Sunday, March 26, 2006

Pancham Puriwala

I had to go to the office on Saturday (so what's new in that? ). I decided to have my lunch out of office and returned back to Mumbai CST. It was almost 15.00 hrs and I was feeling very hungry and was in a mood to try something new so I turned towards the Bora Bazaar street and there I was, in front of Pancham Puriwala - a Grade III Hotel very near to Mumbai CST.

Here is a foodie who would love to eat anywhere from Tiffin / India Jones to a road-side thela - all you need is good & tasty food [I am not a health freak anyways]. So I went into this ancient joint. The ground floor was full, so I was directed to the mezzanine floor upstairs.

This place is said to be operational for the last 150 years and has very basic furniture etc. Normally, you wouldn't even dare to enter such a place if you observe the place for a few minutes from outside. However, I had already made up my mind.

I just glanced at the blackboard which seemed to be the only menu card / board available in there. The most obvious dish that one would try here is the Puri Bhaji, which is what this place is famous for. The menu had items like - Puri Bhaji [starting from Rs. 18 /- a plate], Masala Puri Bhaji, Chole Puri, Thali, Thali with Masala Puri, Lassi, Chaas and so on.

I was feeling very hungry so I decided to go in for a Thali with Masala Puri [Rs. 35 /-]. This thali had 3 vegetables, dal, kadhi, raita, pickles, 4 big Masala Puris & rice. As expected, the puris were piping hot and I was almost full with 3 puris [couldn't even think of touching the 4th one], and finished it off with 2 glasses of Masala Chaas !
It is very true that Mumbai will never let the poorest person sleep with an empty stomach. You could have a Vada Pav and an Energee for less than 20 bucks and a decent lunch for within 50 bucks too. At the same time, Mumbai has ways to make you shell out money if you have it all. You could be happy paying out Rs. 450 + taxes for a single Appam @ the Tiffin too.

Yeh hai Mumbai meri jaan !

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