Friday, May 18, 2012

Punjab da Aab in Mumbai

I have been shirking my blogging responsibilities of late by claiming tiredness, too much work, heat, etc, etc, etc ... but Naushijaan at Kurla and Oye Kake at Fort just ensured that I had to get back to writing.

Well here's the blogpost on Oye Kake

Oye Kake is a small Punjabi vegetarian restaurant in a small bylane in Fort, just off PM Rd, right next to the venerable Yazdani Bakery. They are what at first glance appears to a slightly trendy version of the ubiquitous Punjabi Restaurant that we see all over Mumbai ... but scratch the surface a bit and you see that it's not that and has a surprising amount of depth and contemporariness. It's funky quotient is that all of it's food is vegetarian, authentically Amritsari and that their Kulchas are made in water (Aab) brought down all the way from Amritsar! 

I ate the kulchas on my last visit and can vouch for their yumminess without being quite able to discern what they have imbibed specifically from the Amritsari aab. All the kulchas are served with a small portion of some of the softest most palate exciting chhole that I have ever eaten out side a Punjabi home in Mumbai.

My student Tanvi was down from Singapore on her first holiday after her nuptials and her classmates Arti and Manish decided we needed to meetup, chit chatting took so long that Tanvi decided to stay over in Fort rather than brave the train journey to Malad ... this was all the excuse we needed and we went off to Oye Kake to dig into sum Punjabi veggie goodness.

The restaurant has a happy youthful feel with some cartoons on the walls alongside some lovely black and white pictures, chimtas

The Menu is printed on a thick board with the dishes on one side and a small write up about the place on the  other. We quickly ordered some chhaas for Tanvi and me, pedhewali lassi for Arti and a Pepsi for Manish.

Tanvi then evinced a desire to eat some Masala Papad and her request was our command!

We ordered Alu Paranthas, a Cheese and Garlic Naan, Palak Paneer and Rajma Chaval.

The Alu Paranthas were nothing that special -good but not superb, the Naan though was a divine experience especially gooey on the inside with explosive chunks of garlic and buttered lightly on the outside .... I could go back just to eat this! The Paneer was fresh, soft, creamy yet silken; the palak seasoned just right with tempering before being puréed - together a perfect marriage.

 The Rajma Chaval arrived in a bucket (as expected) but without much ghee ... when we asked for some we were pleasantly surprised to be immediately rewarded with a large vaati of the genuine stuff. The Rajma was cooked as only Punjabis know how, delicately spiced, tangy, cooked so soft  it dissolved on contact with ones tongue ... this was North India in all its simple culinary delights.

We finished of with kesar phirnee (dehydrated), malai kulfi (watery) and the most divine Gulab Jamuns I have eaten in quite some time. The Gulab Jamuns made up for all the other dessert disappointments and we soon called for a second round and then a third round!

The young owner of Oye Kake was there and was quick to remark that he had seen us 'diss' his Phirnee and upon checking realised something was way wrong that day. We had a pleasant conversation and I promised him that I would write about his place because I had eaten really well and yet didn't feel heavy and stuffed. So well here it is.

Oye Kake is in a small lane and parking in the day time would be a serious problem at night though its plentiful. The service is prompt, the waiters and staff smiling, quick and helpful and the owner is usually right there in his restaurant - making sure all his staff are delivering the goods.


  1. Oye Kake is such a Punjabi way of addressing the young and old ones! The place seems similar to Not Just Paranthas in Delhi or perhaps Pind Balluchi! the Rajma chawal look so yummy!! Loved going through your blog...cheers!