I hardly anticipated all the flak I would get for buying a Kindle. The moment I pull out the gadget in front of fellow bookworms, I elecit gasps and admonitions for going rogue. But as someone who embraces solitude with wide and welcoming arms, I regard Kindle as the perfect companion to my weekly jaunts to restaurants to indulge my edible addictions. Good food and a good book are a match made in heaven. Ergo, armed with my personal library courtesy modern technology, I find myself on a never-ending literary food tour of bustling Mumbai with the sole mission of recreating the exciting dishes found in the list of books on my Kindle. Here’s my pick of food for every mood:
Reminiscing About a Stormy Love Affair
Mint Julep at Please Don’t Tell: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby holds a special place in many English Literature classes. A love affair like Daisy’s and Gatsby’s might be hard to recreate but you could easily feel like you’re in the Roaring Twenties with a glass of this Lower Parel bar’s Mint Julep in hand.
Revisiting Childhood Memories
Ginger Cake at Food For Thought: Enid Blyton was onto something with her incredibly detailed descriptions of picnic baskets and midnight feasts. Ginger cake, a regular feature in her characters’ meals, can be relished at this humble Fort cafe. Moist, with a perfect blend of spicy ginger and sugar, this dessert will take you back to all those summer vacations spent reading Famous Five and Secret Seven.
Experiencing the Occasional Bout of Existential Angst
Battered Avocado Tacos at Pa Pa Ya: So this might not even be close to the crabmeat stuffed avocado halves Sylvia Plath mentions in The Bell Jar, but any mention of avocado recalls Plath’s semi-autobiographical protagonist Esther Greenwood. The avocado tacos are just one among Pa Pa Ya’s many molecular gastronomy delights and make a great appetiser to kick off your fine dining experience at this trendy Lower Parel restaurant.
Pretending You’ve Read the Book
Buffalo Wings at Cafe Mangii: So there’s only a passing mention of Buffalo Wings in Matthew Quick’s debut novel Silver Linings Playbook, but sampling them at Cafe Mangii under the guise of a literary food tour is bound to fool everyone into thinking you actually read the book before swooning over Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence’s magical chemistry. The wings and blue cheese combo creates just as much magic. Well almost.
How to Get There:
Please Don’t Tell – PDT
Where: Kamala Mills, Lower Parel, Mumbai
Contact: 022 30151790
Timings: All Days 6 PM to 1:30 AM
Cost: ₹2,000 for two people
Food For Thought
Where: 45/47, Kitabkhana, Somaiya Bhavan, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Flora Fountain, Fort, Mumbai
Contact: 022 22844242
Timings: All Days 10 AM to 7 PM
Cost: ₹1,000 for two people
Pa Pa Ya
Where: Level 3, Palladium Mall, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai
Contact: +91 8828031900 | +91 8828032900
Timings: All Days 12 Noon to 3 PM, 7 PM to 11 PM
Cost: ₹2,000 for two people
Where: Khar | Powai
Contact: Khar – 022 26498100 | Powai – 022 25705139
Timings: Khar – All Days 11:30 AM to 12:30 AM | Powai – All Days 11:30 AM to 1:30 AM
Cost: ₹1,500 for two people