I visited the V.T. area after a very, very long time. And with the spirit of the first-time discoverer of exquisite food, here’s what I liked.
A) Sher-e-Punjab, near V.T. : Pudhina tandoori prawns.
Twelve bites of culinary jewels. Sweet, tender, fresh prawns, marinated in pudhina and roasted on tandoor PER-FECT-LY. What is fabulous is the hint of tangy crust of slightly charred mint and the way the tongue-tickling sweetness of the prawns unfurls – slowly, steadily, completely…and twelve whole times. At 300 bucks a plate, it’s steep but very worth it.
B) Liberty Chaat place: The Dahi-Batata-Puri.
Given my humble preferences, this is my very favorite food and ultimate barometer of whether I love a place until death or barely acknowledge it until pyre-time arrives. And while Dahi Batata Puri in Mumbai outshines, in all curdy glory, whatever you get in Pune (where Dahi Batata Puri is not taken off the menu even if hawkers are out of dahi and out of batata), the Liberty Chat offering takes this dish to fast-food heaven. The dahi is creamy and sweet and positively swathes all the puris on the plate, the puris are big and uniformly punctured such that the curd isn’t oozing out of the sides, the potatoes are spicy and flavored, and the sev that tops the dish is fine, crunchy, yet melts in the mouth. A few grains of pomegranates are thrown in for that pretty garnet-studded look that makes you go mmm. (I remove that fruity affectation before I dig in, though.) And the result can be perfectly summed up as Yum-Yum.
If anyone tries either of these after reading the post…you’re welcome.