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No matter what you call them, pavs, buns or baos, there is no denying that we are in love with bread. From a humble roadside veggie toastie sandwich, to the more extravagant Asian baos, we Mumbaikars seem to adore breads. Be it a quick fix snack or part of a full-fledged meal, there are various pav inspired dishes that are tasty and exciting, especially for food enthusiasts. The list of course is endless, but we picked some of our favourites − the ones we feel are the best of the best and one can happily gorge on anytime of the day.
Ashok Vada Pav − While the humble vada pav might not seem like an overly exciting pick, the ones at this particular stall parked right outside Kirti College, in the heart of the city, are hard to ignore. There are vada pavs, and then there are vada pavs, and then there are these beasts served up at this stall. Soft ladi pavs stuffed with a crispy, spiced potato patty, plenty of chutney and an incredible amount of crispy fried churan, makes this a treat you just cannot ignore.
Pack-a-Pav − Heavily inspired by the vada pav, this little pav stall in Bandra takes it a notch further and gives you the ultimate pav. The same soft ladi pavs are used, but instead of the familiar fried potato vada, you can pick from mutton shammi, herb chicken sheekh kababs, paneer and cheese or even a chilli garlic mushroom with water chestnut. The flavours and combinations are creative, and all the pavs are served with their special homemade spicy garlic spread and another secret cream cheese spread making them unique and such crowd pleasers, that no matter what day, there is almost always a line of people patiently waiting for their pavs.
The Bao Haus Co − The Chinese buns or baos that are often steamed and stuffed with delicious fillings are a current rage. So much so that this particular company has dedicated their entire menu to various baos. Unusual choices and flavours in this menu, most of which you wouldn't find in a restaurants, makes this home delivery model a huge success. The bánh mì, coconut shrimp and the buttermilk fried chicken baos are the ones we recommend, but if you are in a mood to experiment then try the quinoa bao or the chocolate bao!
Pita burg − If we are talking about our favourite pavs, buns and baos, then we cannot forget our favourite pita pockets. Pita burg is a home-delivery start up, that has fast become one of our favourite spots to order from. It is almost like a sandwich of a burger patty, which comes stuffed inside a pita pocket instead of a burger bun or the traditional sliced bread. These little pockets are loaded with flavour and generously stuffed. They make a great option for a light but filling lunch. Our top picks include the mutton sheekh kabab, the harabara kabab and the omelettte pita.
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.