Food Hunt: Matunga Food Trail – In Search for Sappadu

this article was first published on burrp!

South Indian food lovers of the city, move beyond Mysore Café and Café Madras because Matunga (E) has a lot more to offer when it comes to a delicious and fulfilling sappadu.

In a place like Matunga where every second shop sells great coffee and the smallest restaurant makes delicious idlis it was tough to pick few best places. Still, I followed my nose and listened to the voices (grumbling that is) coming from my hungry tummy and hopped in to four South Indian joints to eat a hearty meal.

Arya Bhavan
Right opposite Matunga station, this restaurant is a no nonsense place. Get in, eat, burrp and get out. There are two levels of seating. The upper level keeps you away from the crowd and chaos of the street but if you are a centimeter taller than 5’4” I’d say that you sit on the ground level. Why? You’ll know once you visit the place.

The food starts coming in within five minutes of placing your order. Wadas dipped in piping hot rasam and coin idlis are the best to start with. Don’t forget to order ghee and gun powder (dry chutney made with groundnuts and chilly powder) with your bite sized idlis. Idiyappam with coconut stew and paniyaram are good for the second round. Make sure you are served both red and green chutneys. Bisibele Bhaat at the end will sum up the meal just fine. It’s ok if you give your dosa a miss; after all South Indian food is not just about idlis, dosas and uttappams. If the food induces sleep you can always have a cup of filter kaapi.
Kharcha: Less than Rs 100 for one

Mani’s Lunch Home
As me and my colleagues stepped in to this restaurant, one of us asked, “khane mein kya milega?” “Khana”, pat came the reply. Yes, this place is that direct. Mani’s Lunch Home is located in a very old building in one of the small lanes (the one with the temples and the flower market) of Matunga East and is hard to spot. But if you ask around you’ll be pointed in the right direction.

Lunch time is the best time to go there for the South Indian thali. It’s unlimited and you can hog as much as you can. A regular thali includes rasam, sambhar, kadhi, two vegetables that change every day, curd, achar, papad, chapati and rice followed by chaas and Mysore Pak for dessert. The food is homemade, less spicy and a complete VFM. Be cautious or the over enthusiastic waiter will keep serving you and you’ll end up with a bloated tummy.
Kharcha: Rs 100 for a thali

Photo courtsey – @ceetee

A Ramanayak Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding
This restaurant with a never ending name is bang opposite Arya Bhavan and serves thali during lunch time. Unlike Mani’s the food here is served on a banana leaf. Dishes are more or less the same with wider range of sweets available like gulab jamun, gajar halwa, shrikhand etc.

There’s no concept of having-the-whole-table-for-yourself here. You might have to sit next to a stranger who might get a little too authentic with his eating style.
Kharcha: Rs 100 for one

Ayyappan Dosa Stall
If you are not one of those hoity-toity types you’ll love this roadside stall which is packed at all times of the day. There’s no place to sit hence you have to stand and eat. The order is served within five minutes. The must tries on their menu are pongal, upma, Mysore dosa, medu wada and dal wada. The food is bound to leave you utterly satisfied.
Kharcha: Less than Rs 100for one

Next time you are around Matunga make sure you eat at one of these places. And on your way back home you can pick up some filter coffee, Mysore Pak and South Indian ingredients from the market.

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