I used to sit on the 21st floor. Now I am retired

Monday, April 17, 2006

Part 1: Food

I have to start with food. Those who know me (and have seen me lately) would think that if a city wins the food battle, then it wins it all. While it is not that important, the food quality definitely needs to meet a minimum bar. It is only on a full stomach can we can debate the other criteria. Similar sentiment is shared by the Girl.

The problem with food however, is that it's extremely difficult to be objective about it in a blogpost*. Two basic problems have been haunting me 1) How does one agree on a set of criteria that can be debated? 2) How does one come up with a factual rank of the 2 cities on the criteria?

I came up with a framework of different parts of the meal on one axis (starter, main course, dessert...) and some sort of the top 5 cuisines in India (Indian veg, Indian Non-veg, Chinese, Italian...) on the other but felt immensely hungry instead and gave up trying. I did order a nice meal to make up for it.

On a full stomach now, the first part of the framework looks attractive. I will cover street food, non-vegetarian main course in restaurants (hereforth referred to as Non-Veg), vegetarian main course in restaurants (Veg) and dessert. I will look at three things within these: variety in cuisines, signature dishes in accessible restaurants, which the city is known for and signature dishes in niche expensive places where I have eaten when others have paid!

Street Food: Unfortunately, neither of the cities comes out tops in my street food ratings. While they don't have the fame of a Lahore or a Bangkok, they don't even have the variety and accessibility of Kolkata. Nor are they known for a signature dish like the Fanoos roll in Bangalore.
However, after having eaten at Bhendi Bazaar last Ramadan and after having being severely disappointed by Chandni Chowk/ Parathewali gali, I am moving towards giving higher marks to Bombay. Bombay also brings in variety - from the late night fruits and juices at Haji Ali to the ubiquitous Pav Bhaji and Bhelpuri everywhere to Dosas at Breach Candy. Obviously Nizamuddin and Nasir Iqbal does try it's best to compete for Delhi, but I will still give the victory to Bombay here. Mumbai 1, Delhi 0.

Non Veg: Delhiites would obviously point out that Bombay still has been unable to create the decent butter chicken. I agree that even when it comes to dishes like Tandoori chicken and a Sikandari Raan, Delhi does have a substantial lead. Restaurants like Karim's, Pindi, Moti Mahal have a legacy and deliver consistently whenever I need my comfort food. Radisson's Great Kebab Factory while being considerably new offers a value proposition (unlimited kababs at a fixed price) which Bombay still hasn't discovered. Nothing compared to Colonel's Kabab's non-veg platter can't be found in a Bombay restaurant. Then, there's Tibetan food - Momo's, Beef Chilly at Majnu Ka Tilla.

However, having said all of this, Bombay does have places which can whip up a decent tandoori/ Mughlai experience - Lucky's biryani, Pritam da Dhaba etc.. Then there are the Parsi restaurants - Britannia, Jimmy Boy, Mocambo. There is Goan sausages at New Martin's...

Plus, I think there are two words for Bombay which can't be said for Delhi - Sea food. Geography obviously plays a huge role here, but the fact remains that Delhi gets its pants whipped by Bombay here. There's nothing like Trishna, Mahesh or Ankur in Delhi. And since a butter pepper garlic prawn or a squid is the most impressive any food can ever be, I will give victory to Bombay.

I will give this battle to Bombay. Bombay 2, Delhi 0

As far as niche places are concerned, I must also mention one of the best Japanese restaurants that I have encountered - Wasabi at the Taj at Bombay. People had been hyping 360 degrees at Oberoi, Delhi. I still haven't done that place, but having eaten at various sushi places in Singapore, Dubai, Europe, I do believe that Wasabi offers an unbelievable sushi platter. It's very very expensive, but every rupee (paid by others) is worth it. I must also mention Bukhara at Maurya, Delhi which is overhyped but does run the hype close.

Vegetarian (aka borrowed opinion): I am not best suited to comment here (for I forget when was the last time I went out and ordered veg food), but I think Mumbai with it's Gujarati and Rajasthani fare does do a slightly better job than Delhi. However, when it comes to one of the vegetarian dishes I can go out to eat at - Chole Bhature, I think Delhi wins. Bengali Market and Kamla Nagar do not find an equivalent in Mumbai.
Good South Indian food can be found in both places, I guess, though I still haven't eaten as good a masala dosa as in Dasaprakash in Ambassador hotel in Delhi. That was some four-five years back though.
I must however mention here that nobody should mention Crystal-like places in Bombay. If I really wanted homely food, I would have stayed at home.

I will call this one a draw (more out of ignorance, than anything else).

Bombay 2.5, Delhi 0.5

Dessert: Okay, there are desserts. Sweets, cakes, pastries, tarts, souffles.... Both cities do a decent job here. Then there's Nirula's hot chocolate fudge. Mumbai 2.5, Delhi 1.5

Overall victory to Bombay.

Other stuff I have missed: The Girl just mentioned that Bombay has something that Delhi doesn't - accessible food on every street. Even late at night. I agree.
I also wonder whether there's a eatery every 200 yards in Mumbai or so. And whether that's a record in terms of density.

*The only thing that I do have on my favour is that I (hopefully) didn't start with any bias towards any of the city and I have managed to eat in all sorts of places. So, here goes.


Blogger Falstaff said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Monday, April 17, 2006 1:53:00 PM

Blogger Falstaff said...

Dude, I have one word for you: Natural's.

I can't believe you gave dessert to Delhi. Aside from Natural's (which alone should win the day) there's:

a) All those exotic ice cream flavours at Bachelor's (which, technically, could be added to street food, btw)

b) Sizzling brownies

c) The desserts at Mocha - chocolate avalanche, etc.

d) Mangos and cream at Haji Ali

Look, I know you're trying to pretend that this is really a contest, and that the answer isn't obvious, but you need to be at least a little fact based.

Oh and I agree with the Girl completely - the restaurants on every street is a major plus. Also, how can you write a food post about Bombay without mentionine Udipi joints? Where else can you get Schezwan Idli and wash it down with chikoo milk shake?

Monday, April 17, 2006 1:54:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Monday, April 17, 2006 9:22:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Ketu! Quite the critique you have written. I’m hungry already but disappointed by the way the non veg section has been compared. Delhi does seem to be quite pale in comparison to Mumbai which is debatable. A bias towards seafood does tend to skew the victory towards Bombay.

Try these points for a starter (no pun intended):

1) Non Veg food does seem to be larger in its gamut (at least the last time I checked) in Delhi than it is in Mumbai. Be it in terms of variety (many many more there than here) or in the sheer perfection in spices done to a variety of meats (mutton, beef, chicken, bater etc).

