Mumbai calling: Baked vada pav to cold coffee golas
If you're in the mood for some Mumbai street food, then this week-old vegetarian place offers you the real thing, but with a twist. Desi Klub is a part of the seven-year-old Lemon Chilli Veg Gourmet food chain based in Mumbai, and has been brought to Chennai by Vfive Hospitalities. Expect quirky offerings ranging from baked vada pav to cold coffee gola. With retro Bollywood music in the background, colourful graffiti and old Hindi movie posters spread all over, this place has a definite desi feel. From the rainbow coloured scooter at the entrance to a cycle mounted on a wall, and motifs of double-decker red buses and auto rickshaws, the cheerful pop art adds to the quirky theme. As we settle down for a meal at this 74-seater, we notice rustic chairs and a lounge on one side, while bamboo-cushioned modas with carom board customised tables sit on the other. Their private dining and banquet sections are yet to open.
We start off with an ice cream soda called Mango Duet, which comes neatly packed in a beaker, lending a refreshing orangey splash, filled with soda, ice-cubes and a mango stick by its side; the portion is sizeable too, and can be shared by two or more people. The crockery and serving dishes are designed like cycles, trolleys, pushcarts and more, placing the spotlight on the presentation of the dishes. Before the fizz mellows down, we get to dig into an appetiser platter served on a roller-coaster, of cottage cheese marinated in traditional Indian tikka spices and served along with a Schezwan sauce — each bite crispy and extra cheesy.
Next, we have the Do Dil Mil Rahe Hai, not the song but a piping hot sizzler combo of tawa noodles and pav bhaji. This popular dish from their kitchen is a mix of Chinese noodles and tangy bhaji. To give it all a final sweet touch, we have the nutty Jalebi Bai, a kesar and elaichi-flavoured mousse. The filling is sandwiched between two jalebis and garnished with nuts and sugar syrup. “We are planning a South-Indian restaurant on the ground floor of the same building, and also a delivery option,” reveals co-owner Abishek Bokdia. At Harrington Road. `500 for two. Details: 9791068401.