In a nutshell:
Loved eating YUMM Maharastrian vegetarian food at Aaswad, while sharing tables with strangers……
Address & other details: Aaswad
Meal for 2: 150 onwards
Cuisine type : vegetarian
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I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short description – in case u r in a hurry:
‘Aaswad, situated at Shivaji Park in Dadar, bagged the award for ‘The World’s Tastiest Vegetarian Dish’ in Mumbai for its Missal Pav’ popped up on the internet when we were visiting our sister in Mumbai. Immediately this restaurant got added to the ‘must check this out’ list.
A bit more talking with people in the locality & checking comments by many Mumbaikars on the net suggested two things – it’s a great place but missal pav is not necessarily the best here. Must admit that we got biased with the comments & decided to try other things on day 1 & missal pav on day 2.
We reached the restaurant at around 12.45 & saw few people standing outside. First I mistook it for people waiting in shade for the bus. As we neared, we realized there was ‘waiting’ already…………
It took us 20 minutes to get in & we were allotted a table, to be shared with an elderly couple. It took a few minutes to break ice but then we really enjoyed our chat with the lady. She explained facets of Marathi home cooked food.
Must admit that as of now we r not an expert in Marathi food – so pls do not expect comments on authenticity etc. However, get ready to read YUMM food stories from two widely travelled foodies…
There were some seats on the footpath outside the restaurant for those waiting to get in.
The restaurant had two parts – a small retail shop area was selling takeaway food & the other part was the restaurant. A guy was managing the crowd and he ensured that people get to enter in the same order that they came in.
The guys who were serving were very efficient & had good knowledge of their menu options.
The interiors of the restaurant were nothing exceptional to talk about. It was nice. Food was their sole focus for sure.
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to NJOY reading:
We ordered a drink called Piyush – it was thick, flavourful, bright yellow colored drink, slightly on the sweeter side but very enjoyable. Rate it 4/5.
We also ordered Solkadi – It was stronger, thinner and less creamy than what I had at ‘Fresh Catch’ seafood restaurant in Mahim the evening before but less stronger than the one in Gazalee. Was very good & rate it 4/5.
We started our lunch with Kothimbir vadi. It was soft inside, crisp outside & excellent to taste, flavours of kothimbir (dhania) were obvious. This was served with red chilly powder and a green coconut based chutney. Really nice. Rate it 4.25/5
We also tried Thalipith. It was crisp outside, not really soft, but moist inside. It was full of flavours. Loved munching on this as it is. Dollop of White butter was put on top. That helped in moistening the otherwise dry dish.
For side we got a dahi with tadka. Superb to taste, Intense & nice. Rate this 4.5/5
We also had Bharli wangi. It was scraped coconut based gravy of aubergines ( brinjals) with a tinge of sweetness and a bit of hotness – the kind of ‘hot’ that does not initially attack but stays on for a while. Loved it. Rate it 4.5/5
Last dish in main course was Varan bhaat. It was daal and rice. Dal without baghar (chonk). Super simple yet super good, home like taste.
We also got a curry of peanuts and coconut slices. Hot, spicy, a tinge of sweet and delicious. Loved that curry & look forward to more.
Rate this dish 4.5/5
For dessert we tried Modak. It looked like head of garlic from outside. After serving the dish the server asked if we want ghee. We said ‘yes’ and he asked us to crack the modak. He poured aromatic liquid ghee inside.
The modak was outstanding. Flavor of ghee was all over. The scraped sweetened coconut made the filling. Mouthful of flavours and taste I Wud say. Rate it 4.5/5
Rating of food & beverages at Aaswad averages out to 4.3/5
We will definitely go back here quite a few times more to try the other dishes in general & missal pav in particular. Will keep u posted.