2) In terms of what flavors the city captures from its surrounding areas, Delhi does outscore Mumbai with Lucknow and the Avadh taking the lead in influencing local flavor. Add the indigenous Delhi recipes along with some Moghlai concoctions and you have a pretty exhaustive menu that shines.

3) Mumbai in comparison does not really have any local hidden recipes to flaunt apart from a huge influence it draws from the Konkan coast.

4) As for the raving review of Trishna and Mahesh, I agree that they do a fabulous job of seafood but feel saddened that their best recipes seem to revolve around butter and garlic. Hardly the stuff legend is made up from. More to do with the great meat that is cooked with it.

5) Delhi still manages to spin off a replica of the Amritsari Fish Fry. Not bad considering it is landlocked yet still manages to add zing to regular seafood even though by coping it from Punjab.

Overall, in terms of non-veg food, Delhi does outscore. Let’s try and do a dish by dish comparison to settle this. Three famous Delhi specialties compared to their Mumbai counterparts and vice versa.

Trust me, the truth is out there. Bon appetit!

Monday, April 17, 2006 9:36:00 PM

Blogger Bombay Addict said...

@ falstaff - only one addition from me on the desserts. The kulfi guy at the junction of Pot Pourri in Bandra (Turner Road). He sits outside UTI Bank (what used to be HSBC till they moved closer to Pali Naka). You can't miss this guy (unless the BMC has removed him) because a variety of cars (incl. Mercs) are parked outside his thela on Sat nights (yes as late as 1am). There's also the Yaadgaar guy outside Bandra Station - his faloodas are like totally something else.

@ DK2 - give it up, man. Falstaff is right - you are pretending that this is a contest.

@ anonymous (try a name next time boss, for a debate like this you need an identity) - See, I'm a veggie and hence a bit of an exception in my group of friends. This also limits my knowledge of non-veg dishes. Yet, here's my take. Let's leave aside the Maheshs, Trishnas, Apoorvas and Residenseas. Have you heard of Bade Miya and Baghdadi in Colaba ? Or Nooranis and Luckys ? And here I'm not even talking about the stuff you get in Masjid, Crawford Market, Pydhonie, etc during Ramzan - lets not even go into that because Delhi pales. And I'm not even going into the Iranis, which serve a mean sali boti (besides of course the all-time favs of egg bhurji, brun maska). The Iranis are worthy of a separate post, not a comment. End of my take.

Monday, April 17, 2006 11:49:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bombay addict: didn’t know that having a name would make this debate more worthwhile. Would it matter is my name was Krishna or for arguments sake Karim. The real debate lies in the food comparison my friend. The only time Bade Miya tastes good is when your belly is full of beer and your eyesight limited to 3 feet (somewhat hazy I might add). I agree that Baghdadi has some super food there but that hardly goes any distance in proving any Moghlai superiority. For most corners in Delhi can dish out similar if not better dishes. Ramzan across India bring out the best food. Be it entrées, curries, biryani or dessert. Places like Jama Masjid and Nizzamudin in Delhi far outscore these in terms of quality of food. Noorani and Lucky to me are a washout. Overdone with spices that have your throat burning, overcook meat and all. Try a delicately tasted dum biryani perhaps in defense colony (under the flyover, next to Nirula’s) to get a real taste of good food. They make an awesome veg pulao too. Iranians do deserve a separate post as do the bengalis in CR Park for some awesome food. But them again, more in the other post I guess. Cheers. P.S. To get a real taste of Kulfi and falooda try this place at Jhandewala where the guy sells out by the afternoon each days. Super looking cars too park all around it – including a quaint old beetle.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 12:36:00 AM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Falstaff, Some good points. However, word-of-mouth doesn't a dessert make. If I want to have the best of kulfis, I will stick to Delhi. If I want to have the best of ice-cream, I will stick to Nirula's. I'll not want to have both together, like at Natural's.
Bachelor's pretends that chilly and what not makes ice-creams. I don't.
Sizzling brownies are good. They are also found everywhere in Delhi.
Haji Ali according to me is street food. They are good, I must give you.
Btw, the girl was only mentioning that food can be got late at night. The density point was mine.

Anon, Clearly beef is better in Mumbai. Have you had the Mongolian beef at Ling's at Colaba? Btw, that will be a dish I can travel cities for. That's a good point on local dishes, you make. However, I will use that yardstick when it comes to comparing cuisines, not cities. Btw, Amritsari fish fry is a rather lame attempt, no? Crabs, Clams, Oysters, Squids... I can go on and on. All you have is a fish fry?

Bombay addict, try the kulfi at Ajmal Khan Road.
As far as non-veg is concerned, I completely agree with Anon on Bade Miyan, Noorani and Lucky. The excess sub-quality cooking medium they use sticks to your throat like glue. Not the galauti which melts in your mouth or the sheekh that will explode with fmavour. For that, make your way to Delhi. Or to Mohd. Ali Road in Mumbai. If it wasn't for the variety in meats (sea-food), Delhi would have taken this one.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 1:39:00 AM

Blogger Bombay Addict said...

@ anonymous - since you called me your friend, and seem to be a secular guy (Krishna-Karim), I'm retracting demands for your identity to be revealed (!).

Like I said I'm a veggie, so clearly I can't hold forth on whether Bombay non-veg is better than Delhi non-veg. I relied on the judgement of my friends, one of whom happens to be a Delhi-ite (in Bombay for last 7-10 years) and who also swears by both Baghdadi and Mohd. Ali Road over Delhi non-veg. Yes - Ramzan would bring out the best, so probably Hyderabad would turn up trumps as well. Thanks for the tip-off on biryani and pulao at Defence Colony - I will try it next time I'm at Delhi.

@DK2 - Where's Ajmal Khan Road ? I should've included Mohd. Ali Rd in my earlier post. Point taken as above. But if you didn't like Luckys, why call it a "decent tandoori/ Mughlai experience"? And Bombay Street Food is an encylopaedia (and an experience) on its own. I think it would smoke Delhi street food. (Anon - any views on this? i.e. Bombay Street Food v/s Delhi Street Food?). Btw, have Maurya S's Dum Pukht or Bukhara been mentioned here ?

Food is a matter of taste (partially intended pun) and I think I pretty much got ambushed there by two fans of Delhi non-veg food.

The voices FOR Bombay non-veg seem to have fallen silent and it was left to a veggie to defend Bombay's non-veg cuisine.

