Missing Lucknow's original Tunde? Lucknowee Tunde on M.S. Ali Road draws a close enough caricature of the original 'melt in your mouth' kebabs.
This little corner stall on S.V Road, Santacruz is truly underrated and one of the neatest hidden gem of the burbs serving typical ramadan snacks all year long.
It's located right opposite to the Chinese restaurant Fatkong and one block away from Yoko Sizzlers. The menu is short and uncomplicated with reliable snacks like Baida Roti, Kathi Rolls, Seekh Kebabs, Kheeri, Tikka and also Biryani. For the vegetarian souls, There is th all time saviour - 'Paneer' in the form of Tikka cubes and Kathi rolls.
I'm amazed by the prices of the dishes. Compare them with the road side stalls at Bhendi Bazar or Bohri Mohalla and you will see a stark contrast in terms of cleanliness and hygiene of the kitchen which is leap years ahead of them. Taste wise, no lingering after-taste of the oil that these snacks usually leave in the mouth and not to forget our fingers. It's light and not too heavy plus the runny chutney seems better here.
All in all, a very neat find of this week, Thanks to my Bandraite folks.
Continuing from where we left in Part 1 of this trail - I came back after a week to the same area to repeat a few and discover new eateries in this maze of a locality. Hajji Tikka was the first stop. Hajji, undoubtedly is the cleanest and most organized of these places since it's a restaurant and not a round the corner pop up joint. This street is dominated by the Bohri Muslims as the mosque is just a few meters away. We sampled Chicken Tikka which was juicy, small and over charred, Boti Kebab (beef) was rustic and finally a succulent portion of Chicken Seekh. I was tempted for more items off the menu but had to hold my horses as we had another 5-6 places still to go.
Next we move to Bar-B-Que corner which was just 5 steps away from Hajji. Seems popular among the upper middle class formal clad folks. Serves almost all kebabs, tikkas & bhunas from a variety of meat. The Chicken Tikka was much better (tender) than the one at Hajji. The Khiri was neat too. All one needs is a couple of Naans and dip it into the runny green chutney and enjoy it. Hygiene wale folks will surely avoid the chutney as they are ones who's thought process is "pata nahi kaunsa pani use kiya hai chutney mein' ? So dip it or leave it, it's just upto you. I was doing fine the next day so i guess i'll give it a thumbs up.
Next stop was a even more sketchy lane called as Handi Wali Masjid, where there are a couple of shops that just do Biryanis. There are 3 consecutive shops that serve these huge degs (vessels) of aromatic delhi style biryani. We stopped at 'Hotel Salman' where I had a look into each one of them and found it was more Kepsa resembling rice than Biryani. It's made up of long grain rice cooked in it's own meat stock with just a subtle touch of spices. At 30 bucks a portion, it is stunning and just plain understated in that area. People who are familiar with Zarda can enjoy that this delicacy too at this place.
Further coming out to the main Mohd Ali Road, we wanted to sample the famous Valibhai Payawala but sadly all the sukha, nihari, paya, khamiri roti etc was only gonna be served past 11 pm. We were early by an hour. So Nihari was relished at Noor Mohammedi which is more famous for it's MF Hussain painting and our very own 'Chicken Sanju Baba'. Then on, Burhanpuri Mawa Jalebi, Malpuha & Firni from Tawaakal and Suleman Mithaiwala was repeated.
There are a few more places that you can try in the nearby vicinity if you're in the mood to walk. Chand Harissa at YMCA basketball court, Mastani Talao serves it's famous Hyderabadi Khichda and Sarvi, opp Nagpada Police Station serves some even more lip smacking Seekh Kebabs.
So now that the information is all laid out on your screen, go create your own trails. It really does't matter where you start and where you end. Just remember you want to sample the dishes and not feast, else you will end up with a overflowing stomach right at the second joint.