This is a review of Kathiawadi food at Soam.
In a nutshell:
An eatery in a heritage building near marine drive, that has good service, nice interiors, is always crowded and serves very good Gujarati food.
Address & other details: Soam
Meal for 2: 1000 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:
The facade of this restaurant is unmissable for anyone travelling from say Peddar Road to Chowpatty / Marine Drive. On top of that these guys put up huge banners that u end up seeing while sitting in Mumbai’ slow traffic.
We got excited seeing Kathiawadi food festival at Soam. So paid a visit for lunch one afternoon. Liked the food and revisited in the evening to try out some more.
As we reached we saw a big crowd. We went in and found that there was a 30 minutes waiting. There was a row of plastic chairs outside the restaurant for people to sit and wait!!!
As we entered the restaurant we realized there was a small section near the entrance that was close to road level and then the rest of the restaurant was on a higher level.
The high Ceilings had the wooden beams and metal beams system that was used in colonial buildings till early 1900s.
Furniture was traditional wooden.
Kathiawadi menu was a one pager with detailed description of every dish.
The gentleman serving us was excellent host. He took care of us and made some suggestions that were really good.
Food was very good but am not in a position yet today whether it is among the best in Mumbai. The food here is surely better than similar restaurants in Delhi NCR.
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
Fafda kachori – lentil kachoris stuffed with a medley of spicy, sweet, salty, hot and sour chatpata ingredients. When it was served, it somewhat reminded of raj kachori that is popular in Delhi. However a bite into fafda kachori made us realise the difference. The base was a lot thinner, had many thin layers in it, was very tasty in its own, had the flavour of lentils. It had a filo pastry kind of texture.
The ingredients had all kinds of taste as mentioned above. Overall it was chatpata and too good to eat.
Rate it 4.25/5
Vagharela bajra Na rotla – black millet shortbreads sautéed with onion, garlic, cumin seed and other spices. As soon as it was served, we were greeted by strong and enjoyable aroma of garlic and then as we munched into it, did we start getting the flavours of cumin seed etc. Loved the flavours and the crisp but moist texture. The taste was excellent. Rate it 4.5/5.
Lilwa dhokli with bajra biscuit bhakhri – green field beans simmers with fenugreek dumplings served with crispy black millet ( bajra) shortbread.
I was pleasantly surprised till the last bite how good this was. The beans were soft but they retained their shape and texture.
The thick gravy was enormously tasty – it had a tinge of sweetness. Rate it 4.5/5
Motichoor ke gol gappe– real gol gappa puris filled with motichoor ke laddoo and rabri. Firstly great innovation at Diwali time. Rate it 4.25/5.
I wud have preferred the same sweet motichoor laddoo filling in the same golgappa shell, but wud hv hung curd instead of Rabri. That wud give texture, sweet taste, sour taste, salt taste and also hot taste.
Badam sharbat was plain, thin and subtle. It was not too heavy like the usual restaurant sharbats. We cud feel the badam (almond) in the drink. Rate it 4/5.
Masala chaas was excellent. It had flavour of masalas and was salt and sour to taste. Rate it 4.25/5.
Lemon basil punch was mind blowing. It was thin, had strong flavour and a sweet n salt taste. Super good, refreshing and a fresh addition to my memory of good Indian nonalcoholic drinks. Rate it 4.75/5
Guava panha was very good as well. It was slightly thick and pulpy. Flavours of guava was njoyable. Rate it 4.5/5.
Oondhiya puri – a mixed vegetable curry served with puri.
Though it was not part of the Kathiawadi food festival, we could not resist ordering it.
It takes unlimited caliber to convert humble veggies into something as awesome as this. Texture was mixed as all veggies retained their original texture. Taste was robust and intense. It had a sweetish tinge to it. Unforgettable. Rate it 4.95/5.
Kanda gathia nu shaak with chopdas was a subzi of spring onions topped with gathia (fried gram flour sticks). It was served with laccha paratha. The shaak was very tasty and gathia added an interesting texture. Rate it 4/5.
Bajra choorma was crispy on the outer and ‘in between soft and crispy’ in the middle. It had very good flavours of ghee. Sweetness was optimum. Rate it 4.5/5.
Bhindi Kadhi & red rice was outstanding. Never had bhindi kadhi before. Loved it.
The bhindi was a bit crisp & hence not slimy. Kadhi was a perfect balance of salt, chilly & sour. Rate it 4.75/5
Loved the red rice as well. Not sure too many people wud love it though. Rate it 4.5/5.
Overall rating of Kathiawadi food at Soam averages out to 4.4/5
Look forward to revisiting and trying the regular menu here.
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