The Hidden Food of Lower Parel | MF Guide
Behind the glitz of its shopping malls, Lower Parel has a lot of undiscovered food. Here are some of our favourite neighbourhood secrets. All of these places are pocket-friendly, and collectively serve a wide spectrum of food. Whether you’re craving authentic Kolkata Kathi Rolls or NY pizzas by the slice, we have you covered.
White Elephant Arena Cafe
We have pretty strong feelings about multiplex food being overpriced and awful. However, White Elephant Arena Cafe, located inside Deepak Cinema, is a refreshing exception. The outdoor space has few tables, but plenty of shade. On offer are Thickshakes, coffee and tea, and even mocktails. We’d recommend the Almond Toffee Nut Latte and Irish Creme (both priced at Rs 150) and the clean Espresso (Rs 50). Food served here includes dimsums, popcorn, nachos, and even pizza available in 9 and 12 inch sizes. Our go-to is the Exotic Veggies, which is Rs 400 for a 12 inch pie topped with pleasantly fresh vegetables.
Quick tip: The best thing about White Elephant Arena Cafe is the pleasant quality and the inexpensive prices.
Kathi Kabab Roll
This small shop is a short walk from Lower Parel station, or under the flyover a little north from Phoenix Mills. Owner Satish Shevale is usually around, taking orders and keeping tab of how much you enjoyed your roll. My picks are the Kolkata style Kathi Kabab Roll, the Barbeque Chicken Roll (the sauce is made using Old Monk), and the Chicken Olive Herb Roll.
Quick tip: Stick to the rolls. We dare you to run up a bill more than 350 bucks for 2.
1Tablespoon Pizza Kitchen
This cosy place needs to read our piece on restaurant decor cliches, but apart from that, it’s one of the nicer slices we’ve had in the city. They’re also one of the few who do justice to NY style pizza, served by the slice. As the music pours over the small space, we’re usually found ordering between the Chorizo, Bianca (with onion sauce), and the BBQ Pollo slices.
Quick tip: Carry sanitizer, they don’t believe in basins. A meal for 2 is barely 600 bucks.
THC – The House of Chipotle
This one’s on call for whenever we want authentic, fresh chipotle goodness. After making a mark in the burbs of Andheri & Bandra, this friendly Mexican joint came to Lower Parel. They have some seating upstairs in their corner store, but the best part here is their delivery of hot, fresh, and delightful Chipotle Bowls. These bowls are available in 3 spice levels, as well as sizes L and XL. We can also endorse their delightful, meaty Chicken Burgers.
Quick tip: The mischievously flavoured Peanut Butter Panini is a fun order.
Punjabi Tadka by Crystal
It’s the sister concern of Chowpatty-based Crystal, but with a good selection of meat thrown in. The Chicken Lahori, Reshmi Tikka, a spicy Butter Chicken, Chicken Kali Mirch, Lasooni Fish Tikka and their non-veg Thali come highly recommended. The menu for the thali rotates every day, and the prices are on par with neighbouring restaurants.
Quick tip: Don’t worry, this place doesn’t ignore vegetarians, lunch here under 700 bucks for 2.
Located inside a furniture store, Zen Cafe is a great casual date spot. Elegant and simple in decor, the many couches are comfortable enough to nap on. The hummus is remarkable, and you’ll also be surprised by the quality of their coffee. Service is paced smoothly, as the peaceful space is barely ever packed. It’s a relaxed, discreet cafe, just as we like them to be.
Quick tip: Order the affogato and impress people at under 800 bucks for 2.
The Curry Brothers
They serve a mix of Goan and Bengali food, all of it happy for the stomach and the pocket. Order the homely and authentic Aloo’r Dom, the boldly meaty Goan Choriz, the refreshingly tangy DIY Jhaal-Muri with balanced notes of mustard, and the simple coastal Prawn Moilee with Coconut Rice.
The desserts are excellent too, with a Salted Caramael Maska-Pav Pudding that combines a pillow-like flavour with a subtle, wholesome flavour. Mrs D’s Chocolate Marzipan Cake is about as close as you can get into eating in a Bandra Catholic aunty’s house.
Quick tip: The Aloo’r Dom is comfort food unparalleled. An order for 2 is from 400 to 700 bucks.
Our buzzing midtown neighbourhood has great places left for you to try. Have we missed any spots you frequent? Tell us in the comments below!