:( Sniff, sniff, anyways, as long as we overall smoked Delhi on the food front, I claim victory here. I'm entitled to my "hahaha", so - hahaha.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 3:12:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bombay addict: Thanks for letting me off the hook on the whole identity business. The only reason I do not have an id yet is coz I am new to the world of blogging and have not gone and created one. This I shall do straight away.

As far as the Bombay Street Food v/s Delhi Street Food debate goes, the end result does seem to depend on what is being judged.

If the parameter to judge is variety then I feel Mumbai scrapes forward in comparison to Delhi. This could perhaps tend to stem from the fact that is far more cosmopolitan in its makeup hence has more street food to cater to.

But if the parameter to judge is taste (and it ought to be taste coz they is no fun having many mediocre dishes laid out compared to a few super ones) Delhi far out scores compared to Mumbai. From the quality of the raw ingredients that go into each dish (I am convinced that spices/vegetables/meat taste much better up north) to the amazing concoctions each street can cook up, Delhi is a dreams.

My feeling is that Mumbai Street food is too Gujrati skewed, lacks authentic flavor, not innovative enough in what it dishes out. It does a basic mediocre job across all snacks that it dishes out. I am yet to have any type of street food in Mumbai that makes my mouth drool and makes me want to go back for more.

Delhi in comparison beckons me every time I am hungry in the evenings – be it the chaat, kebabs, kulfis, samosas, kachories, tandoori, kathi rolls, momos, sandwiches, parathas, biryani. The list goes on.

See what you have done to me now. Made me all hungry and induced craving for some awesome Delhi street food. The only option I have now near my office is the Mumbai tried and tested, much loved, original, Vada Pav.

To be really honest here is my listing of top street food across India: Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Hyderabad, and Mumbai.

Don’t take my word on it. Travel around and experience it on your own.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 3:52:00 AM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Bombay Addict, I agree with you on encyclopedia's on street food. One day. Btw, Lucky's is decent. I meant Rajasthan, the other Bandra place serving VFM kababs when it comes to the sticky oil. Sorry. Btw, Ajmal Khan Road is in Karol Bagh, Delhi.
I also can't believe that a veggie had to take up cudgels for non-veg food. I can empathise (though in the completely opposite sense)....

Anon, you are a man after my heart! Kolkata by the way, is at a completely different level. But we won't go there yet. And I'd still go with Bombay over Delhi. I find the variety quite exceptional actually, rather than uniformly mediocre.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 4:39:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

DK: I agree completely on the variety bit. What I meant to say was while the variety is awesome; the quality (i.e. taste) of the food suffers. No matter what I have eaten in Mumbai, be it the parathas, the south Indian snack or the Chinese….nothing seems to taste as it should. The only thing that really works for me here is Vada Pav in its various avatars and the bhel. It rocks! Variety can be no excuse for scrumptious tasting food.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 5:21:00 AM

Blogger Gaurav said...

OK, this is making me very hungry!! But I shall post my comment nonetheless.

Two words - Sea Food. Touche! If you haven't been to Gazalli in Parle, you must. However what makes Bombay great is that the general seafood preparation in any random restaurant is decent.

But even in matters of red meat, Mumbai has stuff to offer. There's Noor Mohammadi, Baghdaadi, Noorani, Bade Miyaan, neither of which you have mentioned! Then there are the ubiquitous sizzler joints like Yoko's. And of course, there's Mondegar. Delhi I think has better chicken dishes. The overall winner in the red meat department by a whopping margin is Lucknow of course, but it isnt in the contest.

Desserts aren't my forte, so I can't say a lot here. But only in Bombay have I seen road-side brownie stalls!

I am no Veg fan either so can't comment much. But one huge factor in veggie food is southie food which abounds in Mumbai, and is absent in Delhi.

F$%k man, I can't go on without my hunger pangs growing. I will second...I mean third... or whatever Falstaff said. It just ain't a contest.

And yes, accessibility of food in Mumbai. In Delhi I would get hajaar bugged at how far you have to travel just to get a decent restaurant. Mumbai is overall a more spread-out city than Delhi in terms of happeningness, though not geographically.

As for Bombay vadapav and bhel, I don't like it because they can't make it properly here. Vadapav and bhel is best had in Pune.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 5:59:00 AM

Blogger Bombay Addict said...

@ Anon - dude (girl?) I'd definitely be interested in your blog, so do let me know when it's up and running.

How does Bombay's cosmopolitan nature link up to its street food ? I thought street food typically caters to the working-class, which is why there's a preponderance of it near our railway stations; which is why vada pav is a big hit, ditto anda bhurji, pulao, pav-bhaaji, etc. I think I've got you wrong on this.

Interestingly all the items you mentioned seem to be largely North Indian variety. So, I assume you think the Delhi variants are better than similar stuff dished in Bombay at Tiwari Bros and Kailash Parbat (i.e. bhel, kachoris, samosas, chaat and kulfis). This probably should be expected since they are, after all, North Indian cuisine (at least kachoris, chaat and perhaps kulfi),

You also mention sandwiches - do check out Jai's Sandwich stall at Linking Road, Bandra opp. my college (RD National). Btw - have you tried out pav-bhaaji ? Sardar is famous for putting bhaaji in his butter (warning - sensitive tastes might not like it). Canon (opp VT) used to be good, but I doubt it is anymore.

I also take exception to your statement that Bombai street food is too Gujarati skewed. How can you say that ? And in the same vein crave for a vada pav - that quintessential, ghat and worthy-of-a-Noble-prize Bombay street food ? If you like vada pavs, please make sure you try out the Kirti college vada pav (near VSNL in Prabhadevi) and Shree Krishna (Dadar Station).

Bombay street food is not Gujarati skewed. In my defence I offer this indicative list of popular eateries. As you will see none of them are Gujju. My count begins at 3, since I count Sardar and Kirti as #1 and #2 in the non-Gujju joints. Note - these are not in an order of preference.

3. Mani's - dosas of all variety - a thela in Khar, which sees crowds every evening.

4. Jai Jawan - tangdi, fish, etc - on Linking road, Bandra (for this you should also try out Sion, Koliwada). I know of people who come from Ghatkopar for this.

5. Elco Bandra - chaat, bhel, etc - but I don't think they're as good as they used to be.

6. Prakash and Aswaad - sabudaana wadas, kothimbir vada, thaalipeeth - Dadar (so that's Maharashtrian food)

7. Kalbadevi - this entire area is an foodie delight. I remember going to one roadside guy there who served broken papads mixed with masala. Amazing. (ok papad is Gujju, but not this variant).

