Grab that crab!
Mahesh Lunch Home’s Crab and Wine festival at Juhu is now in its 17th year; try a range of international flavours in addition to its classic Mangalorean-style specialities
Just beyond the J W Marriott, as you head towards Prithvi Theatre on Juhu Tara Road, a massive bright orange replica of a crab catches your eye. Mahesh Lunch Home at Juhu, which opened in 2001, is celebrating its 17th anniversary with a Crab and Wine festival that goes back an equal number of years. On offer are dishes such as Crab Butter Corn Soup, Honey Mustard Crab, Thai Crab, Crab Taka Tak, Butter Pepper Garlic Crab, Mountain Crab, Tender Coconut Crab Masala and many other varieties to choose from. Of course, you can always opt for their other signature dishes such as Prawns, Lobster, Fish Tawa Fry and Gassi preparations, but it would be wise to try their limited offer extensive crab menu.
The festival, which began on October 5, goes on till October 31, and as the menu informs us, you will get a glass of Sula wine with regular crab (we were served Grover, though, and that was just as good). It also states that a pint of Sula wine will be served with Jumbo crab of value up to Rs 2800, and a bottle of Sula wine accompanies Jumbo crab valued above Rs 2801 (service charge of 5% and GST applicable). The two soups on the menu were priced at Rs 290, while most of the starters were at Rs 925, with a few at Rs 925 and Rs 950. The main courses were almost similarly priced.
Manoj Nirgun, the Manager of Mahesh Lunch Home at Juhu, tells us that the 102-seater restaurant, with 50 additional covers on the rooftop, has had a host of famous clients, and quite a few regulars. “Govinda and Salman Khan come here,” he says; Akshay Kumar has eaten here and Ajay Devgn “has come to ask for a parcel”. As he says this, our eyes turn to the next table, and film star Poonam Dhillon is seated there. “I come here sometimes,” she tells us, adding that she lives fairly close to the restaurant. Nirgun also says that every year, a 50-strong contingent from a South African TV channel comes to India and relishes the seafood on the rooftop.
By this time, the starters have arrived with a glass of wine. Nirgun believes that wine is the best accompaniment for crab; “beer goes with meat,” he says. (Though, of course, there’s no rule against opting for beer!) The starters are superb, and though the main ingredient is the same—crab—each dish manages to taste completely different. Some of it is taken off the shell for easier eating (‘boneless’ is how it is described),
The Kitam Bungkus (Rs 975), with its Indonesian savoury, sweet, sour and spicy flavours, comes wrapped like two rolls in banana leaves, in which they have been steamed. You think simultaneously of Seekh Kababs and the Parsi-style Patra Ni Machi, and then realise that these are absurd comparisons, because the taste of crab is overpowering on your tongue.
Then there’s the Crab Butter Garlic, which comes in its shell, garnished with a carrot rose on the side. Though the server has taken care to give you a crab mallet to break the claws and a slender marrow pick to scoop the flesh out of the legs, he takes the plate away to break it into more manageable pieces. Initially, we try to be sophisticated about this, eating with knives and forks; then my companion, a seafood veteran who calls Goa home, points out: “But crab is something you need to eat by hand!” Of course, she is absolutely right.
It might be sacrilege to say this at the Crab and Wine festival, but the third starter, a generous slice of Surmai Tawa Fry, is actually this writer’s favourite at the table. Spicy enough to tickle the tongue but not burn it, it has been fried in coconut oil, giving it a rich texture and flavour. Nirgun points out that in fact many regulars opt for the classic Mangalorean dishes that they have been relishing for decades at Mahesh Lunch Home; that is why, for the main course (as if we still had room left!) he suggests a Prawn Gassi, served with neer dosas and appams. “Before recommending gassi, we ask people if they like a coconut base,” says Nirgun, “because 50% of people don’t like curries South Indian style”.
Mahesh Lunch Home’s reputation for authentic Mangalorean cuisine in Mumbai goes back several decades. Established by Mr. S.C. Karkera in 1977 at Fort, it was the first restaurant to serve this cuisine in the city. Now, they have five restaurants in Mumbai—at Fort, Juhu, Andheri, Thane and Vashi. What about the restaurant we saw at Belapur in Navi Mumbai with a similar name? “That’s not ours,” declares Nirgun, “It is using our name.” Mahesh Lunch Home also has outlets in Pune, Bengaluru and Dubai, though the Dubai one, Nirgun says, was recently renamed, ‘The Canteen’.
What this writer finds interesting is that Mahesh Lunch Home has managed to hold its own with these flavours of Mangalore, even as the city around it has changed irrevocably. When they began, international cuisines such as Mexican, Japanese, Thai and Indonesian, were practically unknown in Mumbai, but now that you can get these quite easily, there are still those who like their seafood done Indian-style. Sharing the wall with the Juhu outlet is a restaurant that serves pizzas and salads, but this seems to make no difference to Mahesh Lunch Home. On a working day, at lunch time, in an area that isn’t necessarily an office location, the restaurant is almost completely full.
When Crab and Wine Festival up to October 31, 12pm to 3.30pm and 7pm-12.30am
Food for the soul
Savour sumptuous vegetarian meals this Navratri season!
