Wednesday, 19 May, 2010

Khana and Khazana...

The Bombay Stock Exchange, 28th floor, 12:30 pm:
It’s been more than an hour that I have been on my desk and there is so much to do! My to-do list includes:
Checking the IFMR chain mails…
Following the volatile status message wars…
Watching NDTV profit and trying to lip read what the anchor has to say…
And of course pretending to work…

The markets are trading at the day’s low due to weak global cues and concerns over the Greek debt crisis. It’s not only gloomy on the dalal street but also inside BSE. The mentors are worried that the interns are good for nothing, the interns are in turn worried about their stipends and the folks in the adjoining cubicle are worried that their lunch order is not yet delivered. Among all these global and local worries strikes the big question of the day. Where do we go for lunch?

Respecting our whims n fancies and the mood for the day, we decide on what cuisine we want to eat. Then we burrp for the restaurants which can satiate our wish list and hopefully our taste buds too. After saying “chalooo” for half a dozen times to each other, we finally lift our bums from our seats and land on the dalal street. It’s usually the four of us: me, Chaitanya, Priyanka aka chirkut and Pawan.

Dalal Street and fort area, 1:00 pm:

The markets crash further after the opening of the European markets. Global and local worries continue to haunt us! While heading for lunch, Chaitanya and Priyanka are worried about getting tanned in the sun and its future consequences. Pawan is worried about the distance left to be covered. I am wondering if we are walking in the right direction or the opposite one. Finally we find our place, get in and start browsing the menu card.
Hmm… Well, my silly internship project is to do a comparative study of algo trading strategies across exchanges. It is certainly not to do a comparative study of food quality across restaurants. But the sincere, hard-working, dedicated guy I am, I always go an extra mile and push myself to deliver more than expected. So here you go… few quick reviews of eat outs near fort!!

Mahesh Lunch Home ****
Excellent sea food, says Chaitanya. Good hyderabadi chicken biryani as well. Not bad for veggies too (although nothing is good for them). I’ve tried veg pulav and biryani. The quantity is decent. Ambience is ok. They play instrumental music, usually old hindi songs. Check out the restroom on the 1st floor :) . And also check out the drinks menu, even if you can’t have them.

Welcome Restaurant (Since 1924) ***
Tried Chinese (choupsey) and Pav Bhaji. It’s the typical udipi style restaurant with a loyal customer base.

Fort Central (Since 1942) **
The aamras was ok but puri and batura sucked. It was pretty crowded and one uncle actually threatened Chaitanya to finish her mango shake and vacate the seat. That’s probably the only time I have seen fright on her face.

Nandus paratha’s *****
Among the finest and the heaviest parathas I’ve seen. They offer a good diversity in paratha stuffings like chocolate, wadapav, pavbhaji, cheese chilly mili, pizza topping etc etc. A very small and cramped place to sit, but the food compensates for the discomfort.

Jimmy Boy *Forget it, boy! Tried dhansak, a raspberry drink and few other parsi dishes. It does nothing other than sucking your dhan. The food was bland and expensive.

5 Spice *****
It’s known for its Chinese food. The quantity is really good and the taste is even better (or maybe we were just too hungry). You may also try brownies and pastries like ‘death by chocolate’. We did not have the appetite to die for it.

Army Restaurant (Since “Rock on”) ***
Decent pav bhaji and kheema pav. It’s the same restaurant where Arjun rampal, Farhaan Akhtar and gang met often in ‘rock on’. The Khurshid chacha in the movie still manages the counter. It’s a noisy place, but worth going once if you are a rock on fan. Food is average.

Fountain Plaza ****
Awesome kerela style food. Their chicken biryani is world famous in the fort area. Little choice for veggies though. Nevertheless, it is value for money. Biryani is just about 60 bucks. Good range of sea food as well – all mallu style.

Lalit Restaurant **
Gujrathi and Marathi thalis on offer. I did not think it was authentic Marathi food. Misal pav was below-average. Some weird music is played here.

BSE Canteen **
The food is okiesh but there’s almost no variety. Mysore masala dosa, utthappa, lunch, dal rice and couple of more dishes – that’s what the menu looks like.

Yazdani Bakery (Since ages) *****
A heritage bakery which takes you in the past. The wall clocks, the posters, the tables and chairs, the roof, the machine that makes bread slices, even the waiters. All of them make a good pre-historic ambience. The cakes and desserts are nice. They taste like homemade cakes as they are prepared on wooden ovens. Some of the items I can remember are golden sponge cake, chocolate cake, apple pie, carrot cake, mava samosa etc. Also try brun maska with chai on a relaxed evening.

Chaotic Juice shop ***
This juice shop in front of the ICICI bank near dalal street is chaotic and the operators just multiply the chaos. But they do have a good choice of juices, milkshakes and combination drinks.

Food Inn, Colaba ***
It’s a run of the mill Punjabi veg restaurant. Don’t go by the hype and the ratings on burrp.

Peshawar ****
Visit this place if you get a craving for aloo parathas. The parathas were indeed good but a bit expensive. Not recommended for students or interns who are yet to get their stipends.

New Anand Bhavan ***
Not really new. This place reminds me of the taste in Chennai. It gets a loyal tamil customer base.

Anna Leela Modern Café **
A small place with a good variety in the menu but the food is just average. Entry restricted on the 1st floor if your height is 5 feet 8 inches or more.

The Bombay Stock Exchange, 28th floor, 2:30 pm:

We are all satisfied and at peace, no matter where we had our lunch. Meanwhile, the markets have recovered from the day’s lows and are now trading in green. Priyanka has changed her status from “I am hungry” to “I am sooo full”. I am feeling very sleepy as I continue to pretend to work and wait for 5 pm.


Chaitanya said...


Add to the list:
1.Fruit plate with mountains of wedges of watermelon, wheels of pineapple and blocks of papaya!
2.Occasional window shopping as a part of your part time summer internship!:P

Sourabh said...

I conveniently forgot the window shopping.. I wanted to restrict the post to all pleasant things :P