8. VT - another khau galli - Pancham Puriwala and many small eateries which serve yummy meals at reasonably price - and which taste good.

9. King Circle - an amazing area for South Indian food (Madras Cafe, Cafe Mysore)

10. And last but not the least - how can we forget Crystal at Marine Drive ? Old Hindi songs, and daal like you had it home. Don't get me started here.

And here I'm not even including the Iranian joints and the Catholic joints. Bombay has many of these and I doubt they can be called Gujju-skewed

I humbly contend that not one of these popular haunts are Gujju skewed. And neither is Bombay Street Food. I await proof from you to the contrary. Please include Swati Snacks, Tardeo in your list of Gujju-skewed places.

Bombay street food tends to be an emotional matter for Bombayites. As my ID suggests I'm a big Bombay fan. So when you put Bombay at the bottom of your list of street food destinations, it is bound to hurt. Believe me, it does.

But you base your verdict on experience and I shall not question it. As I said earlier - food is a matter of taste. And Bombay street food does not get you hungry for more. That's your point of view, and let's leave it at that. I accept it.

Yet, I quote from you - "Don’t take my word on it. Travel around and experience it on your own." The "it" in my case obviously stands for Bombay's street food.

@ Gaurav - do let me know about good bhel and vada pav joints in Pune. I've had vada pav once somewhere in Pune and it rocked.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 6:05:00 AM

Blogger Selma Mirza said...

Hmm, interesting. I'll tell you where Bombay kicks ass? It has the beach! With delicious gola.

Btw, does Delhi have Monginis?!

And it is only fair that you judge food with an empty stomach. Only then you would know what is more deisrable, Or is it the other way round? Would you find everything to be yummy, just because you have an empty stomach?

I feel happy here, nice blog :-D

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 10:29:00 AM

Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

To start with a caveat, I grew up in Delhi, and have had but a very fleeting encounter with food in Bombay. The idea of a comparison is amusing, and a bit redundant, each city has much to offer in terms of culinary variety. Here's a bit of nitpicking though:

1. You cannot be serious about Moti Mahal. That place trades on its past and hasn't turned out a decent dish in at least 20 years.

2. Did you just eat at Paranthewali Gali and completely miss the great street food in Bazar Sitaram, Chawri Bazaar, Dariba and Paharganj?

3. Who or what is Nasir Iqbal?

4. Have you ever had moth, kalmi vadi, shakkarkandi/amrak, chana kulcha, paya from a street stall,etc.?

5. If you speak to a Bombay-based food critic like Vikram Doctor, he'd tell you Trishna is mediocre at best and can be pretty bad on its worst days.

6. Have you tried the sushi at the restaurant at Hotel Metropolitan Nikko in Gole Market, widely regarded as one of the best sushi places in India?

7. You mention Bukhara, but no Dum Pukht? By all accounts, Dum Pukht is where Chef Qureishi pours his talent and the food is far superior.

8. Are you restricting yourself to Western desserts? Both Sugar and Spice at Oberoi and Wengers do a fairly decent job with pastries in Delhi.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 7:35:00 PM

Blogger Gaurav said...

bombay_addict, an analysis of the vadapav is now up on my blog for your perusal. As for your query -

Vadapav - The Joshi vadapav off JM Road opposite BalGandharv, and the Joshi vadapav at Paud phata. The vadapav opposite UCO Bank near Vanaz. The vadapav opposite the Pune stock exchange. The vadapav near the Shivaji statue in Kothrud.

As for bhel, the best place is the guy who operates out of a building compound on the canal-road that connects Prabhat Road to Law College Road. Notable bhels can also be had outside Sarasbaug, Kothrud Park, Kamla Nehru Park. Kamla Nehru Park in fact has one of the best ragda-puris you will ever taste. Navratna Bhel off Laxmi Road is also highly regarded.

But in general, the average vadapav and bhel you get in Pune are way way way better than what you get in Mumbai. So if you are in Pune, even if you can't visit these places, just head for the nearest thela. Odds are you will leave contented.

In terms of the typical Northie chaat, of course, places like Lucknow and Delhi rock. But when it comes to ghatisation of chaat, viz bhel, ragda puri, ragda pattice, spdp, Pune just walks all over Mumbai. Of course you leave the realm of vegetarianism and Mumbai has its revenge, and HOW!

I am now going to have a huuuge breakfast.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 8:21:00 PM

Blogger Bombay Addict said...

@ Gaurav - hey thanks. I will def try that when I'm next in Pune.

Btw - your view is like totally counter-intuitive, i.e. that Pune walks over Bombay in bhel. Yet, I do believe that "Bombay bhel" seems to be a tad over-hyped. And that could also probably be a media thing. For eg if you're a celebrity new to Bombay, you don't want to be caught not admiring Bombay bhel in an interview which has stupid questions like "Favourite Bombay food". And then there's also that old song with that line "Chowpatty jayenge na bhel puri khayenge, achi achi surto se.."

So I won't argue that point since I haven't had Pune bhel, and in any case I'm not such a large bhel fan.

Thanks a !@#$%^& lot - you've made me hungry and all I can have are !@#$% wheat biscuits. Thanks dude !

@ Anon - jhalak dikhlaaaaaja ! Oye - kidhar hai ??

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 8:47:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Post my consumption of yet another Vada Pav last evening and some corn flakes this morning, I am ready to get back to what I feel is getting to be a bit of an unfair comparison.

Addict: The correlation between the cosmopolitan nature of a city’s makeup and street food is very obvious. The more cosmopolitan a city is, the more the variety of street food which will be doled out. I don’t think Chennai for example will have any where the close variety of street food that Mumbai has to offer. Completely agree that street food typically caters to the working-class, but the working class here too throngs from all over India. They all seek flavors that remind them of home and thus there are plenty ready to dole them out here.

I had already placed the caveat in my last post that though Delhi does focus on lesser street food compared to Mumbai (YES they are all North Indian) it does a far better job. Mumbai does have more variety. Delhi, better tasting food. Full stop.

I am not a big fan of sandwiches myself but will definitely have to and check out Jai’s when I am in Bandra. Have eaten loads of Pav Bhaji at Sardar and give top marks to it.

I maintain that Mumbai street food is Gujrati skewed because whenever I have stopped and eaten off the street (any regular street place/udipi) I have got this very distinct gujju flavor (sweetish) to it. Am yet to come across a consistently good street food (am again not referring to your only ten odd listed below) idli/dosa/aloo tikki or samosa which tastes anything like what my taste buds crave for.

The list that you rattle off seems to pick the top 8-10 eateries that Mumbai has to offer. These by no means define street food or its quality in Mumbai. Good street food must have a minimum quality threshold across the spectrum. Mumbai fails in delivering this.