Lake View Cafe, Renaissance Mumbai
Renaissance Mumbai brings you a festival filled with delectable thalis. Enjoy Kesari Thandai for the welcome drink, followed by Siya Mirch Ka Paneer Tikka, Sabudana Ki Tikki, Dahi Ki Boondi for appetisers followed by the main course of Arbi Ki Sabzi, Louki Ki Tarkari and much more. There is a fabulous range of Indian desserts to choose from.
Where Lake View Cafe, Renaissance Mumbai
When October 08 till October 18, 12:30 p.m – 03:00 p.m. and 07:00 p.m – 11:00 p.m
Price Rs 1500+ taxes
Contact 022 6692 7550
This Navratri Rasoi Utsav, Golden Star is showcasing Gujarati and Rajasthani cuisine by Chef Mularam Maharaj. The thali comes with a tall glass of smoked masala chaas, sweets, farsans and tongue-tingling pickles. Relish unlimited helpings of sweets like Malai Cham Cham, Ras Malai, Angoor Rabdi, Kesar Puran Polis, Desi Ghee Jalebis, Dry Fruit Sheera, Gulab Jamun; farsans such as Khasta Kachori, Dahi Wada, Chaat Basket, Papri Chaat and assorted Dhoklas; vegetable dishes such as Karela Kashmir, Dum Aloo Rajasthani, Tindola Sambharia, Jodhpuri Gutta, Mevadi Pulao, Dry Fruit Batata and Dal Bati Churma.
Where Golden Star Thali Restaurant, Opp Charni Road Station (E)
When Up to October 24
Contact 022 23631983 / 022 23671952
Hello Guppy, the all-day, quirky Japanese eatery and bar in Mumbai’s BKC neighborhood, celebrates Navratri with an all-new, entirely vegetarian menu. On offer is a flavour-packed series of exciting vegetarian dishes, from October 10-18. The restaurant points out that though many think Japanese food only revolves around fish and meats, Hello Guppy disproves this with their new vegetarian menu. The a la carte menu includes light bites like Cured Tomato and Avocado Nachos with soya ginger cured tomatoes, soya radish, cream cheese, olive, wasabi and pickled vegetables; or Soyabean Hummus with Sesame Lavash. For sushi-lovers, there is the Braised Shitake Sushi Roll; soy dashi-braised Japanese shitake with cucumber and tempura fritters; or the Inari Sushi, braised tofu pouches stuffed with sushi rice and marinated vegetables. Or try the Rice Paper Vegetable Roll, Mushroom Katsu Sandwich and much more.
Where Ground floor, Godrej-BKC, G-Block,BKC, Bandra (East)
When October 10-18, 2018 only.
Contact 022 26534720, 07777049773
Shanghai Moon at Typhoon Shelter
Typhoon Shelter launches its weekly property Shanghai Moon, filled with dance and laughter, and interesting cocktails curated by guest mixologist, Akhilesh Sheoran, winner of the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition 2018 India and Top Oncho 2018-19.
Where Typhoon Shelter, Palladium, Lower Parel
When Shanghai Moon - October 12
New Cocktail menu - October 12 -18, 7 pm onwards
Contact 022 4919 3100
Unlimited five-course meal
Have you ever had so much delicious food at once and felt like you can’t move an inch? Indigo Deli, Powai, has taken it up a notch further with ‘Lunch to Die for’, an extravaganza unlimited menu available every Monday to Friday just at Rs 500++. There are over 26 unlimited options to choose from. Tingle your taste buds with a range of unlimited soups, salads, appetisers, pizzas, main course and desserts.
Where Indigo Deli, Powai Plaza, 101, Sentinel Building Opp, Internal Layout Road, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai
When Monday – Friday, Lunch only.
Price Rs 500/-++
Curly Tales is hosting The Royale Masquerade Ball on October 13 at The Studs - Sports Bar and Grill, Juhu. Get the ultimate feel of a James Bond movie with ball dancing, masques, martinis, beers and a mini casino set up. Ladies, grab the limelight with shiny dresses and high heels and get the mystery going with your masques; guys, wear your best tuxedos with bow ties, blazers and stylish suits. Dance away with unlimited sangrias and beers for Rs 2500 inclusive of taxes. There are free masques for 100 early birds.
What The Royal Masquerade Ball Party by Curly Tales
When Saturday October 13, 8 p.m to 3 a.m.
Where The Studs - Sports Bar and Grill 2nd Floor, Hotel Horizon, 37, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Opp. St. Joseph Church
Ticket Rs 2500 per person with unlimited sangrias and beer (inclusive of taxes)
Flavours of the Orient
‘OC - The Oriental cuisine’ restaurant in Mulund serves everything from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Vietnamese, and dishes from Hongkong in non-veg and veg options.Try Chicken Katsa Sushi, Chicken Satay, HongKong Prawns Pot Rice, Asian Style Prawns Salt and Pepper, Khao Pah Kraprow Pak Rice, Prawns Tempura with Wasabi, Chicken Japanese Teriyaki, Shrimp Tempura Maki, Prawns Chiangmai Khao Soi (Thai), Burmese Khao Soi and much more. Open for lunch and dinner.
When Ongoing, all season, 12 noon - 3.30 pm and 7 pm to 12 midnight
Where OC - The Oriental Cuisine, Mulund