It was Saturday morning, and I had to wait for some 3 to 4 hours before my daughter completed a competitive exam. So, I decided to drive from Colaba area (where the exam was being conducted) all the way to King’s Circle in Dadar area of Mumbai for a nice South Indian breakfast.
Not that I have done this for the very first time though.
I am always amazed at the crowd of well-heeled folks at the smallest of a Cafe that you can imagine at Cafe Madras, especially at 9:00 AM or even before – I have been there at 8:00 AM once, and saw a similar crowd.
The simple food is simply amazing, well-prepared and delivered without fanfare. The usual stuff that almost all Indians are familiar with – the idli, the vada, the dosa, the upma, the pongal, etc., served with ample chutney and sambhar!
And the cost? This one beats me everytime. Inflation does not seem to be having much of an impact. I had a pair of idlis, one vada, one plain dosa and a coffee for all of INR 93 (SGD 2.20 or USD 1.70). This would cost atleast 2 to 3 times in a better located restaurant in Mumbai, and even more in Singapore for sure. I don’t know how they manage to operate, but going by the volume it appears that they are doing a fairly good business with a very good name.
So, some simple pleasures in life are totally underpriced and can be enjoyed without any fanfare. The only discomfort is that, if you are alone, you would have to share the table with others. While it might seem to be a difficult proposition, everyone at the table minds his/her own business without bothering about others, and everyone understands the space crunch. The focus is on enjoying the nice food. Even if you order all the stuff that you can have for a breakfast, I doubt the bill would cross INR 250.
Parking is a problem, and one would have to deal with it, may be park at a distance and walk back. Good food is always an attraction when it is this good with an old, forgotten taste at such a very good price.
7th September 2012