Let me try to do a humble critique of the joints you have mentioned (have eaten at almost all being the foodie).

1. Mani's - dosas of all variety - a thela in Khar, which sees crowds every evening.

Have eaten here. Hated the dosas or the alien variations that had made out of it. Rava Dosa with cheese and paneer. What?? Too oily, too bland, horrible chutney. 3 out of 10.

2. Jai Jawan - tangdi, fish, etc - on Linking road, Bandra (for this you should also try out Sion, Koliwada). I know of people who come from Ghatkopar for this.

Allergic to seafood but have heard raving review from my Mumbai friends. Can’t say hence only fair to go by your opinion. Btw aren’t you a veg. Then how can you have such a strong point of view on these places. You must rely on word of mouth too. So let’s call this one quite and mark it right in the centre. Will give it 5 out of 10.

3. Elco Bandra - chaat, bhel, etc - but I don't think they're as good as they used to be.

I don’t know how good they used to be but they fall awfully short of all the hype that is created by people. The pani puris stuffing sucks, chaat is insipid and the dosas another failure. The Gulab Jamuns here are awesome though. Only for those I give it 6 out of 10.

4. Prakash and Aswaad - sabudaana wadas, kothimbir vada, thaalipeeth - Dadar (so that's Maharashtrian food)

Truly brilliant Maharastrian food. I love it. No arguments. See how well Mumbai does when it doles out its own home grown specialties. 9 out of 10. 1 deducted for the not so palatable piyush.

5. Kalbadevi - this entire area is an foodie delight. I remember going to one roadside guy there who served broken papads mixed with masala. Amazing. (ok papad is Gujju, but not this variant).

Haven’t eaten there. Will take your work. Full marks I guess.

6. VT - another khau galli - Pancham Puriwala and many small eateries which serve yummy meals at reasonably price - and which taste good.

Haven’t eaten there. Will take your work. Full marks I guess.

7. King Circle - an amazing area for South Indian food (Madras Cafe, Cafe Mysore)

Nice food but doesn’t hit the mark if your looking for some amazing south Indian food. Some joint in Delhi especially in Defense Colony and Hauz Khas village take the cake on this one. 6 out of 10.

8. And last but not the least - how can we forget Crystal at Marine Drive? Old Hindi songs and daal like you had it home. Don't get me started here.

I have no idea what the noise is about Crystal. I have eaten there so many times to see what gets people all nostalgic (just like you). If playing old Hindi records, rickety chair and mediocre food is your idea of heaven I suggest you quickly set off North. Crystal to me the biggest rip off street food (I don’t even know if it is included in it) Mumbai has to offer. Very very average, oily food. Awesome Kheer and Aam Ras though with a decent rajma.

And here I'm not even including the Iranian joints and the Catholic joints. Bombay has many of these and I doubt they can be called Gujju-skewed

Perhaps the comment on the entire Mumbai street food being gujju was inappropriate in the larger sense. But for sure, the food I have come across does tend to taste very very gujju. My bad luck, I guess.

This has turned out to be more of a rebuttal that a move forward on the debate. For every place that you point out, a similar place exists in Delhi or for that matter in every city in India. What my contention is (and it still stands) that in absolute terms of quality of raw materials, taste and quality Delhi rocks. Mumbai does win over when it comes to variety.

Schezwan Idli and wash it down with a chikoo milk shake? Innovative no doubt. Tasty…..i reserve my comments.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 9:57:00 PM

Blogger Bombay Addict said...

@ Anon - As I've said before, it's a matter of taste. You like something, I like something. Whatever. Your stance is "Bombay - more variety, not good taste. Delhi - not as much variety but good taste." My stance - "Bombay - more variety and decent taste". Here are my last few points.

My list - It's purely indicative. There is so much on offer in Bombay that I can rattle of another 10, and they'd still not do justice to the variety. Please get me right here. I said "variety" - not taste. Since this is a subjective debate, I will not get into the issue of you-didn't-like-Mani-but-I-found-it-yummy. Let us agree to disagree.

Your critique -
1. Manis - welcome to the world of Schezwan Idli and Spring Dosa. Undoubtedly they suck. But then, they are the sad result of Shiv Sagars catering to the massive Gujju-cum-Maadu-cum-Sindhi crowds who demand this. Believe me, these heretical food items are devoured by many. I will not defend this because I had his other "saada" dosas, idlis, etc. in mind when I referred to it. They might not be spectacular, but they make the cut.

2. Jai J - Yes, I am a veg. My strong view is based on the crowds I see there and (more importantly) is based on the personal opinions of friends I know. Surely enough to take a call, right ? Aiya - this also reminds me - you should also try Pals on 16th Road, Bandra. Run by a Sardar who also has a joint in Sion Koliwada - pls try that out as well.

3. Elcos - I will try the GJams. Agree on the hype on this.

4. Prakash and Aswaad - no way ! 20 out of 10, you stingy man/woman !

5 and 6. Kalbadevi and VT - I await your view, but something tells me you might not return impressed.

7. King Circle - I can't fathom Delhi being better than King Circle on South Indian food. But I take your word for it, at least for this debate.

8. Crystal is "the biggest rip-off"? How do you define "rip-off"?. As in, you went there with great expectations and were disapponted? Again, since it's a matter of taste, I will not argue. I find it brilliant and no I don't find it oily.

Thank you for conceding that "Perhaps the comment on the entire Mumbai street food being gujju was inappropriate in the larger sense." Even if you do stick to your point of view, I do think aapka bad luck kharab hai.

Do let me know if/when you put lists of eateries in other cities out. Being a foodie, I'd love to go to these places when I'm in those cities next. You know my blog URL, I await yours.

Finally - This was a good one-on-one. I would've liked other views, either for or against. But for whatever random reason, they've not come in. I think I've overestimated the passion of Bombay bloggers/lovers for Bombay food. Mysteriously (tee-hee?), no Delhi b/l has come out in support of Delhi food either.

Epilogue - You've given us full marks on variety and we've won anyways on the overall ranking. I retain my right to say "hahaha", hence hahaha. Truce now, yes?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 11:12:00 PM

Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

"Mysteriously (tee-hee?), no Delhi b/l has come out in support of Delhi food either."

Bombay Addict, did you not see my comment? Or perhaps I was being a bit too oblique and subtle. Frankly, I find such comparisons loathesome, simply because they devolve into petty arguments such as the one on hand.

I'll put together a post on food in Delhi in due time, and certainly there is much to write about.

