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This is a very PERSONAL review

But based on 40 years of eating in Matunga (CR) and King’s Circle.

1. Cafe Madras:

#1 in overall rating, arguably serves the best sambhar in Mumbai.

WARNING: Avoid Saturday Evening, Sunday Morning and Sunday Evening as there is a HUGE waiting line.

Monday Closed

The ideal meal for one person here would be

1. Start with Upma with Molgapodi

2. Vada Sambhar

3. Order a Dosa when the Vada Sambhar arrives ( A Set Dosa with White Butter and Molga Podi) or a Pesaratte Dosa

4. End with a nice cup of Filter Coffee

(A+) Top Dishes:

Vada Sambhar, Masala Dosa, Pesaratte Dosa, Appam Stew (available on certain evenings only), Set Dosa, Filter Coffee, Best Sambhar and Molga Podi

(A) Above Average Dishes:

Upma, Idli, Rava Masala, Bisibele Bhath, Tuppa Dosa (Ghee Dosa), Uttappam

(B) Average Dishes

Mysore Masala, Idli – The Coconut Chutney here is also not as good as its competitors

2. Café Mysore:

#2 in overall rating, the best authentic Mysore Masala dosa in Mumbai.

Arguably serves the best coconut chutney of the lot.

Ideal for Saturday Evening, Sunday Morning and Sunday Evening as the waiting line is quite less.

They also have an AC Section

Wednesday Closed

The ideal meal for one person here would be

1. Start with Tomato Upma

2. Idli Chutney

3. Mysore Masala Dosa

4. End with Pineapple Sheera / Lemon Jiuce

(A+) Top Dishes:

Idly Chutney, Khotto Idli, Mysore Masala Dosa, Rava Masala, Onion Uttaapam

(A) Above Average Dishes:

Upma, Masala Dosa,

(B) Average Dishes

Vada Sambhar, Bisibele Bhath, Pulao, Puri Kurma etc

3. Anand Bhuvan

#3 in overall rating, the best Bisibele Bhath in Mumbai. Good Filter Coffee.

Ideal for afternoon lunch.

Tuesday Closed

The ideal meal for one person here would be

1. Rasam Vada/Idli

2. Any Dosa

3. Bisibele Bhath

4. End with Coffee / Day’s special sweet dish

(A+) Top Dishes:

Rasam, Bisibele Bhath, Dal Vada

(A) Above Average Dishes:

All Basic Dosas, Vada, Sambhar, Chutney

(B) Average Dishes

Pessarate Dosa, Kadi Vada, Pulao, Missal

4. Ram Ashraya

#4 in overall rating, best Idli Chutney in Mumbai

In recent times, it has gained tremendous popularity and poses a threat to Café Madras in terms of crowd pull. Proximity to Matunga (CR) station.

Ideal for early morning breakfast as it opens at 5am.

Monday Closed

The ideal meal for one person here would be

1. Upma

2. Idli and Vaati Chutney

3. Mysore Onion Rava Masala

4. End with their Sheera speciality (different sheeras on different days  / time of day)

(A+) Top Dishes:

Good Coconut Chutney (order the vaati chutney at start), Upma, Sheera, Mysore Onion Rava Dosa, Buttermilk, Vada

(A) Above Average Dishes:

All Dosas

(B) Average Dishes

Bisibele Bhath, Pulao etc.

5. Amba Bhuvan

#5 in overall rating, Arguably the best Upma, Kadi Vada and Filter Coffee in Mumbai

Ver old school look with the same furniture, same waiters and virtually the same customers since the 40 years that I know of. Most ideal for Saturdays and Sundays – least crowded of all.

Thursday Closed

The ideal meal for one person here would be

1. Upma

2. Kadi Vada

3. Pongal (Certain Days)

4. Must End with their trademark #1 Filter Coffee

(A+) Top Dishes:

Upma,  Kadi Vada, Kela Bhajji, Filter Coffee

(A) Above Average Dishes:

Idli, Vada, Basic Dosas, Pongal

(B) Average Dishes

All Speciality Dosas, Sambhar and Chutney

6. Mani’s Lunch Home

#1 for Authentic Tam-Brahm Lunch and Dinner.

Unlike the Udipi joints above, this is a 100% Tamil restaurant (Palakkaad Iyers)

The Sambhars (a different one every day), the Rasam and the sabzis are made exactly in the same way as an Iyer’s home.

Warning: You don’t get Dosas, Idlis etc during lunch time

Tuesday Closed

The ideal meal for one person here would be

1. Rice Plate – Limited thali (eat like a King for below 70 INR)

2. Meal – Unlimited thali served on a banana leaf (eat like 3 Kings dining together for less than 100 INR)

3. End with Filter Coffee

(A+) Top Dishes:

Rasam, Chinna Vengaya Sambhar (Madras Onion Sambhar), Rasavangi (Brinjal Sambhar), Avial, Vetta Cozhambu (yummy Tamarind, Chillies and Dal concoction to be had with rice)

(A) Above Average Dishes:

The basic Udipi stuff is all available here, cooked in a slightly different way

(B) Average Dishes

Some may not find the Sambhar and Chutney as tasty as others above

7. Rama Nayak’s Lunch Home

#1 for Authentic Udipi Lunch and Dinner.

Unlike other Udipi joints above, this only serves Lunch and Dinner meals

8. Shri Sunder’s

Average Udipi Joint – no specialities as such but serves various ‘bhaths’ (rice) at all times

9. Arya Bhuvan

Relatively new, bang opposite Matunga (CR) station – main gate

Serves certain unique Kerala dishes like PANIYARAM etc.

The IDLI here is made in the authentic Tamil style.

10. Sharda Bhuvan

Same management as Amba Bhuvan. Same quality too.

11. Mani’s (Ruia College)

Same management as Mani’s Lunch Home.

Serves UNLIMITED SAMBHAR and CHUTNEY –

Above Average Idli, Vada and Dosa place

Very good Filter Coffee

12. Thambi

Newly opened, encashing on its proximity to Welinkar’s, Podar, Ruia college

Decent overall quality

Summary of Top Dishes:

  1. Ram Ashray – Upma and Idli Chutney
  2. Amba Bhuvan – Upma, Kadi Vada, Filter Coffee
  3. Café Madras – Vada Sambhar, Set Dosa, Pesaratte Dosa
  4. Café Mysore – Khotto Idli, Mysore Masala
  5. Anand Bhuvan – Bisibele Bhath
  6. Full Lunch / Dinner at Mani’s Lunch Home

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