I am a lazy foodie, in the sense, that while I’m very happy to try out new types of food and check out new eateries, I am rarely willing to travel for the sake of food. I’m quite content exploring places near my house or office that keep popping up regularly. I make it a point to at least drop in once just to see what a new eatery is like.
That’s what should have happened when Just Bing’g’e opened in Vashi. I can’t remember where I heard about /came across Just Bing’g’e, but I decided not to go there, even though it was fairly close to my place.
The reason was not related to the food being served, but to the way “Bing’g’e” was spelt. The extra ‘g’ and the inverted commas around it set my teeth on edge. Consider me old-fashioned or boring (in addition to the aforementioned lazy), but I’ve never been able to understand or appreciate ‘creative’ spellings just because it sounds good or seems different or unique. I generally ignore/avoid places, things and sometimes even people with such creative spellings.
Just Bing’g’e got relegated to that category and would have remained there if not for an invite from Pooja of Nuvofoodies for a bloggers’ roundtable or a tasting at Just Bing’g’e. I did cringe when I saw the extra ‘g’ again, but the warm and personal invite from Pooja won me over, and that’s how ended up I visiting Just Bing’g’e in Vashi one evening last month.
Continue reading “Restaurant Review: Just Bing’g’e”
Last Friday, I had the honour of being invited to a very special meal at Four Points by Sheraton in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. It was a Maharashtrian meal that was curated and presented by the food writer and consultant, Saee Koranne-Khandekar. The Mejwani Thali — as it was called — had a mix of lesser known as well as classic dishes from the various regions of Maharashtra.
Before I talk about the Mejwani Thali, I have a confession to make. In spite of having lived in Maharashtra for greater part of my life, I don’t really know its cuisine very well.
Here I’m talking beyond the better-known snacks like Misal Pav, Kothimbir Vadi, Sabudana Khichdi, Pohe, etc.; I’m talking about the main course dishes here. Though I have Maharashtrian friends and I have eaten in their homes, the food served, though delicious, has rarely been ‘their’ food. As a result, apart from varan bhat (daal rice), masale bhat (Masala rice) and other classic dishes, I have not eaten speciality dishes. Yes, there are restaurants, serving ‘authentic’ Maharashtrian meals, but when paneer makes an appearance in such meal, everything that has been served is suspect for me.
When I arrived at Four Points on Friday evening, it was with the usual excitement of waiting for the evening to unfold. But there was something else accompanying the excitement that day — an anticipation that, finally, I would get to sample, authentic Maharashtrian cuisine. And that too in a thali (or plate) format, my favourite way of eating Indian food.
Continue reading “A culinary experience called the Mejwani Thali”