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Chowpatty chat

A Fish Bazaar at Kayal, a Mumbai Street Food Festival at Taj Connemara and burger bonanza at Marmalade... Foodies, it's your time to freak out


SAVOUR CHAT-PATA chaat from Chowpatty beach in Chennai. `Verandah,' the 24-hour coffee shop at Taj Connemara is organising a 10-day `Mumbai Street Food Festival,' till November 16.

Giving chat-lovers a feel of the Chowpatty beach is the azure background, neon lit food stalls, shell strings, hanging lanterns, posters of Bollywood heroes and blaring film songs. Snippets from various Bollywood movies are also being screened.

"The food stalls in Chowpatty though quite popular among the public are often unhygienic. So people who are finicky about food hesitate to sample the fare. The festival provides them with an opportunity to savour some of the popular Chowpatty chat items and in a five-star ambience," says M. P. Deepak, assistant manager.

"All the items have been prepared keeping in mind authenticity and style," says chef K. Natarajan.

In fact the originality has been maintained even in the spelling of names. "Since the names of most of the stalls in Chowpatty are mis-spelt, we too have deliberately mis-spelt the names of our stalls," he says. So you can get tawa subzi and taka tan from `Tapori Bombaii,' dosa (masala/kheema) and chutney from `Vinayak Past Food,' and chat items from `Juhu Chat Bandar.'

However, the list of chat items is mind-boggling making choice difficult. From ragada patties and batata vada to the popular bhel puri and pav bhaji, the menu is comprehensive. To start with, bhel puri had the right amount of tanginess and sourness to it.

Ragada patties with chenna and aloo tikki was a bit over spiced but the pav bhaji with its `mast' maska (butter) more than compensated for it.

Vada pav, potato with masala stuffed in bread, the Indian answer to the burger, was quite filling. And the chola bhaturas unlike the one's served in restaurants were as small as the puris.

If non-vegetarians feel that they have been given a raw deal they could stroll on to `Bruce Lee,' the Indianised Chinese food stall, and pick up some delicious fried rice with silly chicken (chilly chicken), apart from a number of other exotic dishes.

Don't forget `Amchi Mumbai', the dessert counter. The kulfi with vermicelli and chocolate lollipop, vanilla ice cream coated with chocolate, will make you crave for more. The buffet, priced at Rs. 350 per head can be enjoyed between 7 p.m. and 12 midnight. For details call 28520123.

SANGEETH KURIAN

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