ESPLANADE - Multi-cuisine canteen
You like spontaneous surprises? Heres one today. I owe it to my 15 years of past life in the Indian Revenue Service which led me to a VFM foodie find. I have to keep attending the Esplanade court (near the Azad maidan police station) since as deputy Commissioner of Income tax I had filed a criminal prosecution case against an assesee. And this inspite of having voluntarily resigned from the department (almost twenty two years) ago And each time Ive visited it, Ive ducked in and out of the grubby Police canteen in the premises. Recently, however, what do I find? The ramshackle police canteen has been replaced by a spiffy new one. Theres a brand new airconditioned one (Flavours) in the main office compound too.
Simply renamed “Esplanade” this neat as a pin three month old, non airconditioned, well-lit canteen is handsomely done up with prints of 19th century Bombay. However, the same old crowd of cops,lawyers and journalists bustle here.
Surprise of surprises, I find the man behind this whole new avatar sitting in front of me.Involved to the last innovative detail, Arup Patnaik, Commissioner of Police has ensured that the his constables’ artwork adorns the walls ( “Flavours” canteen) and that widows of the police force work in the modern stainless steel kitchens. “It all started because I wanted our policemen to have wholesome tasty food in a comfy fancy ambiance but at affordable dhaaba prices, so I went about conceptualizing it and then eating here regularly too” he explained summarily while he was conducting a flying squad check of the food and hygiene in the canteens. Before I could pin him down he dashed out for a meeting.
Chicken thali (Rs 60) Veg thali (Rs 45) My verdict? Neat, clean, wholesome and filling, served in stainless steel trays (reminds me of the Rajdhani train food). Ask for the stylish sepia toned menu (missal, samosa to chicken tandoori and fasting sabudana fare too). Check out the brilliantly color coded wall menu ala Patnaik (red for non veg, white for fasting dishes etc) Open through the day (8am to midnight) go for the robustly spiced Kheema pao (Rs 30) fluffy idlis dunked in sambhar (Rs 15) and okayish dosas. Even the oversweet pineapple sheera with chunks of pineapple is worth trying.
Be prepared for generic, masalafied gravies that are not superlative but still tasty .Some of the dishes unavailable (fish curry, fish fry, tandoori roti, gulab jamun). Overspiced bhaji (especially the tendli), moist “Punjabi” biryani. And the poha is slightly sweet.
Spiffed up, hygienic and well priced canteen. Worth trying Wholesome thalis, worth trying kheema pao, filter coffee and comforting food at very comforting prices.
P.S. Only those visiting the Commissioners office (opp Crawford market) can use the airconditioned “Flavours” canteen, It has the same menu supervised by Ashwin Shetty but it is even more inexpensively priced.
ESPLANADE, Azad maidan police club. Behind esplanade quilla court. Ph 9702838666 Open 8 am to midnight
No alcohol, meal for two Rs 120
This weeks star? @Thebigbhookad who shared a huge number of restaurant recommendations.Thanks for your twitter, fb and email Feedback on eateries, caterers, dessert makers and more. Space constrains me
from printing all the fabulous details. Mail
(7738022873 ) to be listed here.
- @Thebigbhookad recommends Shanghai Fish at Gypsy Chinese (Dadar West). Pav Bhaji-Maji Sagar, (Tardeo, AC Marketi) Beef Seekh Kebabs ( Rajasthan, Khar) Rasam Vada ( Madras Cafe) Beef Manchurian Rice at Jim-me’s Kitchen (Bandra) Afghan Chicken (Cafe Appetite, Andheri East. ) Bangda Masala Fry ( Pratap Lunch Home).
- @shivzis recommends idli house ( kings circle)Ram ashray’s kadi vada ,rava mysore dosa &sheera of the day
- Naina Shetty recommends Chembur’s Nakodas Chocolate House (homemade chocolates, chocolate bouquets ). Ph: 9833952729
- For sunday special Moghlai biryani packets Rs 100 call Shabnam Merchant Ph: 9819078365
- Joanne Chenyen recommends Jai Hind (Lower Parel) for delicious Malwani food.
- Learn exotic cakes and desserts over ONE day sessions! Lots to choose from…..cupcakes, to cheesecakes! Call Anahita Ph:9821415935
- For cakes, cereal bars, desserts and snacks call A Pastelaria Anisha 9820949975
- @madhursethi recommends Lebmex for Lebanese and Mexican cuisines
- Oye Luckky @creativ_mind recommends Sagar Lunch Home at Boriwali for good and unlimited food.
- Adarsh Munjal @TheBigBhooked Afghan chicken at Café Appetite, Andheri East 2 Bangda Masala Fry at Pratap Lunch Home
- @pratistha D TOSA in Vile Parle East for fabulous mini meals ( Sev gathiya nu shak,) Dimsums and more ( Versova,)
- @Jaideep Sippy recommends 1 Madras Café 2. Matru Ashish for fresh morning jalebis with no added color.
- Wilson D”Silva @wilson_d4 recommends Su’s Kitchen ( veg and non veg lunch tiffins delivered all over Mumbai)
- @roxannebamboat recommends Café Churchhill, Theobroma in Colaba
- Sunayan @CulinaryMuse1 recommends Pratap Lunch Home, Fort for chicken sukka. rawas tikka
- @gyaanexchane organizes cooking classes in Delhi and Mumbai, chocolate making, Healthy wealthy, Just desserts and more. gyaanexchange.com/
- Kaksha Desai@Kakshadesaii recommends Atom Bomb – (next to Kismat Laundry160, Kamalkunj, Road No 24, Sion,)
Maruti Pav bhaji ( Christian lane near Parle station Parle west)Golden Bhel ( Parthna samaj, near Jain Mandir, Grant Rd) Bhagawati (Borivali)
- @yogeshkashalkar recommends
Cafe Gulshan ( Matunga for kheema fry)Gypsy hotel (Shivaji park for misal pav,) Prabhat Poultry for roast chicken Malvan katta ( Sena Bhavan for surmai fry and mutton masala)
Margaret is looking for Mrs Goriawalla numbers for eggless cakes and chocolates