Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rajdhani, Crawford Market

All You Wanna Eat Thali Set

Today's day trip took me to Crawford Market, where the heat and noise of the masses congregate to assault your senses on all fronts, leaving you battered, defeated and desperate for fuel. I lost all senses in the assault, and wandered in search of some hearty grub to nurse my poor self back to full form. Preferably a place with air conditioning, I mumbled without a prayer.

I must have been guided by some powerful food deities today, for the Great Ones lead my weary feet to a gem of a place that was (a) Air conditioned--Thanks be to thy deities! (2) Marked, post-it-ed, highlighted and dog eared on my Lonely Planet--what're the odds of that? and (iii) A Thali joint.

The place is Rajdhani. (pg 56)

A Thali meal is the most ingenious buffet conception of Mankind. You need not bother getting off your fanny to retrieve more food like a traditional buffet, nor are you required to interrupt your feeding frenzy to scour the menu and call for replenishment like an ala carte. No, my fair friends, if you are a hardcore buffet devotee, a Thali is the way to go.

See the huge and glorious plate above? It stays this way, period. The moment any one of the merry components look in danger of depletion, a helpful waiter would swiftly come, like a knight in Thali sliver armor, to refill the said component, so you are never in need or want, and your mind and hands are freed up to feed to your heart's and tummy's content.

I am so happy. This trip just keeps getting better. Every dish, chutney, bread, curry of the Thali was magnificent, richly spiced yet unique in flavor, heavy and hearty, and so many once again new to my palate. Gawd I am so happy...

Street Vendor along Crawford Market

After shedding buckets of grateful tears and replenishing the fluids with equal parts of curries, I was now strong enough to continue my footsteps about Crawford.

Myriad of Colors & Flavors Offered

The street vendors are amazing, from their tiny portable kitchens / motorbikes, they dish up massive arrays of food, pipping hot and freshly prepped before your eyes. Every hawker take great pride in their wares, often adorning the final plates with countless garnishes and final seasonings, so that perfection is achieved even in the humble street food.

Pav Bhaji

Sunset Surprise Against Chowpatty

Back in the hotel, another lovely surprise, this time brownies with walnuts and topped with a macaroon each. This place is just too kind. Seriously, how can I expect anything tomorrow to top what I have experienced thus far?


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