We discovered Mama Kane’s Swatchha Upahar Griha while walking around Dadar station aimlessly and famished one Sunday afternoon. This tiny eatery stood out like an oasis in a desert, and called out to the two starving ladies burdened with shopping bags in their hands. The constant sea of people flowing in and out of the restaurant was a positive indicator that we’d end up getting a decent meal here, compared to the neighboring Udipi restaurants. We walked out of Mama Kane, tummies full and hearts content. Here are three reasons why I’d happily return to dine here, the next time I’m in the area –
1. Bite into history
The eatery resonates an old world charm the minute you walk in. It resembles a large dining room, or a mess of sorts with wooden furniture and high walls, without being noisy or chaotic. The hygiene levels are what impressed me the most – grime free walls, tables wiped clean after every order and an orderly kitchen that I managed to peep into.
The eatery claims to be over a 100 years old, and started off serving home style meals at reasonable rates to office goers and workers around Dadar. Most of the items on the menu, including the recipes have stood the test of time and are available even a century later.
Read about Pradeep Gomantak, another heritage restaurant I loved here.
2. Food just like my Maharashtrian neighbor makes
No seriously! As I tucked into my lunch thali complete with kadhi, vegetable, pulses, dal, rice and pickle; I couldn’t help but appreciate how homely and comforting everything on my plate was. The kadhi was freakishly similar to what I’ve eaten as a child, prepared by our house help,Yeshwadi Bai. She is no more unfortunately, but a taste of that kadhi brought back fond memories. Such is the food here, extremely simple and local, which is evident by the throngs of locals coming here for a quick and inexpensive bite.
The restaurant started off serving home style meals, but slowly branched out into popular Maharashtrian snacks such as Vada Pav and Missal Pav owing to public demand. They also churn out South Indian staples but I’d stay away from those if I were you.
3. The price is right
I rubbed my eyes in disbelief as I read out the bill. We paid roughly Rs. 200 for a meal for two including one drink and excluding any form of service charge or tax. Prices like these are hard to find in today’s exorbitantly expensive world. Acche din, indeed!
The service here was smooth and quick, akin to most restaurants that fall in this bracket.
Wherever possible when you travel, dine where the locals dine, and eat with the locals. It ensures you sample a true representation of that cuisine, without burning a hole in your pocket. Which is exactly what my meal here represented. Such a hidden gem Mama Kane is!
(The author dined anonymously and paid for her own meals. As always, the views are unbiased and entirely her own.)
Mama Kane Swatcha Upahar Griha, 222, Smruti Kunj, Senapati Bapat Marg, Dadar West, Mumbai.