Friday, July 20, 2012

Friendly Neighborhood Bangali Mashi's Kitchen


Is it a rule to do a review of a restaurant on your first visit? If no then you will forgive me for not doing it the first time round as promised. You will agree that a review has more value when you go back again and find consistency in the food, service and a relationship is built with the people at these places.

Since my first visit I had decided that these two places in my neighborhood will be often visited for I simply love both. I need to thank Saee for introducing Bangali Mashi’s Kitchen to us blogger friends when we met in April.  The Stolen Coffee Room is bang opposite and attracted us like a magnet. This means there will be back to back review posts.

Kiran is someone I love to chill out with, we used to spend time together when I was in Blr. So when she said she is visiting Mumbai, I was thrilled. She is an architect with interests in Indian Bazaars and Urban development, she had to see Nerul and its happening places. I promised her that Nerul’s "Lukha raj" is over and finally we have lots for entertainment.  Lukha means pauper in Punjabi-Hindi. Well in the 7years I was away from Mumbai many things have changed in Nerul. I love my neighborhood now for its green cover, population of chirpy birds and consumerist entertainment as Kiran calls it. She loves to hear stories of the changing faces of urban development. I could sense her excitement matching mine when we discussed the plan.

So off we went to Bangali Mashi’s Kitchen, located off Palm beach road, on the street that separates Sector 44A and Sector 46A, in Shreejit Heights Complex, Seawoods, just after the circle. You can also reach there from Nerul East by taking the Seawoods Flyover. A red sign board welcomes you, the mascot on it a happy well rounded old Bengali Mashi draped in red and white saree promises you to be fed well.

As we enter, I wish Sushmita, the owner, a very warm lady and that warmth reflects in her restaurant as well. It is a small place with exactly 6 tables with 4 chairs each. So make sure to book ahead of time when you visit on weekends. The walls lined with bamboo mats and pictures of Belur Math, Dakhineshwar etc. transporting you to Bangal. Though the restaurant is small you observe, it is clean and bright. The high ceiling and full glass front door lets in flooding sunlight in the dining area.

As She looks around to appreciate the little place, she declares she has never tasted Bengali food, this for someone who has spent most of her childhood vacations in Kolkata. Since this was my second visit, I recommended the Vegetarian Thali, Kiran agreed and my Dad loves thalis anyways.

The meal began with a small shot of bhaja masala spiced butter milk and fried papad. As we talked the portly waiter with his friendly smile arrived with the thalis. They serve in typical Bengali brass thalis. This was discussed last time with the food bloggers. It was a learning for us that brass thalis are safe for serving and one need not freak out if they are not lined with tin or Kalai. However for cooking if once kalai is done then you need to keep re-tinning. Else the surface inside becomes reactive to food.

Our thali consisted of a mango relish, mix veg Charchari, Patol Alu Malaikari, Alu poshto, Masurir Dal, Begun Bhaja, steamed rice and luchis with a tongue twister name. A balanced meal like all thalis, a dry veggies, semi thick curry, light dal, rice, a fried item, a sweet and sour relish and wheat component.

The Charchari, was a mix of brinjal, cauliflower, spinach was cooked to softness and laced with mustard paste. The taste had a balance of salty and sweet. The Patol Alu Malaikari was creamy coconut and mustard curry clinging to the vegetables. The alu poshto was superb potatoes cooked to mushiness in smooth poppy seeds paste. The Masurir dal was of medium consistency and light unlike the thick creamy Punjabi dals, it tasted perfect with rice. The bhaja or fried component of the balanced meal was begun bhaja, deep fried batter coated large slice of eggplant. The luchi had a special name and tasted different, it was light spicy puran filled. Sushmita called it Radhaballavi luchi, I had to ask her to repeat the name twice to get it, ignore that the luchi is deep fried, it’s a Bong meal after all!


Though the thali is unlimited none of us asked for more. Finally we ordered Malpua for dessert. Dad recommended we cut it up into bits and let it soak up the syrup before we pick up each piece. Did it, felt like a kid but enjoyed it.


The last time when we bloggers visited it was Poila Baishak so the Thali was more elaborate, there was a paturi – a banana leaf packet wrapped around beautiful young fieldbeans, spinach and other veggies spiced with mustard, cumin and ginger paste which was absolutely memorable.

The pricing is very reasonable considering the meal has a variety and truly satisfying, homely feel. You don’t feel like you ate at a restaurant because of the service, Sushmita and the food. 

I will be going there many times and hope Sushmita does not move to Bangalore where her married son lives now. May be Bangaloreans can coax her instead to start a branch of the lovely Bangali Mashi’s Kitchen.

Kiran rightly captured the experience, "the taste is from an old hand working at it!"

11 comments:

Asmita said...

Wow, all this yummy food is making me hungry. The food looks amazing!

evolvingtastes said...

I want to eat there again!!!! Everything looks just as delicious this time around, and so good to see the changing menu.

Anjali said...

Would love to take you there.

Anjali said...

Yes the menu changes, but alu poshto is must have each time. Next time you are here hope there is some kind a fest there and lets freak out on the snacks and mishtis

Nupur said...

Oh my what a wonderful review. I would love to eat here sometime. Maybe when I visit Mumbai next.

Anjali said...

Nupur it's worth visit even after a commute from anywhere in Mumbai city and wait till you read about the coffee shop in my next post.

Shri said...

Anjali Beautiful! What can one do to have a thali like this right now!...
I loved the whole package- brass thali and bowls all!
Yes, I noted that many regions serve and cook on brass thali's.
We used to have bell metal and tin lining over brass for our other vessels.

Sayantani said...

the spread looks awesome and am so happy that you liked a pure Bengali menu. am not sure what they served the radhaballovi with. none of the dishes that you named here goes well with radhaballovi. generally a mildly sweet chana dal with coconut bits or a dum alu is served with this. I will tell about this restaurant to my frined who loves Bengali fish curries.

Anjali said...

Sayantani, I love authentic cuisines. Oh not even masurir dal? We ate it with everything there on the platter. I guess alur dum will go really well with it. Must try the combo at home.

Anjali said...

Shri missed your comment. Go rustle up something for a indulgence!

Raja said...

Wow, I will be sure to look this place up when in Mumbai!
Raja

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