The newly launched Amdavadi offers a slice of Gujarati cuisine culture

At Amdavadi, you can smell the aroma of freshly fried kachoris (among other food items) even before you enter the restaurant. Considering I’m meeting a Jain friend from Mumbai, this is the best place I could think of — most items listed here are available as Jain food as well.

Amdavadi is a charming little eat-out with white interiors, colourful paintings and bulbous lamps daintily hanging from the side walls. The menu includes all things Gujarati such as palak muthiya, handvo, thepla, sabu dana vada... Oh, and it also lists a few good old sherbets, which had almost been edged out of most menus by mocktails and aerated drinks. 

Going through the menu one realises there is definitely more to Gujarati food than just dhokla, khandvi, chundo and thepla.

The corn and pineapple kuchumbur is highly recommended. With tiny chunks of pineapple, red and green capsicum, sprouts and corn, this kaleidoscope of a mixture is as delicious as it is healthy. Next we dive into the peas kachori with green chutney. It’s made of spicy peas stuffing encased within a crispy layer. With a low threshold for spices, this is enough to makes our eyes water, but that can’t stop us from reaching out for second helpings.  Thankfully, our sherbets arrive. The virulent green kachi kheri is quite refreshing, the kala khatta, however, is a disappointment and tastes like synthetic syrupy candy. 

Fast food

The service is commendable. Our orders reach us fast, in fact, even before we are done with the previous dish. Now we dig our spoons into a bowl of bhel puri with chunks of semi soggy papdi. Seeing the food on our table, the manager walks up to us and requests us to save a little space for desserts.  “Would you like to try our sabu dana vada?” At the mention of sabu dana vada, we almost clap our hands in glee. It brings back fond memories. Every visit to the Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai would be complete only after gulping a few hot sabu dana vadas from the eateries outside. Made of sago, this dish is often served to people breaking their fast. We, of course, never need an excuse to have the vadas.

Unfortunately, the ones at Amdavadi aren’t anything like the ones we had tasted before. These are plain chewy, and even though the restaurant staff insist that dipping them in sweet dahi will improve the taste, it doesn’t. 

It’s time to scan through the menu... again. Jalebis it is! Bright yellow and piping hot, they make an entry — much like heroes salvaging a situation. Fresh, crunchy with a few (very few) strands of kesar thoughtfully placed on top, this definitely is the best way to end a meal. If only we had saved a little space for shrikhand as well...

(Amdavadi is located at No. 23, North Boag Road, T. Nagar. For details, call 4331-3353)

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