Is it possible? Can a crammed, quick in quick out eatery inspire a love sonnet instead of a prosaic review? Please excuse my getting carried away, but the perfect idli and dosa has this effect on me. Matunga has been my forever haunt (I even insisted on taking Gordon Ramsay there for our TV shoot for Channel 4). So I went back to Matunga but this time to Arya Bhavan with the sporting, food loving, fun loving, ever smiling Nina and PK Vasa. With us too a gourmet who has spent a lot of time in Chennai, knows his Madras onions from the Nashik onions Needless to add we ate our way through the menu and floated out with silly smiles.
Simple. No frills. Table and bench décor. Vile Parle. Nariman Point. Matunga. All three are 50plus seaters. The Matunga flagship has a neon menu scrolling on top.
Hand pounded spices for the sambhar, home made ghee and white butter…all served on gleaming green banana leaves and made to family recipes of the Muthuswamys. Ask for their specials: “Brahmin idli” tiny erect mounds steamed in ghee. Thatte idli with white butter and molgapodi. Or just zero in to the regular idli…drizzle it with golden ghee or white butter and you ‘ll go back again and again for the snowy pillow of heaven. Ragi and Moong dal dosas delight. But its the regular ones that are made to perfection. the rava biscuit dosa sounds like blasphemy but the crisp taco like dosa is worth trying. Go for the Uthapam, spongy with onion tomato. The golden fried orb of medu vada too. Appam and stew, and avial are good but not great. Ditto for the idiyappam. But still worth trying.
No booking. Crammed. Service is not just brisk but brusque. Pizzas, sandwiches avoidable (obviously on the menu for all the college students.) Oversweet pineapple sheera and gulabjamun. Parking is a nightmare. Nariman Point and Vile Parle open only at 8am (too late for my breakfast)
I am a idli addict, a dosa devotee, an uthapam fan. And if you are too then the no-frills Arya Bhavans are your mecca. The story of the three Arya Bhawans (two months old Vile parle, a year old Nariman Point, 11 year old Matunga) began with Muthuswamy Reddiar selling idli vada kapi on his cycle in 1955. When I wrote India’s first city-food guide, Muthuswamy the caterer got pride of place because I had feasted on his consistently good food at many a party. But not to have to wait for some one to throw a party and to be able to elbow my way into any of the three Arya Bhavans (run by brothers Navin, Pravin, Vivek Muthuswamy) is a treat.Never mind if they don’t take table booking or that parking is impossible or that service is brusque, Madurai’s Muthuswamy is Mumbai’s VFM delight!
Ground Floor Easter court, Parleshwar Rd, Vile Parle
Shop No. 9 & 10, Bhanujyoti Building Opposite Matunga Central Railway Station, Lakhamsi Napoo Rd, Matunga
Open ⋅7to 10PM
G-2, Plot 211, Ground Floor, Dalamal Tower, Free Press Journal Marg, Nariman Point, Mumbai
8am – 10pm
RATING FOOD 3.75 SERVICE 3 DÉCOR 2.75
Meal for two Rs 500
FOOD & MUSIC MASTERPIECES
Time stands still. Food and music masterpieces pamper all my senses. I write from splendid Warsaw, the birthplace of the legendary pianist Fredrick Chopin. In the magnificent century old Raffles Europejski timeless legends come together in a memorable symphony. The brilliant chef Benat Alons conjures masterpieces of texture and flavour. Polish cuisine refined and elegant made with the freshest of seasonal produce. He ensures an orchestra of harmony and memorable notes in each and every dish. My research on global vegetarian dining continues and I have the most amazing vegetarian dishes, intricately and thoughtfully composed. Ending with the burnt butter dessert and starting with the most delicious chilled Polish beetroot soup, Chlodnik. Should you want Chef Alons’ authentic recipe please mail email@example.com