came up in the mid 1970s and belongs to the extended family and is run by Vishindas Wadhwa. It is more an eatery or a snack shop than a restaurant. It consists of a combination of galas (small shops) at the ground floor of a building in a by-lane of Sion which serve as cooking stations. One for chaats, one for the fried snacks, another for main meals and yet another for kulfis and faloodas. Sweets are sold there too.
There is a rather sterile and spartan room lit by tube lights where you can sit and eat. Or, you can stand by the tables placed in the courtyard by the walls and enjoy your order. This offers natural light, is more Instagram friendly and atmospheric.
You should have the samosa there for sure. Having it freshly fried elevates the movie theatre samosa experience a million times and even the potato stuffing seems symphonic then, not just the crust. Try it with the home-like chhola and the combination matches the chutzpah of a majestic multi-starrer of the 70s. Guru Kripa is owned by the Wadhwas who are Sindhi and you can try out other Sindhi treats such as the dal pakwan or the ragda pattice. I have had the Sindhi kadhi chawal, which they serve with a laddoo and a pattice and which together make for a wholesome meal. The falooda is a childhood favourite of many. A bit too sweet for me, but hey you live only once.
Like the movies and Mumbai, one could say that Guru Kripa/ A1 Samosa and Mumbai too is pairing that is made for each other.
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Address: Plot 40, Road 24 Near Sies College, Sion, Near Dharmaprakash Sreenivasaiah High School, Mumbai
Reference: Economic Times