Even though Bunder has lost some of its bustle and sheen, Bombay Lucky Restaurant still remains as busy as it has been for nearly 80 years.

Mohammed Iqbal, 32, who is the son of its owner Mohammad Sulaiman, says that in all these years, Bombay Lucky has retained its customers, who keep returning for some simple and tasty biryani. Mr. Iqbal says his father took over the restaurant 40 years ago, but the restaurant itself belonged to the pre-Independence era.

The menu has changed little over the years, except that for the last few months the owners have been forced to stop serving fish because of “labour problems”. Over 10 years ago, Mr. Iqbal said, the walls of the restaurant had been decorated with glass paintings of flowers and buildings, but gradually the paintings got worn out, and had to be removed. Then two years ago, the old structure was torn down and a new building – still not finished — replaced the original restaurant. Asked about its unusual name, Mr. Iqbal said even before his father took over that had been the restaurant's name.

24 hours

Even before the term 24x7 had been coined, Bombay Lucky served its customers round the clock. Then some years ago, the restaurant would close at 3.30 a.m. and re-open an hour and a half later. Now, the restaurant is open between 9.30 a.m. and 12.30 a.m., Mr. Iqbal says.

Having joined his father in running the business after he completed his pre-university course, Mr. Iqbal has seen the area change over the years. There were two other restaurants named Madras and Olympia nearby, but they closed down years ago, Mr. Iqbal says. Now of course, lorries have replaced the bullock carts that used to transport goods to the historic port.

Lemon tea

Bombay Lucky could possibly be one of the handful of eateries in Mangalore where you get lemon tea that is actually brewed with real tea power and lemon instead of a concentrate. The result is an amber-coloured tea with a tempting lemony aroma.

The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Chicken, mutton, and egg dishes are listed on the menu drawn up on a board behind the cashier's counter.

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