But just to show how trivial all this is, bear in mind that neither Bombay nor Delhi come even close to the Asian gourmet destinations that cities like Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo are. Any small town in Greece can beat Bombay by far in terms of restaurant density. A single neighbourhood of Los Angeles has more variety of cuisines than all of Delhi put together.

What I'm trying to say is, that the dining-out culture in our country is not so pervasive, so to compare two cities at this point is rather silly.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 12:38:00 AM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Thalassa, I am amused by your last comment. I agree that comparisons like these can end up in petty argument, but this one isn't.

Maybe when you said that this comparison is 'amusing', I misread you. For now you are saying that you find these discussions loathsome. I actually think that such discussions are useful (at least now I know where to eat the next 4 months). Also, from what I have heard, and considering the criteria I have in mind, I still retain my point of view on the comparison. It is as Bombay Addict's saying a matter of taste. As far as my taste goes, Bombay is better.

As far as the other places you mention, aren't you contradicting your point of view that such comparisons are redundant and loathsome? "neither Bombay nor Delhi come even close to the Asian gourmet destinations that cities like Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo are"... Disagree on that.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 12:54:00 AM

Blogger Bombay Addict said...

@ thalassa - boo!

btw - lol^(1/0). I'm in splits at your comment and can't type a reply

@ DK2 - totally, completely, unequivocally, absolutely and fully agree with yout.

@ thalassa again - You praise Greece, Bangkok, HK, yadiyadiyada and then
also pine for a samosa
?! lol^(1/0)...can't type...trying to...but can't....haaaaa

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 1:24:00 AM

Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

What I said about Bangkok, Singapore, etc. is not a matter of taste. I may personally prefer Biryani to Hainanese Chicken Rice, but that's besides the point.

It's about sheer numbers and variety, and any well travelled gourmand would tell you that the cities I named score over Delhi and Bombay in these aspects.

It is without dispute that countries like Singapore, Greece and Thailand
have very well-established dining out cultures. Thais eat a majority of their meals outside their home, and the Sunday lunch in a restaurant is a practice every Greek family follows.

Comparitively, urban Indians eat out far, far less. Our restaurant scene is still nascent.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 1:45:00 AM

Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Bombay Addict, if you would set aside your blinkers for a minute, you would realize exactly where Bombay or any other Indian metropolis stands in terms of the dining scene compared to cities like HK and Bangkok.

And my craving a samosa has nothing to do with it, I also crave the incredible variety of cuisines I have access to in LA when I am on vacation in India. We have a long way to go, but we'd rather be smug and self-assured.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 1:50:00 AM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Thalassa, I actually disagree with you on comparison with other countries and the conclusion that some might draw from it (not saying that you did)- Indians don't eat out as much.

Firstly, nobody's being smug. India is behind every other country on various retail and entertainment parameters. Yes, the number of restaurants are low, but so are the number of movie halls, book shops, night clubs, malls, etc. etc. etc.
In any case, this comparison is irrelevant.

Secondly, a lot of the food service consumption (restaurants, street food etc.) in the cities you mention are by tourists, which unfortunately is miniscule for us. Again, nothing to be smug or non-smug about. That's the way it is and it will take time to change.

Thirdly, amongst Indians, many surveys have shown that Indians spend a disproportionately large part of their income and their 'entertainment' budget on food service, compared to developing countries. If you don't believe me, ask any mall-developer or retailer, on what are the first 2-3 things he thinks of in his mall? He will say - anchor tenant (Big Bazaar, Westside equivalent) and then food court.

Yes, Indians might have had a bias towards eating at home (because of many cultural factors), but that is changing fast. Again, nothing to be smug or non-smug about...

Finally, this discussion's not a serious debate. Ultimately, I would love it if Bombay Addict shows me the places around Mumbai. I can do the same for Delhi. It's fun. And if we are smug that we are having fun, then so be it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 2:03:00 AM

Blogger Bombay Addict said...

Thalassa - I've put my blinkers on because this debate is only about Delhi v/s Bombay on food. I appreciate your views on the other cities being far more diverse, advanced or whatever. Surely, that is not being discussed here?

Yes, your comments in support of Delhi cuisine were a bit oblique for my relatively limited (ah! blinkered!) intelligence to grasp (surely, you agree?).

You refer to this entire thread as "loathsome" and "trivial". I disagree. And I'd say more, but we're clearly shifting away from the point of DK2's post.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 2:08:00 AM

Blogger Morpheus said...

Like your post and its links to the eternal Bombay Delhi debate.
One thing I got to say...
Elco Pani puri and chaat does not come close to Chaat in Delhi...whether it is Bengali Sweets in South ex, The corner shop in Delhi University or Haldirams! No one in Bombay can do chaat quite like the way the dilli waalas can

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 7:22:00 AM

Blogger dhanur said...

Excellent analysis, outcome as expected. Apart from all the places you've mentioneed, nothing else in India compares to the following other places ..

1. 5 Spice : The best 'Indian Chinese' food place in the world, they defy norms of economics, profitability and kanjoosi (usually prevalent in medium budget non-veg places, so much so that they count the number of pieces in standard plate of chilli chicken!) and serve, get this .. half a ton of crispy fried chicken for 90 bucks. Equisite.

2. Crepe Station : Ok the food's nothing to write home about, but coupled with the ambience .. it definitely is a breath of fresh air. I will not forget to mention one little fact here .. the nutella waffles are the the next best things to orgasms.

3. Bombay Blues : If you find a New Yorker's in heaven, it would be called Bombay blues (they don't deny you meat in heaven, or any other mortal pleasure for that matter FYI) They've killed the Mexican Fajita sizzlers and that goes against them, but absolutely everything else on the menu more than adequately makes up. A combine of Mexican, Italian, Punjabi food and free wi-fi (at Kalaghoda) .. a winner!

I now look forward to a Part 3 on the beer stations/pubs/night clubs. Heads up on this .. Toto's, Jazz, Gokul's, Polyesthers and the likes will whoop anything that Delhi brings on ... (except for Turqoise Cottage of course)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 8:34:00 AM

Anonymous Siddharth said...

There is no question of debate here. It has to be Bombay.

Where else do you get such a variety of food in one city?

There'e a speciality restaurant for everything in Mumbai, be it
South Indian (Mysore/Madras Cafe, All other Matunga places, Status),
North Indian (Copper Chimney),
Italian (Pizzeria, Trattoria),
Mexican (Relish, New Yorker's),
Pav Bhaji (Sardar's, Sukh Sagar),
Desserts (Mocha, Moshe's, Waffles, 210, The Right Place, Bachelor's)

...and so on for every type of cuisine you can think of.

