Heading out for a fun evening with friends? Mash and Funkjazz's Donuts & Hotdogs' menu and ambience will set the mood
In retrospect, perhaps a moonlit long jump competition at the beach wasn't the best idea. But after a margarita-fuelled evening at Zara, it seemed like a brilliant plan.
All the beach fixtures — gapers and gawkers — were hospitably included. They lined up and loudly helped with judging. Six girls, 18 jumps in all. Once we were done, Mash seemed like the ideal place for dinner. Unfortunately our dignified entry didn't fool anyone. Customers broke into applause, asking who the winner was. Mash is just that kind of place.
With a lively view of the beach, this restaurant takes you back to college. So, if you're more Chateauneuf du Pape than Rum ‘n Coca Cola, don't even bother. We visit again on Sunday, when the restaurant fills up with languid brunchers discussing the shenanigans of Saturday night.
This is the best time of year to visit the first floor, balcony restaurant. As we settle down, the rain begins. We listen to it pound on neighbouring terracotta roofs while drinking steaming mugs of tea, teamed with ‘fiery fatatoes,' which are crispy-fluffy, masala-dusted potato chips. It's so deliciously cosy you can almost forgive the haphazard service. Almost. The friendly young waiters are clearly in over their heads, all powered with enough hair gel to morph into tiny tepees.
We order a fish burger, and get a chicken burger instead. Not that it makes a difference: the patty tastes of little besides water, sawdust and blind optimism. My main course arrives after everyone at the table has finished eating. As they watch me impatiently, I dig into the sizzling Attapadi chicken fry. It's basic, robust and gratifying, served with rice tossed with coriander. We end with sulaimani tea, sharpened with lime.
The menu's inventive, with an enthusiastic focus on all-day breakfasts. In keeping with the spirit of their young clients, the food's irreverent, made with generous lashings of cheese and cream, sugar and spice. Lots of frying and ketchup is key. I drink a thin ‘Chai Kerala style', but you can dive into Kol Kofi Exotica, ‘a thick kaapi shake' or what they call a Strawberry Banananana. (Help, I can't stop.) My friend loves their Not'ela pancakes, topped with a chocolate and peanut butter sauce. But since Mr. Tepee One and Two are looking harried, we head to Funkjazz's Donuts & Hotdogs next door for dessert.
It's crawling with schoolgirls shrieking over how ‘cute' their boyfriends are. The boys in question linger outside, desperately trying to look nonchalant and keep their frighteningly loose denims from falling off. The incessant squealing ensures we grab the first available donuts and run out. Mine turns out to be a vanilla glaze, sweet and doughy. The chocolate donut is identical, except for its topping.
While the “Full time pass” section of Funkjazz' menu lists the usual suspects, onion rings and chilli cheese fries, they also have some atypical items like a southwest grill sausage and crispy beef strips. Although this tiny joint is popular primarily for its donuts, you can also pick up wraps, sandwiches and burgers here. Since it's very small, and usually very loud, we suggest you take your food to the beach, or eat in the car.
The donuts aren't really impressive if you're comparing them to the likes of Krispy Kreme. More chew-frantically than melt-in-the-mouth. The service is apathetic, with staff making it quite clear they have better things to do with their time than serve customers. What these things are, we will never know. Frisbee on the beach, perhaps.
Yet, dining by the beach is inexplicably satisfying. Eating donuts on the sand amid salty sea spray. Digging into Mash's steaming crepes in the car. (They offer ‘Drive in Service.') Or just sitting on the Mash balcony, chatting with strangers over Roly Polies, lollipops of banana batter served with ice cream and honey, after a delightfully undignified long jump competition.
(Mash is on Elliots Beach Road. A meal for two costs approximately Rs. 400. Call 4551 1555 or 99620 03300 for details.)
Funkjazz Donuts & Hotdogs is next door. A donut costs Rs. 25. Call 4301 8585 for more details. )