The first things about Mumbai are the office workers, the ubiquitous hawkers, the dazzling Bollywood celebs and the other crowd. Their lives revolve around the eminent modes of transport i.e. the local train, the rickshaws, the double deckers or OLA. The incessant honking is music of Mumbaikars. A multitude of people visit Mumbai every year, some settle, while some don’t. My bond with the city has been brief, but I can recommend you a thing or two in the city.
This city is brimming with legends and lore. There’s something different about the people here. Everyone here is dynamic. Being one of the most populated cities in the world, it can get claustrophobic here at times. But that doesn’t hold you back from exploring the little hideouts that no other city can have.
I term myself lucky for having lived in Juhu, the razzmatazz of Mumbai and maybe the country for it is the celebrity turf. Some avenues are named after some renowned Bollywood stars, while some streets are known for the landmarks. Besides Bollywood, Juhu harbors a fair amount of common men.
Juhu is also a sanctified hub for the devotional. The famous Iskcon temple stands prominently amidst the chaotic vibe. Juhu Chowpatty woos many around the globe, and it’s a common sight to spot a celebrity or two around the place. Prithvi theatre, conveniently located from the main road, is the heart of theatricals. It was built by the famous Shashi Kapoor and his wife Jennifer Kapoor in memory of Shashi’s father, Prithviraj Kapoor. I have watched a couple of plays here, followed by a quick snack at their café. Trust me their cold coffee is worth the visit. The pulse of Juhu is to visit the alluring restobars. I am an epicure, and gastronomy lies perennially on my agenda. Being in pursuit of good food, I rely mostly on the food apps, and pave my way to Grandmama’s café.
This place has an exhaustive European menu, ideal for sophisticated palates. The cosy décor gives a homely feel, and you wouldn’t shun it for having to wait for a table. When I am here, I realize that the city is never at a standstill. People gush in and out constantly, but that doesn’t make me shun the place. I find a unique sort of solace in the familiarity of this café.
My personal favorite dishes are Risotto and the Salted Caramel Cheesecake. I go gaga over garlic, so I ordered Green garlic risotto.
Green Garlic Risotto
The clinking dishes make music.The subtle after-bake whiff makes scent. If only it were possible to bottle it, and spray on the cake!
Culinary is an art, and the chef is the artist. Cooking takes a lot of patience, right gestures and style for the personal touch. For chefs, food is a way to reach one’s heart. When you eat good food, your tummy churns the art. Food speaks through you. It is when you close your eyes to relish the delicacy, you dive into a whole different world altogether.
A good restaurant plays good music. Music and lights make their way to the mind, and tune it to the right mood. It is enough to even graze a drink over your lips to set you into the ambience. The walls here have amazing mural art and pictures, mostly reflecting food and homemade antidotes.
As I was leafing through the menu, I asked the waiter about their hot cakes, the cheesecakes so I don’t miss anything on the platter. It’s advised to book your cheesecake well in advance, to avoid disappointment later. The fun part about this place is, you need not be in company, even if you are all by yourself, there comes a moment when you discover yourself after a spoonful of pasta.
Salted Caramel Cheesecake
I am very loyal to Grandmama’s. This place is redolent of the typical bistros. I was lucky to spot a Bollywood celeb. The rates are reasonable, service is excellent, and food is beyond words. Grandmama’s café has branches around Mumbai, and they are supposed to be equally amazing. That makes me wonder if Grandmama’s café would be the next LÁrpege of Mumbai. My next stop would also be at another Grandmama’s, until then, Hasta la Vista!