...and that's just the South Bombay joints.

...Ofcourse, this is just for Vegetarian, I'm not qualified to make comments on the non-veg part.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 9:51:00 AM

Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

dhoomk2, to clarify, I was merely amused by your original post (I still maintain such comparisons are redundant), but when Bombay Addict turned it into a game of one-upmanship, that's when I found it loathsome.

And I assure you I did not call you smug.

I agree with almost everything that you said in your comment about food retail in India, except for what you said about a majority of the business in other countries coming from tourists.

Bangkok's incredibly vibrant street food scene is almost entirely supported by locals (most Western tourists are too chicken to eat hawker food). Singapore's restaurant scene is dictated by the preferences of the local Straits Chinese (lots of Chinese restaurants). In Greece, even in towns that hardly get any tourism (like Volos and Iannina in the north) the sheer density of restaurants is amazing.

But that comment about other cities was merely to put all this in perspective. I'm as excited as you are by the growth in the restaurant sector in India. I just wish we'd be more discerning about our restaurants rather than getting all defensive about them.

I mean, it's hardly to the credit of a Mangalorean restaurant that it's most popular dish is butter-pepper crab. In Delhi, no self-respecting South Indian would recommend the Def Col Sagar and yet, it's packed to the gills every time. Bukhara is a very, very glorified dhaba.

Anyway, I'm sorry I took up so much of your comment space.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 12:13:00 PM

Blogger Rishi Gajria said...


havent been back to India in seven years. I am originally from Bombay. I was really curious about the prices and how much much they have risen. When I left Bombay in 1999, vada pav was still 2 Rupees on the road near my house in Kandivli.
Could people post some of the prices of these foods in various places and cities.
I have been told that Delhi and Calcutta have the cheapest food.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 2:30:00 PM

Blogger Rishi Gajria said...

In 1998, I visited Lucknow with a large group of people. We went to a popular area that serves kababs. The name escapes me. The food tasted great but everyone ended up falling sick the next day.
In lucknow , I ate at a truck stop - Rice, Yoghurt, Lentils, Rotis, and Sabji. Simple food but fantastic.
Calcutta has some great eateries too, I wish someone could post about them.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 2:42:00 PM

Blogger Bombay Addict said...

Thalassa - boo! (all over again).

I won't defend what I did, even if you call it loathsome, smug, yadiyadiyada. You're entitled to your p.o.v. and me to mine.

What I will defend is that (and get this right) - in terms of variety, access and availability, Bombay smokes Delhi. Taste is another matter altogether - I've flogged this to death so I won't repeat it.

I couldn't care less about Bangkok, HK, East Timor, West Timor, Polynesia, Greece, Bali, Cyprus, Monaco, Hindenburg and Heineken (ok, last two weren't places) and their economies, per capita GDP, tourist arrivals, tourist exits, spending patterns, hotel bills, laundry bills. Not on this debate.

If you do put out a post on street food (and allied matters mentioned above) in these countries, rest assured I will read it, I will print it and it will be my lodestar when/if I'm there.

Clearly you're a much-traveled person with a fine taste for food. Excellent. May your tribe increase.

Moving on - thank you Bombay supporters -

@ Dhanur - Shabbash sher ! broadly agree with what you said.

5 spice has now opened up in Bandra as well - no idea how his economics work, his quantity is indeed awesome, almost seems like charity. Please do try this vastly under-rated place called Bamboo Shoot off Linking Road, near Dominos Khar. It's run by this complete gentleman - Vinod Kamath. He used to do a great job with the Malaysian noodles. And you're warned - his food can get v. spicy.

Crepe Station - yes, the food is nothing great, but the crowd rocks and kind of more than compensates. Their stuffed jacket potato is quite good and again agree the nutella wafers are drool, drool, drool.

Bombay Blues - oh yes, agree.

@ Siddharth - shabbash sher to you as well ! The list is indeed endless. Btw - you list Status under South Indian. Do visit it on a Sunday afternoon. You will be zapped by the Gujju families that come all the way from the suburbs to feast on his Gujarati Thali. No - I don't like it. But the crowds tell a different story. A Status employee, wearing a jacket, actually stands outside the place with a mike in his hand, calling out "Kamlesh Parekh, Hitesh Shah, Jignesh Patel" when their chance for a table finally comes. Mind-boggling.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 9:10:00 PM

Blogger Gaurav said...

rishi, vadapav now costs 4 rupees.

the lucknow kabab place you visited must've been tundey.

And in terms of food, I know this is a delhi-mumbai debate, but nothing is even in the same vicinity of being in the same league as lucknow. sheer gastronomic delight, the city is. and such huge portions too. those guys can cook!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 10:08:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just my two humble cents:
a) In terms of Non-veg, the comments above try to push Bombay ahead by taking one-two names here and there, like Copper Chimney. Poultry, represented by Butter and Tandoori chicken, is ubiquitious in Delhi on every nook and corner. A tasty chicken dish is no more than 200 metres away.
Chicken: Bombay 0, Delhi 1.5 (no comparison)
I agree that as far as sea-food goes, there is no competition.
Sea-food: Bombay 1, Delhi 0
In the other non-veg dishes (mutton, beef etc.) I would tend to give equal marks to both, even though I dont know of good places in Bombay for those.
So bottomline is Bombay 2 Delhi 2.5.

b) For Veg:
Dairy is so big in Delhi, that Paneer has been improved to perfection there. I have personally eaten really yummy paneer dishes without having to look too far. Ditto for Punjabi dishes like Chhole , chana bhatoora, dal makhani, rajma chawal etc. Bombay sure has many more Gujarati restaurants, but Delhi also has tons and tons of dhabas which serve delicious veg in addition to butter chicken :)

So here, I would say Bombay 0.5 Delhi 1.0


Wednesday, April 19, 2006 11:40:00 PM

Blogger The Marauder's Map said...

Very very long comments here. Only two things I have to say:

1. For sea food in Delhi, try Swagath in Defence Colony market. Very good lobster, crabs (live ones, eventually fried in butter garlic) and some amazing prawn dishes. Lots of Indian coastal cuisine, Mangalorean, Konkan etc. It's a very big and popular restaurant, but sadly, it often gets missed in Delhi food discussions.

2. Try the Amritsari naan in the hole-in-the-wall joints. Tandoori naans stuffed with aloo, gobhi or paneer, served with a dollop of butter on top and side dishes of kali daal and spicy chhole. Absolutely divine and very filling (and very cheap).

