Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi
At Between Breads, the walls are fashioned after submarine sandwiches so large that the sesame seeds on the rolls are coin-sized LED lights.
On the narrow, high tables along the sides of the room are Archie comics, and on the menu are things that would please Jughead Jones very much — burgers, hot dogs, fries, sandwiches and milkshakes. A soda fountain is imminent.
BB’s regular cheeseburger, with sweet rings of grilled onion, discs of crunchy pickles and slices of tomato and melted Gouda, is the un-McDonald’s of burgers — a juicy, flavourful patty with just enough fixings, even if the bread does tend to fall apart halfway.
The owners, who take orders and serve, say a lot of the ingredients are made in-house; they buy choice cuts of meat and grind them, the sauces (BBQ, blue cheese, roasted garlic, and more) are made in their kitchen. The piri piri is a standout. It has complexity and burn, without the jolt of salt or vinegar found in Tabasco.
First-time visitors to BB must get a portion of fries. Either the BB-style with fabulous grilled onions, melted cheese and thousand-island dressing, or bacon fries tossed with bits of fried rashers and drizzled with bacon fat.
There are plenty of artery-endangering eats here, and vegetarians are not spared. The veggie burger, for instance, contains a fried potato patty as well as oozy jalapeño poppers.
Not as diet-unfriendly is the sandwich of roasted peppers, grilled eggplant and mozzarella, slathered with delicious pesto on crusty multigrain; and the Chicago hot dog, with mustard, relish, pickle, and chopped onion, tomato and jalapeño.
All meals here come in paper-lined baskets and can get messy, so BB thoughtfully keeps sanitiser at hand.
There is pink lemonade and iced tea, but it would be a mistake to miss the milkshake that the owners recommend most. Even people who dislike both coffee and bananas will like BB’s version. It’s chilled and lush, but also light enough to get seconds.
Seek and you will find
Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi
One reason why Zen Café is, well, zen is because it’s not easy to find. In the maze of offices and home-fixtures shops at Raghuvanshi Mills, you must first seek out KSL House, then locate the inconspicuous sign, walk through a home-décor store and finally up a flight of stairs to the minimalist mezzanine. Finding the minimalist café is a reward unto itself.
To further the theme, Zen is all-vegetarian and serves no alcohol, but does provide plenty of other mood-changing fare. There is caffeine and sugar — hot, cool, shaken or chilled — sometimes served in martini glasses, as with the Zen Smartini (with spiced chai and blood orange).
There are carbs from at least three regions — represented by pizzas, quesadillas and falafel wraps — and desserts such as brownies, carrot cake and apple cake.
The iced nutella latte is exactly what it sounds like, unlike the Zen Smartini, which turned out to be a milkshake dressed in an evening gown.
Get the nachos del sol — layers of chips arranged like sunbeams, topped with tasty beans, salsa and grated cheese. The dish is served chilled, which seems strange at first, but soon enough it’s easy to polish off.
Better paneer kathi rolls can be found in this city, so pass Zen’s over for a cucumber, tomato and yogurt sandwich instead. The cool, tangy, crunchy stuffing, spiked with mustard, is light and lovely for blistering days such as these.
It’s all grub that’s far from gourmet, but it fulfils its purpose of providing a quick bite during work meetings, or brief respite from shopping fatigue.
A Goa state of mind
Psy-trance ‘babaji’ Goa Gil will perform at Blue Frog on Sunday night, bringing his unique blend of tribal and futuristic sound to the stage.
Goa Gil, who grew up amid the famed San Francisco music scene of the ’60s, moved to India towards the end of that decade. Here, he spent most of his time practicing yoga with gurus in the Himalayas, who influenced his music too, he says.
In his music, Goa Gil uses modern techno tracks mixed with the sounds of ancient tribal instruments, aiming to juxtapose the meditative values of yoga with dance beats so that his audience is immersed in a ‘trance-dance experience’ party.
“Through the trance-dance experience, hopefully people will become more sensitive and aware of themselves and their surroundings,” he says. “With this awareness comes compassion and understanding of each other, which is the true Goa state of mind.”
On Sunday, Goa Gil will play his newest collection. “The audience may not have heard all my new music, so I’m looking forward to introducing it to them,” he says. On the playlist are psy-trance bands from around the world, such as Dog of Tears (USA), Dark Whisper (Germany) and Sanathana (Dubai).
Drawing on the elements
Chaos is the underlying theme of a new series of paintings by T Venkanna, currently on display at Gallery Maskara.
Titled Pancha Mahabhuta (Hindi for ‘Five Essential Elements’), the series comprises five works, one each dedicated to Earth, Sky, Air, Water and Fire. “The harmony between these elements of nature is becoming increasingly imbalanced due to human activity,” says Venkanna. “It is against this backdrop that I have created the works to depict the delicate state of these elements.”
Each work draws on images from sexual fantasies, contemporary history and landmark art works. The central image in ‘Air’ is a large phial, derived from 20th century French-American artist Marcel Duchamp’s installation ‘Air De Paris’, which comprised a glass phial filled with air from Paris.
Other motifs include skeletal mummies, corpses hanging by a noose and bloated sex dolls. “By drawing such parallels, Venkanna comments on how the five elements are used and abused today,” says gallery director Abhay Maskara, where the exhibition marks the fifth anniversary of the art space.
Pancha Mahabhuta was previously shown at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.
This weekend, the city will honour two percussionists — tabla and pakhavaj player Ashok Mhatre and tabla player Suresh Talwalkar — at events featuring performances by both.
Mhatre, who has studied under the likes of the late Amir Hussain Khan, Yashwant Kerkar and Arjun Shejwal and now runs an institution in Nallasopara, will be felicitated by students and admirers on Saturday.
Suresh Gaitonde will perform a solo tabla recital and Manjusha Bhabe will sing classical compositions at the event. Mhatre will also perform a solo pakhavaj recital.
In Chembur, meanwhile, Talwalkar will be felicitated before his solo tabla recital on the third day of the annual Alladiya Khan Memorial Festival.
Talwalkar, who received a Padma Shri award this year, rose to fame as a teenager, accompanying sarangi maestro Ram Narayan in the late 1960s.
An independent thinker with his own unique vision of the art of tabla-playing, Talwalkar is best known for his deft manipulation of the dynamics of rhythm while playing with musicians such as vocalist Ulhas Kashalkar and sitarist Shahid Parvez.
Nupur Kashid (vocalist), Madhu Bhat Tailang (dhrupad) and Arnab Chattopadhyay (vocalist) will also perform at the memorial festival.