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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Last orders: Back to the basics

Serena Menon   August 23, 2013
First Published: 16:25 IST(23/8/2013) | Last Updated: 16:28 IST(23/8/2013)
A restaurant that I regularly order from is usually consistent in its offering. The owner is also quite generous with the accompaniments. Then, last week, with my order, arrived something that didn’t look or smell like onions. The owner of this Parel eatery had picked rationing a commodity that costs R70 per kg over consistency. He sent me mooli (white radish) instead. Apparently, the two serve the same purpose; except, you don’t have to be stinking rich to afford the latter these days, and it doesn’t make you cry, if you
follow what I mean.

While smaller players in the industry have the price of onions to worry about, fans of fine-dining restaurants also stand a good chance of being affected by the increase in prices.
According to a report on a financial blog, the tumbling Indian rupee has led places like Indigo Deli and Olive Bar and Kitchen to hike their prices by a whopping 25 per cent and 12 per cent respectively. Foreign liquor, as expected, isn’t far behind.

Earlier this week, the owner of a suburban wine shop told me how “‘Mohit and Chandan’ R350 se badha hai; ab R5,750 ka hai.” (Not the first time I’ve heard that hilarious phonetic twist) Similarly, a bottle of Chivas Regal that used to cost R3,950, is now for R4,600.

Eating and drinking out in Mumbai, clearly, has become a thing that needs prior deliberation now. But it’s also presenting those parked on high bar stools an opportunity to step
down and discover the simple pleasures of the city. Whether that involves finding that quintessential dive in your neighbourhood or locating a famous Malwani food stall — there is scope for a silver lining for those interested in making radish cakes when life’s serving you… err, radish.

If you’re looking for a kick-start, Sunshine in Malad, Lakshmi Chayya in Andheri, Harish Bar in Irla, Meena Bar in Kalina and Utsav in Goregaon are some dives that come
recommended by those who have ventured into this world.
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