Everyone is constantly talking about eating healthy and eating right. Stay away from junk food and do not binge. While that is an admirable effort and commendable for those who manage to stick to their diets, every once in a while, one must indulge in a little cheating. There is fried food, run-of-the-mill average fried food, and then there are fried foods worth breaking every diet rule for. We are not talking about the occasional samosa or tempura but some really delicious dishes worth every single calorie that comes with it. These are some of the city’s tastiest fried treats.
Assorted Seafood Fritters at Smoke House Deli – These plump, crispy golden fritters are the perfect snack to munch on before your main meal. There is prawn, fish and squid that is batter fried and served with a chilli sour cream dip.
Mutton Cutlets at Café Military – Parsis absolutely love fried food and the perfect testament to this is their beautiful mutton cutlets: minced meat, perfectly spiced and fried until they have a nice fried layer (or ‘lace’, as it is called) around it. Best eaten with hot chapatis or even on their own, Café Military does them exceptionally well but you could also find these at any Parsi or Irani café/restaurant.
Prawn Koliwada at Jai Hind Lunch Home – This restaurant has several outlets and is fantastic for their coastal seafood dishes. While they have an excellent stuffed bombil (bombay duck) that deserves a special mention, it is the prawn koliwada that will really steal your heart. Served hot and fresh off the stove with a cool mint chutney to accompany it, this crunchy starter is delicious. It is also quite addictive, so don’t be surprised if you end up ordering more portions than you meant to.
Bacon Fries at Between Breads – Crispy fried pieces of bacon generously garnished over golden fries is what some people would call a match made in heaven. Between Breads might be the only place in the city that came up with this ingenious combination, and actually pulled it off without either of the two elements getting soggy. It is the perfect accompaniment to their juicy burgers or can even be eaten as a snack by itself.
Chicken Waffles at Ellipsis – While this might sound like the oddest combination of sweet and savoury, Ellipsis is the only place in the city that pulls it off. Not only that, but they churn out an exceptional dish. Fat, juicy and perfectly crispy pieces of fried chicken sit on a bed of waffles served with maple syrup and a bit of spice. This dish is the brainchild of Chef Kelvin Cheung and is nearly two years old, but it is a classic and one of their most popular dishes on the menu.
Beer-Battered Onion Rings at Woodside Inn – Anything that has the words ‘beer battered’ in its description is bound to be a winner. Woodside Inn is famous for many of their dishes, especially their burgers. However, when it comes to fried goodness, it is really their beer-battered onion rings that is the dish to indulge in. It is the perfect accompaniment to a chilled beer but, if you are anything like us, you will finish a plate of these before the beer can get to your table.
Fish and Chips at Indigo Deli – One of the best comfort meals you can have is a big plate of fish and chips. Indigo Deli does a brilliant version of this English classic, and it really is fried food heaven. The fish is excellent and the chips are more like French fries and the dish comes served with tartar sauce and malt vinegar. You could opt for a crumb or batter-fried version of the fish. Either way, it is delicious and quite a meal!
Crispy Quail 65 at The Bombay Canteen – This is the latest addition to the ever-changing and evolving menu at The Bombay Canteen. Not only is it a pleasure to see quail on the menu instead of chicken, but this fried 65 version is stellar. Crispy and garnished with curry patta, red onions and red chilli tadka, it is best to just grab a piece and bite right into it.
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Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.