Friday, July 11, 2014

Ode to the disappearing restaurants in Bandra


This is the carry bag for Bong Bong. From just a plastic cover, we are happy to note its evolution, speaking of some spunk. Bong Bong, the very elegant Bengali food joint, is on 16th Road. And it started as a little smoky joint near Toto's garage pub.. a small takeaway  with some oily rolls. But it has grown now, and I cannot imagine that spot now without its individualistic d├ęcor (old typewriters, gramophone, prints, fans -- the nostalgia route that appears genuine).
  Why are we gushing over this little joint? Because since we moved back into Bandra the last few years, we have seen many a great restaurant and smaller ones (with established franchisee) falling flat on their faces. Our beloved Yellow Tree is gone, with its wifi zone, super menu and wonderful wonderful cocktails.  It started on one floor and expanded into two, before vamoosing one bright morning. Gone, to be replaced by another food spot, which, mercifully is pretty good too.

The list of loved and not-so-loved restaurants and eateries in and around Pali that have disappeared is appallingly long -- Barbecue Nation, where you could a humungous amount of food as buffet, And what about the hot Food Street hugging Carter Road? The elegant Italian restaurant beside CCD which despite its sophistication and elegant food was really low-priced, but gone now? Nearby,   Pocolo where we ate just once, Cinnabon (where despite my dislike for things too sugary I gained a few kilos), Costa Coffee which I always worried over, being so sparsely visited despite its sprawling space; the chocolate bar that disappeared at Pali Naka (can't get the name but with those lovely liquor chocolates) replaced by another Mediterranean  one which also disappeared, to be replaced by some other joint that too got replaced -- is there a food joint now? I am not going to find out. And that  tiny dumpling eaterie beside Suzette where the food did not meet the price tag. Who remembers the  umpteen  restaurants along the signal to National College (so many that have come and gone that I have simply lost track). I was sitting one day eating lunch at one of those pasta joints, and believe it or not, they were dismantling the kitchen. It was really tragic.

Oh, Kailash Parbhat, where you could get authentic Sindhi food? Hardly lasted a year... good food, amazingly priced; lotus stem specials and thalis that did not pinch the purse. Gone, forever.

No Dosa Diner here (we remember standing in a long queue outside the one in Bandra, long years ago. But despite its popularity, it too disappeared)

It is a wonder that the foodie sections of all these tabloids or magazine sections -- they do not cover the reason for this demise. When I was a journalist (how I love to say that:) we followed trends; did not just eat and smirk and carry a review which sounds very childish. I mean, I once read a food review, where this girl smirks at thin crust pizza and says how it does not measure up to the fat ones she's used to.  Totally exposed, but she does not have a clue:)

Where do the eateries (the good and the bad and the ambitious ones) go-- there is a lovely feature idea there:- both from a very business angle and from the love-of-the-city angle. And all we get is food reviews from restaurants that are very likely going to disappear very soon:(
 

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