The Fort Food Walk
Fort is one of Mumbai's premier business districts.Its name comes from the fact that Mumbai (then Bombay) was a walled city and had a Fort there called Fort George.Some of the grand old buildings remain and one can only marvel at their construction.On the Pherozshah Mehta Road is The Bombay Store,formerly Bombay Swadeshi Coop Stores Co. Ltd.It was set up by Bal Gangadhar Tilak and inaugurated by Dadabhai Naoroji in 1906 and stored locally made traditional goods so that we could know and be proud of all that our nation was producing.Today it still stores locally made goods with they come with a contemporary twist.
It was so apt then that we started our walk at the Bombay Store which houses items from all over India cos we were embarking on a journey that covered food from various parts of India.There are many eateries all of whom serve a particular cuisine at a reasonable price.Of course one needs to choose wisely as regards hygiene.Some people have cast iron stomachs and some don't. Immunity differs from person to person.Know your limitations.Vaccines are available,on advice of a doctor.
The area is full of majestic buildings and lush green trees and walking by them was a pleasure
We started with a cup of tea and Brun Pao (crusty bread) at an old Irani cafe (Yazdani) that I had visited just few days ago.We were here with food blogger Kalyan Karmakar and Kunal Vijayakar with his friendly "The Foodie" team.We were therefore privy to the kitchen with a huge old oven.The kitchen was bigger than the restaurant :)
They showed us various equipment used for baking and explained the process of baking bread.While the oven was old,they baked to new preferences.....wholewheat being on their menu.In with the times.
The recipe for bread was old,a German one as indicated by a photograph on the wall.
Felt good to have a hot cup of tea as it was raining
Then we stopped at a lassi place....a big glass with a thick layer of cream that two of us thought we could do without, so we had Chaas.That's the thing about food walks.It's about experimenting.I see it as a Tasting menu expedition,not a time for gluttony or binging (the choice is yours).If you have reservations,you can state them and the organizers provide healthier options.I avoided the street food.
Today's generation has long working hours but at the end of the day they want home food or homestyle food.In my opinion,that is why establishments that focus on traditional food will always find place.
Next we headed to a Gomantak restaurant Pradeep.Reminded me of the khanavals of yore.Dug into a delectable Surmai Thali which had fish,solkadi,gravy,vegetables,rice and chapati.I had to skip the rice.We discussed about various items in our thali,at our table.
We had people coming into the restaurant and greeting Kunal warmly,as though they knew him for years.Kunal too was just as warm to them.He is a great anchor,has the ability to make anyone and everyone comfortable.He remembered everyone's names.By the way,he eats far less than the impression he gives on television.
Next was the walk to Ideal Corner which serves Parsi food.I could barely have any but the food was delicious.I particularly liked the Akuri,a Parsi version of scrambled eggs which we washed down with the jelly-like Raspberry Soda.
This Fort walk was the longest.There were many more cuisines on offer...Kerala,Mangalorean,Tamilian but we have to leave it for another day... when we will walk,eat,share various food recipes and culinary experiences and talk about the history of the locality we are in....again.Connecting with people,connecting our world!