Food review: Berlin’s street food comes to Bandra, at Mahlzeit
This cosy eatery serves the kind of simple, homestyle fare you’d expect to find on streets carts in Germany.mumbai Updated: Mar 09, 2018 22:56 IST
- Rating: 3.5 / 5
- Where: 1 Sefa House, Pali Mala Road, Pali Hill, next to Gem Medicals, opposite Bagel Shop, Bandra West
- When: Daily 12.30pm to 4pm, 6.30pm to 11.30pm
- Cost: Approximately Rs 1200 for a meal for two. Alcohol not served.
- Call: 98340 07058 / 99234 91378
In north Germany, when colleagues leave the office for a short midday break, or at the end of the day, they might greet each other with the proclamation, “Mahlzeit!”. Informally, it’s used to say “Hello!” or “Okay folks, I’m off”.
In the rest of Germany and in Austria, the salutation takes its more literal sense, used only at mealtimes as a truncated form of ‘gesegnete malzheit’ which means ‘blessed mealtime’, a more pious option to the common ‘guten appetit’.
From a region which places hellos and goodbyes in the context of meals, Bandra restaurant Mahlzeit serves simple, homestyle, everyday food in a room that’s so snug, eight diners inside it would be a bit of a squeeze.
Its size works in Mahlzeit’s favour. People must sit close together to dine, so it’s the sort of place you’d want to go for with someone who you’re fond of, someone you’d like to share your meal with. It’s also the sort of neighbourhood eatery that could have a community of its own, regulars who become familiar, and drop in on a whim. Indeed, a couple walked in just as we were leaving, about 15 minutes before closing time. “I called and they said it’s okay,” she said to her companion as they walked in.
The menu, which is identical to Mahlzeit’s outlet in Pune (where it’s very warmly received), is based around meat and potatoes – and some bread. There are wursts and schnitzels in various combinations, and meatballs and burgers, doners and grilled meats. Wherever it can be done, there is a paneer option.
Have the wurst (German or Austrian for sausage) in any form. The ones in our pork bratwurst/currywurst mix platter, and in our coilwurst plate (coiled sausage), were as unprocessed, traditional, and tasty, as any we have had off a Vienna streetcart. Not so much the curry ketchup, which lacked character and did nothing for the meat.
With both of these plates, there is a side of potatoes. Choose bratkartofflen – butter-fried potatoes, pepper, and caramelised onions, a comforting combination of fat, carbs, sweetness and spice. Or Oma Hedwig’s potato salad, German-style cold spuds, in slightly tangy mayo.
If we were satisfied with our wurst at Mahlzeit, we were thrilled with our wiener schnitzel. Under their crumbly and crisp breaded sheath was tender, flavourful meat, neither overwhelming the other.
This meal will makes most folks want a cold beer. Mahlzeit has buzz-free Club Mate (pronounced mah-tey) – a carbonated tisane that we couldn’t get enough of. It’s crisp, more tart than sweet, lightly caffeinated, and deeply refreshing.
It helps to keep in mind that Mahlzeit serves street food, so it’s about familiarity over fanciness. Most plates for one average at Rs 250. All things considered, we could do wurst.
(HT pays for meals and reviews anonymously)