I got a flavour of some of this at the end of the year when I spent a fair bit of time in Dadar and Parel in central Mumbai. I went to a small eatery called Sahyadri opposite the KEM hospital while doing hospital duty for a friend who was at a hospital nearby. I had the best kothimbir vadi that I have ever had over there and some lovely kharvas, misal and batata vada as well. A few days later, I went to the legendary Raju Malvani Corner cart at Dadar after we went to eat at the new restaurant that the owner has opened close by and fell in love with the bangda fry, the fish curry and the kolimbi (prawn) rice.
I went back to New Martin Hotel in Colaba at the start of 2018 to have a classic Goan Christian meal of excellent vindaloo, steak and onion fry and chops and then later tried out the lovely Goan fare put together by chef Aloo at Lady Baga and was introduced to the ‘Friday curry’ of Goan Catholic homes there for the first time.
A lovely year-end experience in Mumbai was having the Surti Undhiyu from Pinky Dixit Chandran’s Soam Restaurant in Babulnath and Regal Stores in Bandra and seeing how each was unique and had its own merits. Reminding one of the diversity and individuality that is typical of India and Indian food.
When I wanted Bengali food in Mumbai or Kolkata Biryani, then coming to my rescue as always was Amit Roy of Peetuk and Sanjib Das and Siddharth Bose of Bhojohori Manna. We called in from Oh! Calcutta at times.
Add the amazing meals that we had over a fortnight in Japan and an evening in Penang and an afternoon in Singapore and a dinner at Slink and Bardot in Mumbai and there you have, some of my best meals of 2018. The most memorable ones too.