Thursday, April 20, 2006 12:29:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

delhi has zakir nagar too.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 1:59:00 AM

Blogger Bald Monkey said...

Although being a delhiphile myself, I have to give 0.5 more points to mumbai for the naturals ice creams... delectable.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 3:10:00 AM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Thalassa, okay. I actually didn't find bombay addict smug also (we can choose to disagree). I think all of this is a bit harmless ribbing, which is fun. Plus, we are trying to be discerning, I think. For example, I won't mention Bade Miyan in places to eat, really!!

Btw, I am not sure that tourists don't play a major part in giving a fillip to Singapore restaurants. Would like to find out more.

Finally, would be interesting to go to greece on a food trip. will call on you before I go.

Asterix, good to see someone coming up for Delhi big-time. One anonymous wasn't enough to fight Bombay Addict, Gaurav, Falstaff, D

Thursday, April 20, 2006 4:16:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

DK: one anon is more than enough to take the guys (girls) on but the conversation was getting too skewed to the same ol' places like Natural's. It's not about the variety but the quality of food guys. Kapish.

Let’s face it, Delhi food rocks! Be it for the veggies out there or for the hardcore non-vegetarians like me and you.

Buy your point that Seafood and Beef are better in Mumbai, holds true.

That has, in my opinion got to do more with the geography and the more liberal social stand on beef than anything else.

Like I said earlier, lets try and keep the top three veg dishes/meats/desserts etc from each city and compare them to how do they fare in the other.

The answer then, would be rather simple.

Here's my Delhi list. Show me one place in Mumbai that does it better in any one and I shall truly eat humble pie. Or for that matter go out there and try that prize winning dish.

Veg (Being a true Non-Veg, this is a tad bit tough but here goes)

1)Channa Kulcha (Bengal Sweet House)
2)Dal Makhani from Pandara Road
3)Raj Kachori from Haldiram’s

Non Veg (Here is where Delhi by far runs with the trophy)

1)Burrah Kebab’s from Karim’s, Jama Masjid
2)Butter Chicken from Moti Mahal and others
3)Bheja Fry from Colonel’s Kebabs


1)Rabari from Chandini Chowk
2)Kulfi Falooda (not the hackneyed Mumbai version) from Gulatis
3)Moong Daal ka Halwa from Nathu’s

Let's just read this list again and again and dream on before we get yanked out of the reverie to the tastes of yet another shezwan paneer dosa or the much hyped vada pav.

No contest here, for me!

Thursday, April 20, 2006 4:40:00 AM

Blogger Bombay Addict said...

Anon - If you firmly believe that it's about the quality and not variety of street food, then as I've constantly said I will not get into that debate.

I'm taking a stand on the reverse. On variety and availability, Bombay is better than Delhi. In line with above, I'd prefer not to go into equivalent places in Bombay for the food items you mentioned. I mean, we could go on and on about how I think Cream Centre is better for Chole Bhature, but you think Bengal Sweet House is better. Would there be a definitive answer?I doubt it.

I'm also tempted to rattle off a list of khau gallis (like this - Marine Lines, near Bombay Hospital, Income-Tax Bldg. Jhaveri Bazaar, Charni Road. Kalbadevi. Mohammed Ali Road. Janmabhoomi Marg, Fort. Roads leading to Dadar Station. Regal Cinema, Santacruz Market. Chowpatty and Juhu. King Circle. Sion Koliwada. Linking Road.) to prove my point and then you'd rattle off your list to prove yours.

But I think that definitive data on absolute number of food joints as well as food joints per thousand people is not available for either city. We go by what we know, by what we’ve seen and –in your case – by what we’ve tasted. So would that saber-rattling further this debate or merely repeat it?

I completely appreciate your point that Delhi street food rocks in terms of taste. My friend, believe me, I will personally try out each and every food (veg) and dessert item you mentioned at the places you said. And I know that I will like them. But will they be better than Bombay? Here we go again!

My point is that the availability of a whole lot of food items that cater to tastes across-the-board is better in Bombay than it is in Delhi. Kapish.

I've been called smug and self-assured, I've been told I've got blinkers on and I've been told that I'm indulging in a loathsome activity of one-upmanship that's incidentally also trivial and petty. I’ve been called Count Dooku, Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord….ok, ok, not all of that. I loved all of it. (Thalassa – thanks. My boos and tee-hees apart, I really liked what you said. It only pushed me further).

Honestly - haven't we reached the end? I've called for a truce before and I call for it again. Truce. Not defeat.

@ DK2 - thanks for saying what I probably should have but didn't. We are indeed having a lot of fun. And my gyan has increased big time. Rest assured I am going to check out all the places mentioned here by everyone.

@ Delhi and Bombay bloggers – well done bhai/behen log. It’s great to see people being passionate about their cities and the city’s food. IMHO they are causes worthy of such passion.

@DK2 again – good show, boss. Well done and thanks for whipping up this debate in the blogosphere.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 7:29:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a waste of an argument... ever heard of the phrase - de gustibus no est disputandum or about taste we cannot argue.. i'm a delhite and i love delhi food.. my friend (born in delhi but a confirmed bombay-phile) loves bombay food everytime

Saturday, May 06, 2006 11:21:00 AM

Blogger Mike said...

WhAt a ComParison !!! worth a 5***** Rating :-)

I think there is another underground war brewing between the mullahs of two cities - Kolkata and Hyderabad.

Parts of my heart reside in both cities. Kolkata for it's my home and the warmth of the people and Hyderabad because I spend my MBA years there the way the past blends with the present (and future) here.

While Hyderabad is more known for its culinary extravaganzas thanks to the biryani, Kolkata just a great a foodies city. However before I throw the floor ope to debates to arrive at a possible Quod erat demonstrandum we need to put some assumptions into place.

(1) we do not compare anything beyond "hole in the wall places (HITW)". Larger restaurants, hotels have processes and standard operating procedure which are are georaphically tranferable. The real recipes reside in shacks and HITW places. So Paradise in Hyderabad is definately out.

(2) Lets ignore the "brand value" of the two cities aside. Lets compare the foods in a objective ways.

(3) we cannot really company bengali cusines to andhra cuisine. So have a level playing field lets compare the frontier / mughlai / iranian foods from the two cities ... Biryanis and kebabs are in.

And as i told yu my heart resides in both cities .. so i sit back and enjoy. Let the bugle be sounded.


Thursday, June 01, 2006 11:00:00 PM

Blogger Foodsanta said...

Nice blog. Thanks for sharing.
Food Delivery in Lucknow | Online Food Delivery in Lucknow

Friday, March 03, 2017 1:49:00 AM


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