Skip to main content

Celebrating the spirit of Bombay

We are celebrating Bombay Foodie's 50th post with a dinner at Prithvi Cafe. Placed in the courtyard of Prithvi Theatre, this is not just another eatery. Prithvi cafe is an institution, serving its famous non-alcoholic Irish Coffee for eons. Every evening, the outdoor stone tables see a colorful variety of people. Well dressed yuppies, struggling artists, an occassional star : this is a place to sit, relax and gawk. Even the indifferent and callous service is a part of the setting.

The food at Prithvi cafe was never something to write home about. Not until last year. Then Prithvi went for a makeover. And what a change! Instead of coming up with their own menu, Prithvi Cafe went to look for the best street food of Bombay. The new menu at Prithvi is a journey through Bombay's culinary history, an ode to everything and everyone that makes Bombay food what it is today.

Let's start with the breakfast. Prithvi has bun maska (buns and butter) from South Bombay's irani cafes. And then a section on its menu that says "baida lao" - bring on the eggs. For your lunch or dinner, they have sandwiches from American Express Bakery and kebabs from Noor Mohammadi. There's khari biscuit for tea time, and Bombay's very own pao bhaji and vada pao. Chaats come from Sharma Chaat in Juhu.

To end it all, Bombay's much-loved desserts. Icecreams from Bohri Mulla, cakes from Brownie Point and choice selections from Mocha. This is street food and more, as never seen before.

Round it up with Irish Coffee, Prithvi's contribution to Bombay's culinary heritage. I'm glad it's one thing that has not changed.

Comments

Raaga said…
Congrats on your 50th post... am a first timer here and am browsing through many posts :-)
Srivalli said…
Simran, congrats on your milestone!..I know how much it takes to be dedicated to something...its wonderful that you celebrated it at Prithvi Cafe..I have heard so much abt this..yet didn't visit in my short visit to bombay!..the menu sounds so delicious...did you go on all times to enjoy each of them??
Simran said…
Thanks Raaga. It was fun writing all these posts.

Srivalli - Prithvi Cafe is a favorite weekend hangout, so yes I've been there many times and tried most of the menu.
I also like stopping by every time I go to watch a play at Prithvi theatre.
Trupti said…
Congratulations on your 50th Post
Shri said…
Congratulations simran!!Hope you enjoyed a lot writing these.All the best for making it 100 soon.
skribles said…
Congratulations on your 50th post!
And the menu of Prithvi Cafe sounds really nice ... wud want to visit ther the next time I am in Bombay/Mumbai :)
Uma said…
congrats on the 50th post! Great going!
Bharti Khemani said…
Congrats Simran!
What a good idea to have all of Bombay's specialties sin one place. I like the sound of the Bombay language (baida lao). Reminds me of AK in Rangeela!
bhags said…
i read everything delicious you ate at Prithvi and I am all longing reading about it, dont knw when wud I taste those divine khari biscuits...and i love pav bhaji....now make me more jealous and tell me what did you go an watch there
Biswajit said…
Congrats! Didn't know Prithvi had a makeover. I bet the service is the same though. And i really really hope they didn't mess with their Irish Coffee....?
i envy envy envy u ..... u know i missssssssssss mumbai ... prithvi ... my first play there was class of 84... and then many more..
and congrats on ur 50th post...
achcha iam curious where do u stay in juhu
Simran said…
Thanks everyone for your wishes.

Bhags - I haven't been to a play in Prithvi for a few months. I think the last one I saw was Dauda Dauda Bhaaga Bhaaga Sa (adapted from Three Men and a Horse).

Biswajit - The service is still bad, and Irish coffee still as good.

Swati - I know the feeling. I've seen so many plays at other places and even Broadway doesn't match the cosiness of Prithvi. And I don't live in Juhu, I live further north in the suburbs.

Popular posts from this blog

Mystery Fruit

This only happened a few times every year, just when the rainy season kicked in. A street hawker will come by, straw basket on head. He will yell "kaul chapni" and I will run out to buy a bundle of these. Stuck together like flowers, they looked like a bouquet. Every hole contains a little fruit. You break out the package, peel the tiny fruit that pops out and eat it. Done slowly, it can take you an hour to eat an head. Or did, when I was about 12 years old.

That was the last time I saw this fruit. I've never seen it again, didn't even know what it was called or where it came from. Three weeks back, Vikram Doctor wrote about a store in Khar that sells Sindhi foods. He described this fruit and I knew it came from my vivid childhood memories. And finally, I knew we were talking about lotus fruit.

Now talk about coincidences. Last weekend, I was passing by a lane in Bandra and for the first time in many, many years I saw the straw basket filled with my mytery fruit. It…

Of Brun and Bun Maska

There is more to Bombay's breads than the pao that goes into pao bhaji and vada pao. There's Brun. and there's bun. We will get there. First, you have to get to know the city's Parsis. And Iranis, who are also Zoroastrians, but came to city a little later, in the late 19th or early 20th century. And when they came, they brought with them these little cafes that dot the city.

I am no expert on Irani chai cafes. And I can't tell you whether Yazdani Bakery will provide you the best experience or Kyani's. But I can tell you a few things you need to ignore when you get there. Appearances don't matter; so ignore the fact that the marble/glass top tables and the wooden chairs look a bit dilapidated. Also ignore the rundown look the place sports.

Instead, get yourself settled. And order a bun muska. This one's familiar to you as a first cousin of the soft hamburger bun. It's similar, but just a tad bit sweeter. Maska, of course, is the generous dollop of b…

A Bowlful of Comfort

I have a friend who is quite the globetrotter. Lunches at her place, often right after her trips, are a treasure trove of global flavours. But the last time we met, she was just back from Tamil Nadu and out she brought a bowl of curd rice. I love curd rice and have eaten a lot of it over the years but my friend's version was so full of flavours and textures, it was a revelation. Obviously, I asked for the recipe.

The genius of this curd rice lies in adding the tempering or the tadka twice, once to mix in the rice so it absorbs all the flavours. Then you make a second batch to top the rice with just before you serve, so it adds crunch to the usually mushy dish. The recipe also has a few other elements added in for texture, freshness and flavour.

I over-ate at lunch at my friend's and I over-ate again when I made this for myself for lunch. Plus, all the ingredients you need are likely in your kitchen already so you may as well go make it now.

Ingredients
1/2 cup rice
1 cup plain…