The Bombay Diaries: It’s 2 AM and I’m starving!

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Brownie Cravings
Brownie Cravings
Brownie

One of the things I love and miss most about Bombay is that almost any food craving can be satiated at any time. When you’re a foodie like me, hunger pangs at ungodly hours are quite common. I know they say when you’re hungry, anything will do and when you’re hungry for a particular thing that’s just greed and craving’s evil progeny. Well, sad as it may sound, I gave in to the diabolical demand quite easily.

I remember this one incident when a friend and I had just moved from one apartment to another. Exhaustion had overcome us to such a great extent that we didn’t have the energy to put curtains up knowing most certainly that the sun will ruin whatever chance of sleeping till late the next day. When we were just about to crash, the doorbell rang and in came our first house guests – two friends who had driven all the way to Navi Mumbai bearing a bar of Snickers as a housewarming gift.

Maggi Noodles
Maggi Noodles

Much to my dismay, one of them was hungry. I offered him the house special; Maggi with a half-fried egg. “Nooooo Mehak! I haven’t driven ALL this way for Maggi. I have a great idea, let’s go to Lonavla and we can have something great!” he said. My roomie and I stared at each other and at that instant I knew exactly what she was thinking. So we made a deal, if the boys put up the curtains in both rooms, then we would go.

Needless to say, 30 minutes hence we were off to get some ‘exquisite’ grub. A quick nap later, I discovered that we were in a slightly chilly Lonavla looking forward to a something special. It was almost 2 in the morning, most places were shut and nobody had the energy to drive to Sunny’s or Happy’s or whatever dhaba Lonavla is so well known for.

After driving around aimlessly for a bit, the Maggi protestor friend had a suggestion, to go to the nearest thela for some masala noodles and bhurji-pav. Basically, we’d driven to Lonavla to eat the exact same thing we could have had at home. Except we got the quintessential cola. Very wise. Was I angry? Only momentarily…it did turn out to be a really fun night.

A lot of my food stories are shared with this one particular friend. Let’s call him B for ease of storytelling. While most people dismiss that sudden craving for shawarma or pani-puri or peanut M&M’s or a cinnamon roll (I’m sure you get the drift) at wee hours in the night, I was one to always have my wishes fulfilled thanks to B. You all must know that each station has the regular bhurji-pav, pav-bhaji, chai, Boost and coffee which is more than enough to fill up a hungry stomach. But here is a list of quite unusual things that B and I have craved on various nights (and where we got them):

Pancakes
Pancakes

• Peanut M&M’s – 24/7 pharmacy
• Regular M&M’s – 24/7 pharmacy
• Skittles – 24/7 pharmacy
• Butter Chicken – Sheetal at Khar, Mughal Serai at Bandra station
• Dal-Rice – Duke’s on Chapel road in Bandra
• Cupcakes – Nowhere 🙁
• Gelato – Breach Candy, Carter road
• Yogurt – Carter Road, Juhu
• Club Sandwich – Celini at the Grand Hyatt, Trattoria at The Taj President, Novotel
• Strawberry & Cream – (when in season) Haji Ali Juice Centre, Bachelorrs *yes with 2 r’s*
• Muesli – 24/7 pharmacy

Burger
Burger

• Pani-Puri – Juhu Chowpatty
• Sev-Puri – Juhu Chowpatty
• Bacon – Any 4 star and up hotel’s coffee shop
• Brownie – Any hotel’s coffee shop
• Pancakes – Coffee shop
• Kulfi – Girgaum Chowpatty
• Dabeli – Juhu Chowpatty
• Burger – Any hotel’s coffee shop, I think Novotel has a fantastic one but B swears by the one at JW Marriott.

Ladies & gentlemen, we have gotten everything except cupcakes on the list at unearthly hours. Sigh. I want a dabeli now. This one time we knocked at an ice-cream shop’s nearly closed shutter and begged him to sneak us a cup of gelato. The waiter said one of us could get so in I jumped.

While I was still contemplating what to get, someone yelled ‘Police’ and the lights were turned off and shutters pulled down completely. Uh oh, this wasn’t good. I was worried because I hadn’t yet figured out what flavour to go for. Yes. That worried me more than being shut in a small, cold room with 3 random men and the cops on a mission to raid. B started calling frantically to see if I was alright. I told him not to sweat and that I was getting us some Bavarian chocolate gelato with the help of this huge emergency light inside the store.

After I stepped out, it dawned upon me that the guy had billed us for two large cups but given two smalls. Furious, I bent down and squeezed my way from the half closed shutter again and had him return the money. You see, where there’s a will, there’s a way. So whatever the time maybe, you can get almost anything if you have a bit of money for food, public transport or your own wheels.

A popular saying states that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but I believe women are not much different. Bombay has the magic to awaken the gourmand in you at whatever time you please. So make a food wish and it might just come true!

Know of other awesome places to find grub in wee hours in Mumbai, tell us below!

Post By Mehak Rampal (7 Posts)

Not connected to namesake actor but loves to hate on things. Cannot tolerate ppl hu typ lyk dis. Caramel lover and wholehearted foodie. Shopaholic on most days. Loves surprises and would take a Thesaurus to bed.

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Mehak Rampal

Mehak Rampal
Not connected to namesake actor but loves to hate on things. Cannot tolerate ppl hu typ lyk dis. Caramel lover and wholehearted foodie. Shopaholic on most days. Loves surprises and would take a Thesaurus to bed.