Food Bytes: Green Onion and Puku’s, Nigerian Food Eateries In Mumbai

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Jellof Rice with Deep Fried Chicken and Fried Plantains

 

Puff Puff
Puff Puff

That I love the exotic side of life is a no brainer. I’m constantly on the lookout for the outré, zarra hatke type of things Mumbai has to offer. And more so when it comes to things of the edible kind!

As you may recollect a few weeks ago, in this very space, I’d spoken about Wazobia’s Kitchen in Vashi that I thought was the city’s only Nigerian restaurant. Turns out I was wrong. There are in fact two more such culinary ‘oddities’ aka Green Onion and Puku’s dishing out stellar Nigerian nosh to nostalgia-afflicted Nigerian expats in the city. So, the last week, I dedicated all my spare time tracking down the rather hard to find Puku’s and eating two meals at Green Onion. And here’s my take…

Green Onion

Inside Green Onion
Inside Green Onion

If ever you were to pass this elegant, but nondescript eatery next to the Gol Masjid near Metro Cinema, you’d never guess the delectable little secret it holds. For the last seven months this otherwise Indian and Chindian restaurant has added a very extensive Nigerian food menu that is never proffered to just about anybody who walks through its doors. You have to ask specifically for it and only then will you will be able to partake in its bounty.

Chicken Egusi with Garri Fufu
Chicken Egusi with Garri Fufu

I started my lunch with a generously proportioned chicken egusi soup with bitter leaf that I was told was thickened using melon seeds. This was mopped up with balls of the spongy semovita fufu that comes wrapped in cling film and serves the purpose of the dish’s starchy component.  Yum, yummy, and yummiest to the very last bite! Next on my plate was the tomato-y jellof rice with a huge hunk of deep-fried chicken served with fried plantain slices as accompaniments. Again a stellar dish that I couldn’t get enough of. I finished off my meal with a dessert that hit a home run with its similarity to fried dough balls. Yes, the double barrel named puff puff was super super… My suggestion to you is to go get some exotica onto your plate ASAP!
Where: Hotel Sapna Marine, near Metro Cinema, Dhobi Talao, Marine Lines
Contact: 022-22194040
Timings: 12pm to 11pm
How Much: Rs. 1,250 for two (without alcohol)

Puku’s

Outside Puku's in Topi Street, Dongri
Outside Puku’s in Topi Street, Dongri

As much as I pride myself on my exceptionally brilliant navigational skills, I had to reconsider my remarkable place-finding abilities thanks to my first unsuccessful attempt at finding Puku’s in the gritty area of Dongri. Armed with a very vague address and directions that went something like ‘take the second turn from the vendor selling live goats, next to the incense shop…’ I found myself going in circles on a very hot summer’s day. So I gave up and headed back home, utterly frustrated.

But the next time I finally managed to track down the place thanks to a group of Nigerian students who were more than happy to show me the way. Bare boned and basic to the core, Puku’s is a small 10X12 feet hole in the wall that is housed up a rickety flight of stairs in a side alley called topi (cap) street. But the wholesome, tasty fare dished out here more than made up for the rest.

Goat Stew with Semovita Fufu
Goat Stew with Semovita Fufu

I started off with a breakfast dish called of moi moi beans cake with an egg and a bowl of chicken onugbo (African bitter leaf) soup, the red palm oil-redolent goat stew along with a cling film wrapped piece of garri (cassava) fufu that was a tad sour, but tasty never the less. It is worth mentioning here that Puku’s caters to huge appetites and the portions here are humungous. So, go there with friends or you will end up with a lot of leftovers as they don’t do doggy bags, as I sadly learnt. Certainly not a place for the faint hearted, but scratch beneath Puku’s surface and you may hit the culinary equivalent of the golden ticket.
Where: No 20, Topi Street, Dongri, Bhendi Bazaar.
Timings: 12pm to 3pm (open only for lunch)
How Much: Rs. 850 for two (no alcohol served)

Images by Raul Dias

Post By Raul Dias (102 Posts)

Lists travel, food and luxury as the tantalizing trifecta that defines him. When he’s not travelling, eating or getting pampered at a spa, you'll find him assaulting his notebook's keyboard with a feral vengeance, churning out what he hopes are intelligent, informative and entertaining stories.

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Raul Dias

Raul Dias
Lists travel, food and luxury as the tantalizing trifecta that defines him. When he’s not travelling, eating or getting pampered at a spa, you'll find him assaulting his notebook's keyboard with a feral vengeance, churning out what he hopes are intelligent, informative and entertaining stories.
  • Aniket Kulkarni

    That’s pretty awesome. Let me know when you would like to go again, i would like to accompany you, perhaps chat up with the chef.

  • eke

    i have been in Maumbau for 2weeks now from my native country Nigeria. it was a discovery to read this blog and i quickly placed an order for my favourite of egusi and semovita.. my wife ordered jollof rice.

    the egusi was wonderful. though the jollof rice to a nigerian would have need some getting used to. mainly cause we afican don’t use Basmati rice for jollof rice..

    All in all, it was a very enjoyable meal. probably try some other dish next time.