Sunday 23 December 2012

Sunday Morning Indian Breakfast in Matunga

We heaved ourselves out of bed early this Sunday morning to join some friends for a traditional Indian breakfast in Matunga.  Matunga - south of Mahim Creek and just south of Dharavi - is (as I discovered this morning) a nice, leafy suburb with a few famous (but still 'local') places to eat.  We were aiming for the most fabled of these, Cafe Madras - but by the time we arrived at 9.15 am, the queue was already out of the door and trailing along the pavement.

As none of us were into waiting, our trusty experts took us to another place they knew, a few paces away across the road and slightly around the corner. Here, at Anand Bhavan, we only had to stand in line for two minutes for food that would be as equally good as that dished up at Cafe Madras. 

How to aerate a coffee.  No fancy coffee machines here!
The cuisine served in these Matungan restaurants is predominantly South Indian.  We are told by our friends that it is this South Indian food that is adored by the many local Gujurati residents who make up the bulk of those queuing and eating. Perhaps because it is vegetarian only.

Inside Anand Bhavan. Clean, organised and serving delicious South Indian food.

After getting seated upstairs in Anand Bhavan (by a rather hunky guy that us ladies took a bit of a shine to - good enough reason alone to visit!), our friends thankfully did all the ordering.  Mr Jules and I certainly do not know what we are doing when it comes to ordering regional Indian foods (yet - let's try to rectify that).

It was only a short wait before we were presented with a delicious array of traditional breakfast items - rasam wada, utma, idlis, dosa, wada, sambals and coconut chutneys - and the best coffee ever.  The rasam and sambal is spicy and watery and loaded with flavour. And from what I have read from reviews of these restaurants, it is the flavourings of these watery accompaniments that sets these eating establishments apart from each other. As well as how fluffy the rice idlis and how paper-thin the dosas are.  Friends back home might think it's quite weird eating such spicy food for breakfast - my only experience of this previously being when I was hungover in my twenties and eating leftovers from a Friday night curry the next morning.  However, the staples of idlis, potato dosas and fried wadas really don't work without the savoury accompaniments.

From left to right, top to bottom:
1. Rasam Wada. 2. Idlis (made out of rice flour) 3. Utma 4. Rasam Wada broken open and a potato wada on the side 5 A perfectly formed Sada Dosa 6. Rice Idlis with Sambal 7. Mr Jules the hand model demonstrates the inside of Wada - perfectly fluffy and non greasy on the outside 8.  Spinach something - didn't get the name but yummy and slightly crunchy.  9. The only sweet item we had - a delicious paratha type thing stuffed with coconut.

We were kindly treated to breakfast by our friends but I think that the bill for four adults and three small children only came to a couple of hundred rupees. After we left the restaurant, Mr Jules and I went for a walk around Matunga market where we bought a nice big bag of veg for our Sunday roast - which was noticeably cheaper than Bandra's Pali Market and without the need to haggle.

What a lovely and inexpensive Sunday morning!

Controversial reading matter found at one of the second hand book stalls outside Anand Bhavan!
Matunga Market - where we bought veg for tonight's Sunday Roast.

One of the many flower stalls in Matunga

The eccentric Asthika Samaj Temple on Bhandarkar Road in Matunga
 - the outside of which is adorned with many colourful Hindu deities

Anand Bhavan
461/A, Ram Niwas
Maheshwari Udyan
Ambedkar Road
Matunga  East


  1. Looks good and not that far away from us. We need to give it a try - but don't think we will make it before 9 am either, so I guess we'll try the first place but probably end up at the second.

    Thanks, Barbara

    PS Happy Holidays

    1. Hey Barbara, you made it then! Welcome to Mumbai, I hope it is going well for you and your family. I saw something on the internet the other day about 'The Sapling Project' in Mumbai and thought of you - and meant to try and find out more information - here is the link if it is of any interest! Happy Holiday to you too! J

  2. Hi Ms. Jules
    Just to correct minor mistakes in your post
    Sambal is not Sambal / it is Sambar
    Utma is not Utma / it is Upma [u can pronounce it as o[h]-p-ma
    Keep up the good writing. I always enjoy reading your blog!




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